Raiders can run against Wildcats


Don’t get too excited yet.
    Sure, K-State will face a pass-heavy team this weekend after giving up more than 300 rushing yards in its previous two games. But just because No. 7 Texas Tech is known for throwing the football doesn’t mean the Red Raiders won’t run all over the Wildcats like everyone else.
    Mike Leach’s spread offense does not just line up and pass the ball on every down. The Red Raiders also want to run it effectively.
    Texas Tech is very efficient when it chooses to run, and the Red Raiders average almost six yards per carry. In 2007, they averaged a little less than five yards per rush.
    The Raiders’ offensive line uses wide splits to spread out defensive lines and create more space for rushing lanes. Texas Tech’s splits start at about three feet wide from center to guard and become wider from guard to tackle.
    “Whenever you spread a team out, it opens up gaps,” Antwon Moore said at Monday’s press conference. “When you go against teams like that, you have to be gap sound.”
    Being “gap sound” has been a problem for the Wildcats. In fact, a big reason they have given up more than 600 yards a game is because of gap issues.
    Since Texas Tech will spread them out even more, don’t expect the Red Raiders to be a good matchup for the Wildcats’ shoddy run defense. The extra space created by the wide offensive line splits will probably lead to more sloppy tackling.
    Granted, the Wildcats won’t come out with three defensive linemen on every snap. They have used the four-man front on several occasions this year already.
    However, the only thing Leach needs to do is watch the tapes from the Louisville and Louisiana-Lafayette games to realize what he can do. The Wildcats can’t stop the run.
    It didn’t matter if it was Louisville running a more traditional rushing attack or Louisiana-Lafayette using misdirection and its quarterback, K-State is helpless. That’s not going to change in a week.
    Also, while the Wildcats were busy getting exposed Saturday, Texas Tech did not play last week. Leach and his staff might use that extra time to add extra rushing plays to Tech’s offensive gameplan.
    It will be a lot harder for Ron Prince and his staff to figure out how to attack Texas Tech. None of the Red Raiders’ opponents were able to blueprint how to attack Tech.
    It’s happened to K-State twice.

Jon Garten is a senior in print journalism. Please send comments to