Texas football vs. Texas Tech: 4 reasons the Horns can dominate Week 4

Xavier Worthy, Texas football Mandatory Credit: John Gutierrez-USA TODAY Sports
Xavier Worthy, Texas football Mandatory Credit: John Gutierrez-USA TODAY Sports /
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The threat of Bijan Robinson can open up space for the rest of the offense

One of the major strengths of this Texas Tech team lies along the defensive front, especially defending the run. Texas Tech ranks ninth in the FBS so far this season, allowing barely over two yards per carry. The Red Raiders also rank in the top 20 in the FBS, allowing fewer than 90 rushing yards per game and just 0.7 rushing scores.

This will really put star junior Texas running back Bijan Robinson to the test as he looks to get this team’s ground game off to a good start this weekend.

Yet, we saw Bijan and senior running back Roschon Johnson completely dominated a UTSA defense that was one of the best fronts in the Group of Five defending the run last weekend. In fact, Bijan became the first running back since the start of the 2020 season to rush for at least 150 yards in a game against the Roadrunners.

Bijan went for more than 180 rushing yards, nearly 10 yards per carry, and three rushing scores in last weekend’s three-score win over UTSA.

Moreover, we’re likely going to see Texas Tech stack the box and force Texas to beat them on the shoulders of whoever is starting at quarterback this weekend. Whether that be junior quarterback Hudson Card or even redshirt freshman Quinn Ewers, Texas Tech would probably prefer the Longhorns to have to earn it through the air instead of just handing the ball off to the likes of Bijan and Roschon.

On the other hand, if Texas Tech is committing extra defenders to stopping Bijan on the ground, then that should open up more space for Sark to get his other skill players out in space. This is another way to try and get Worthy open in the screen game or on some jet sweeps. We saw Sark get creative last weekend, including one motion sweep that saw the ball pitched to redshirt junior wide receiver Jordan Whittington that went for

Essentially, if McGuire and the Red Raiders want to commit extra defensive assets (i.e. the weakside linebacker or a safety/nickelback), that will give Sark other options to beat this defense. That strategy of stacking the box to limit Bijan could still open up other opportunities to give Sark the advantage in this game. He has a lot of weapons to work with, even more than Texas had last season in the 70-35 win over Tech.

It’s worth mentioning that most of the successful plays that NC State found on the ground against the Red Raiders last weekend came when the running back made the first tackler miss in the open field and when there was an extra blocker to create a lane (i.e. a pulling guard or tight end). The same could be said for Houston.

Texas Tech also was a little bit more prone to giving up successful runs in the last couple of weeks when the opposing offense threw in some motion and trickeration early on. This is where Sark’s creativity can come to the forefront.