Running game ignites Texas Tech offense

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

Texas Tech's running game was its secret weapon last season.

The Red Raiders' ability to run the ball reduced pressure on Graham Harrell and opened up the passing game even more.

In the first three games, Tech had averaged only 28.7 yards rushing per game to rank 118th nationally. If they were ever going to become a more potent offense, they needed some production.

The running has come tonight. Harrison Jeffers sparked a touchdown drive with a 35-yard inside reverse and Baron Batch capped that drive with an easy touchdown roll through a gasping Houston defense. Tech accounted for 62 yards of rushing on that scoring possession to reclaim a 14-10 lead.

Tech should have the advantage in the trenches. The Red Raiders' offensive line is much bigger than Houston and should be able to run the ball if they were so inclined, even though run blocking isn't exactly stressed in Mike Leach's program.

Batch had rushed for 65 yards combined in his first three games. If he keeps his current pace, he should eclipse that by halftime.