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Player of the week: Big 12

11/11/2013

There aren’t many offenses in college football that can turn to a third-string running back, against a top-10 opponent, and get a 100-yard performance.

Well, we already knew Baylor’s offense has few peers. Shock Linwood provided further confirmation on Thursday. And he did a little better than 100.

When Lache Seastrunk and Glasco Martin went down with injuries, Linwood stepped in and broke out for 182 yards in the No. 6 Bears’ 41-12 victory over Oklahoma. For that breakout performance, he is ESPN.com’s Big 12 Player of the Week.

The redshirt freshman busted explosive runs of 39, 28, 20, 17 and 13 yards and was undaunted by an Oklahoma defense that was considered one of the conference’s best. He surpassed 100 yards for the third time in his first season of playing.

Bears quarterback Bryce Petty was the one responsible for four touchdowns against the Sooners, but the impact of Linwood’s contributions certainly weren’t lost on him.

"I love Shock,” Petty said. “He could easily be starting anywhere in the Big 12, but here he's just behind two phenomenal running backs in Lache and Glasco. The good thing about him is he's just so positive. That's why he's just so contagious. It was no surprise and I knew he could do it."

Linwood is No. 3 on his own depth chart but now No. 6 in the Big 12 in rushing and No. 2 in yards per carry (8.0) behind Seastrunk. He was just a two-star prospect coming out of Linden (Texas) Kildare High School -- back then he was known as Rashodrick -- but the Bears were confident they’d found a gem.

“He’s a ballplayer. He played for my brother,” BU defensive coordinator Phil Bennett said. “We looked at him and Art [Briles] said, ‘That’s my kind of guy.’ He’d committed to TCU and we looked for players. As he says, we don’t care who’s recruiting them. We’re looking for good kids.”

They found one in Linwood, who has turned a bunch of mop-up time -- and one big opportunity -- into 625 rushing yards and seven touchdowns.

Martin has a strained knee. Seastunk has a groin issue. The Bears will need that duo healthy for this stretch run, but they were reminded Thursday the understudy is ready to run.