The Texas Tech Red Raiders have the No. 1 passing offense in the country and started the season 7-0, but three straight losses have Tech out of the Big 12 title race, out of the Top 25 and clinging to all the momentum that Kliff Kingsbury brought to the program this offseason. One thing they can do to help turn things around is to get running back Kenny Williams more involved in the offense.
It’s no secret that the Air Raid system that Kingsbury brought back to Lubbock this season is not conducive to running backs getting a lot of touches and Williams’ has been hurt by that fact. He leads the team with 391 yards rushing and eight touchdowns this season but has carried the ball fewer than 10 times in six games this season. He’s never had more than 17 carries in a game and has yet to break the 100-yard mark in 2013 despite having the ability to be a real playmaker.
Over the last three games, Williams has averaged a strong 4.35 yards per carry but has only gotten to carry the ball 31 times during the losing streak. Against the Kansas State Wildcats, he got 15 carries (well above his average) for 66 yards, averaging an even better 4.4 yards per attempt. The problem isn’t that he lacks productivity with the football, it’s that he doesn’t get the football nearly enough.
Even if it’s not on a handoff, Williams has shown the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield effectively. On the season, he’s caught 24 passes for 221 yards with a touchdown. Getting him the football in open space can only do positive things for the Red Raiders offense so they need to find more touches for the talented junior tailback. Whether it’s by handoff or short pass, Williams can be a difference maker for this offense, create some consistent rhythm and take pressure off the freshmen quarterbacks in big situations.
It isn’t the flashy, big-play option that the Air Raid tends to prefer, but Kenny Williams is a talent at running back that is going to waste. Kingsbury needs to find ways to get the ball into his hands to get this offense back on the right track and the Red Raiders back into the win column.