Opposing player to watch: Jonathan Woodard

A closer look at Central Arkansas standout defensive end Jonathan Woodard.

There are certain ways Central Arkansas can pull off a major upset and defeat the Texas Tech Red Raiders.

Central Arkansas

Jonathan Woodard

will need to force turnovers, place pressure on Davis Webb and stop the run. A position crucial to all of these three things is defensive end. The Bears have a great one in junior Jonathan Woodard.

Woodard, who earned 2012 Southland Conference Freshman of the Year, is the first player that comes to Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury’s mind when he was asked about Central Arkansas, “There is a defensive end named Woodard that flashes on film, great player for them.”

Kingsbury is not the only who is taking notice. Texas Tech offensive line coach Lee Hays knows exactly how much Woodard weighs and his height.

"This kid that they have is 6-6, 275. He's really active, good motor, can pass rush, can play the run and has a pro grade,” said Hays earlier this week. “So far I have only seen him on tape outside (at defensive end), so I can't tell you if they are going to try and put him inside or try to match him up with anybody."

Every year Woodard has participated on the field, he’s earned first-team All-Southland Conference honors. The Brentwood, Tenn. native currently sports 58 solo tackles and 15 sacks. Through his young career, Woodard forced and recovered four fumbles.

Tech struggled in the trenches during the 2013 campaign and turnovers were a major issue. Those problems may have been shored up during the offseason, but the scrimmages are over. If Tech can protect Davis Webb, it will be a long day for Central Arkansas. If the line can provide some lanes for a running game, then the Bears may consider a running clock.

Texas Tech hosts Central Arkansas Saturday at Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock. The season kicks off at 6 p.m.

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