Veteran Backs Lead Texas Tech to Victory

DeAndre Washington (pictured left) and Kenny Williams (right) put on a show in Tech's 34-31 win over Iowa State on Saturday at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, IA.

1. Byron Hanspard2,0841996
2. Byron Morris1,7521993
3. Ricky Williams1,5821998
4. James Gray1,5091989
5. Byron Hanspard1,3741995
6. James Hadnot1,3711979
7. James Hadnot1,3691978
8. Byron Morris1,2791992
9. Doug McCutchen1,0681970
10. DeAndre Washington1,0382014

Texas Tech loves to air it out, but it has been the Red Raider running backs who have shined the brightest this season. Tech's 34-31 win over Iowa State in Ames on Saturday was no different.

DeAndre Washington became the first Red Raider to rush for 1,000 plus yards in a season since Ricky Williams in 1998, the season before Mike Leach brought the Air Raid to the South Plains. Washington is now the seventh running back in Tech history to rush for 1,000 yards in a single season joining a prestigious group which includes James Gray, James Hadnot, Byron Hanspard, Ricky Williams, Doug McCutchen and Bam Morris.

Washington carried the ball 20 times Saturday night for 186 yards, including a 72-yard touchdown run. He also caught two passes for 51 yards and a score. The 186 rushing yards is the most by a Red Raider since Shaud Williams ran for 230 against Colorado in 1999.

The junior's big night highlights a stellar season which has been overshadowed by the Red Raiders' overall porous play. Washington's 1,038 yards, with still one game remaining, is No. 10 all-time by a Tech rusher in a single season. He needs just 31 yards in the season finale to surpass Doug McCutheon's mark of 1,068 yards set in 1970 for the ninth spot.

Though Washington's night was special he wasn't the only Red Raider back to make things happen as senior Kenny Williams produced arguably the two most crucial plays of the game.

First Williams, who was moved to linebacker before the season and then switched back to offense halfway through the schedule, ripped off a 44-yard run on a fake punt. The senior special teams standout was lined up at upback in the punt formation with Tech facing fourth down and trailing Iowa State 24-14 in the third period. Williams took the direct snap and rumbled down to the Cyclones' 13 to set up a the first of two touchdown passes from freshman quarterback Patrick Mahomes to Devin Laderdale.

Later in the game as Tech trailed Iowa State 31-27 with under five minutes to play, Williams caught a swing pass from Mahomes, picked up a few blocks down field and strolled into the end zone for a 44-yard touchdown with his roundhouse karate kick celebration serving as the exclamation. That would end up being the game-winning score as the Red Raider defense held the Cyclones on the ensuing possession before taking a knee from the victory formation.

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