Big Men Focus on Domination

As one of the biggest lines in college football, Texas Tech's offensive line has been an integral part of the nation's best passing offense. Known for their wide splits and stellar pass blocking, the big men on the line are looking to be one of the most imposing lines in the Big 12 in 2008.

The offensive line has been a big part of the Red Raiders' success so far in 2008. They've only allowed 1 sack on the year and have been particularly adept with their run blocking. Saturday against SMU, they cleared huge holes for running backs Baron Batch and Shannon Woods, who combined for 184 yards and a touchdown.

Of the game, Head Coach Mike Leach said, "I think they have gotten better and better at it. I think they played pretty good. They have gotten to be a tougher unit. One thing our line and our backs did well was they were constantly running their feet. Another thing I thought was impressive is most of these things are related to fundamentals and I think they did a great job at that."

Part of the improvement in the line's play on Saturday was due to the return of Potential All-American senior guard Louis Vasquez. After going out in the season opener with an injury, and he helped anchor the unit against the Mustangs.

At Monday's press conference, junior lineman Brandon Carter explained why he felt SMU was their best performance so far this season.

"I think we went out there and did a pretty good job of blocking. We've been working on run-blocking for quite some time now. [OL Coach] Matt Moore wanted to change things up to mess up the defense of our opponents. I think we did a really great job of coming out and doing just that."

"Since I've been here run-blocking wasn't a thing for us. If we needed it, we would do it. Now the fact that we can do that is a huge credit to everybody. We have more depth and they have just been working hard and they do all that they can to get every yard that they can."

The next task for the big men of Texas Tech will be to repeat their outstanding performance against the Massachusetts' Minutemen's D-line, which ranked fourth nationally in the FCS in sacks last year. With 3 returning starters and a great pass rush, the Red Raiders will have their work cut out for them.

When questioned about U Mass' defensive schemes, Carter replied, "From what I've seen, they do a lot of different things. They try to mess up the offensive line and move around a lot and try to keep us on our toes."

However, he feels confident that Tech will respond to the challenge. "We have a bunch of smart guys and we know what we do and we do it all day long, all year long."



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