Same Places, New Faces Part 2

With the College Football Season officially at an end, the off-season is in full swing. Come inside as football analyst Mitchell Fish takes a position-by-position look at the Texas Tech's offense and defense, breaking down returning players, likely starters, depth, and possible surprises to watch for during Spring Practice 2009. Up next, the hidden cog of the Air Raid Offense, the running backs.

Likely Starter: Baron Batch

Shannon Woods, who spent the tail-end of the 2007 season in the dog house, formed a dynamic duo with Baron Batch during the 2008 season. The two were a dangerous combination as Woods ran through defenders and Batch showed off some of what made him a highly-touted recruit in 2006.

Batch became an excellent change-of-pace back with good speed and phenomenal vision in the open-field, especially on screen plays.

But, the reason that Batch didn't become the starter was his somewhat lacking pass-protection. Woods was outstanding at picking up the blitz during his time at Texas Tech, Batch wasn't quite up to par.

That isn't to say Batch can't do it, but it will take practice with the offensive line to get comfortable making the types of blocks that Woods made so often.

Back-up: Aaron Crawford

With the emergence of Baron Batch, Aaron Crawford was relegated to 3rd wheel in the Red Raiders running back rotation, many fans even forgetting his strong play as the Raiders' starter down the stretch in 2007.

More of a bruising back, Crawford is very good at breaking tackles at the line of scrimmage.

While he does a good job of finding open space, Crawford does lack the speed that Baron Batch has.

Look for Crawford play behind Batch and for the duo to be similar to what was seen in 2008 with the Woods and Batch combination.

Wildcard: Harrison Jeffers

Harrison Jeffers was a highly touted recruit coming out of high school, but found himself red-shirting during his first college season.

However, unlike some who red-shirt because of lack of talent, Jeffers red-shirted due to an abundance of experience ahead of him on the roster and watched the 2008 season from the sidelines.

Jeffers made play-after-play during Fall practice in '08, and should be able to do the same this coming season.

While Jeffers is firmly planted behind Batch and Crawford, he should be able to give the two of them a run for their money and he should definitely provide a boost as a kick-off returner, an area where the Raiders have struggled mightily as of late.

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