BEVO BEAT

Freshmen running backs give offense a boost as Texas runs past Baylor

Posted October 28th, 2017

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WACO — For much of this season, Texas’ running game has been inundated with a bunch of questions about its effectiveness. On Saturday, two freshmen may have provided a suitable answer.

Toneil Carter and Daniel Young piloted UT’s beleaguered backfield to a solid showing in a 38-7 win over Baylor. Carter ran for a game-high 70 yards and Young tacked on 60 yards. Both players scored a touchdown in the 31-point conquest.

“They run the ball hard, which is really good to see, and you know, they’re fast,” said sophomore quarterback Shane Buechele, who accounted for 42 of the team’s 171 rushing yards. “It was good to see Danny and Toneil do what they did.”

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Over the first seven games, Carter and Young had mostly been afterthoughts in UT’s run game. Carter, a four-star prospect from Houston who enrolled early, had run 22 times during the Longhorns’ 3-4 start. He also showed some potential at Iowa State. Young, meanwhile, had earned four carries in his first year out of Spring Westfield.

Texas instead gave the bulk of its carries to junior Chris Warren III (67 for 307 yards, 5 TDs) and sophomore Kyle Porter (56 for 161 yards, 3 TDs). Freshman quarterback Sam Ehlinger, who missed Saturday’s game with a head injury, has averaged 3.2 yards over his 84 rushing attempts.

As a result, Texas was averaging 151.4 yards per game. That ranked 75th in the country.

UT running back Toneil Carter (30) reaches the endzone against Baylor cornerback Jameson Houston at Waco’s McLane Stadium on Oct. 28, 2017. Carter’s touchdown was called back by a penalty, but he later scored on a 19-yard run. JAY JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Texas, though, mixed it up against a Baylor defense that had been allowing 223.6 rushing yards per game.

Carter, who exited the game late with a head injury, had 15 carries, and he had a 12-yard score negated by a holding penalty. Young’s 31-yard touchdown run was the last of his seven attempts. The two players combined for three catches and even lined up in the backfield together — with Carter taking a direct snap — on a few plays.

“They did a great job,” junior offensive lineman Jake McMillon said. “It was fun to watch those guys get in the open field and run a little bit.”

Warren recorded only two rushing attempts and his throw into the end zone on a trick play was ruled out-of-bounds. Porter was on the field for the game-ending kneel-down, but he did not touch the football on Saturday. Porter missed last week’s loss to Oklahoma State with a chest injury.

Texas coach Tom Herman said he was pleased with the way the freshmen broke tackles and “slithered around in there when things weren’t blocked perfectly.” Neither Carter or Young fumbled the football, which was another positive that the coach pointed out.

So, was Saturday’s performance — albeit against the 114th-ranked run defense in the country — enough to convince Herman to turn his running game over to the new kids? Well, the head coach said he has to look at the film first. The freshmen made a good impression, though.

“I liked what I saw, and those guys need to continue to practice the way they have,” Herman said.

The post Freshmen running backs give offense a boost as Texas runs past Baylor appeared first on Hook ‘Em.

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