Junior running back Shock Linwood had a career day as Baylor defeated Texas Tech 63-35 in the Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Shootout Saturday at AT&T Stadium.
Linwood ran for a career-high 221 yards on 20 carries (11.1 yards per carry). The performance also ranks as the fourth highest amount of rushing yards in a game from a Baylor running back in school history.
“Doing what we did this game is just going to increase [confidence] and our carriers will run the ball better next week.” – Junior running back Shock Linwood
Linwood showed off his power and elusiveness as he ran his way to third on Baylor’s all-time rushing yards list. The junior appeared unstoppable at times as the Bears’ offense leaned on the 5-foot-9, 200-pound running back early.
“As an offense, we were running the football well,” junior quarterback Seth Russell said. “That’s something to give all the credit to the offensive linemen. They were moving people. You could probably drive a semi-truck through it.”
Despite recognizing the offensive line as key contributors to Linwood’s stats, Russell admitted the performance from the starting running back helped the team get off to a fast start.
The Bears were able to score on the third play from scrimmage, when Linwood took a handoff 79 yards to put Baylor up 7-0. The opening handoff for the running back foreshadowed the day that the ball carrier would have.
“[Linwood] has got great balance, great vision; he’s strong and he’s explosive.” – Head coach Art Briles
The Linden native remained hot and took a second quarter carry for his second score of the day. With the touchdown, Linwood moved to No. 4 on the Bears’ all-time rushing touchdown list (five behind the leader).
“I think the reason [Linwood] was able to do what he did today is because he’s an excellent back. He’s got great balance, great vision; he’s strong and he’s explosive,” said head coach Art Briles.
The success on the ground for the Bears has given the team from Waco a big confidence boost and they hope to ride that wave of momentum, Linwood said.
“Doing what we did this game is just going to increase [confidence] and our carriers will run the ball better next week. Each week we want to get better and not dwell on the last week. Each week is an improving week,” Linwood said.
Coming into the Texas Tech game, Baylor was ranked as the No. 1 rushing team in the nation.
“It makes us feel good up front [to be number one in the country] … but we don’t need the love.” – Senior left tackle Spencer Drango
Linwood made sure the Bears remained on top of the rushing chart on Saturday. In total, Baylor ran the ball 48 times for 347 yards and five touchdowns.
Senior left tackle Spencer Drango said the team keeps up with the numbers and statistics from around the country, but maintained the focus of the team is elsewhere.
“It makes us feel good up front [to be number one in the country]… but we don’t need the love,” Drango said. “If we go for 400 yards rushing, then we’re doing a good job.”
Briles talked about the team’s ability to run the football and how a successful ground game is pivotal in conference play.
“If you can run the football it kind of hurts them in the heart.” – Head coach Art Briles
“If you can run the football, it kind of hurts [opposing teams] in the heart,” Briles said. “That’s the thing you have to be able to do – you have to be able to rush the ball.”
Briles said the team had been looking to get Linwood going and said prior to this game, that his longest run from scrimmage was a 49-yarder against the Kansas Jayhawks in 2013.
The Bears look to keep Linwood on track as they travel to Lawrence, Kan. next week to play the Jayhawks (0-4).