The bad news slowly filtering out of Lubbock today is that starting tailback Baron Batch went down from an injury at practice.
The extent of the injury isn't known at this time. It appeared to be an injury to an arm or shoulder. Batch was carted off the field. Texas Tech isn't commenting on the injury.
Batch is poised to have a huge season. He is the man expected to get the most carries and snaps in the backfield. He is an extremely talented back with good speed, power, and most importantly to Tech, the ability to pick up defenders rushing the quarterback.
If the injury is bad and he is unavailable for part or all of the season, it is a major blow to the Tech offense.
There is talent behind him, led by redshirt freshman Harrison Jeffers, a four-star recruit from Oklahoma. Jeffers is a speed blazer with very shifty feet and the ability to make players miss, then outrun the rest. He is expected to get plenty of touches no matter what Batch's status is.
Aaron Crawford, who was the star of the Oklahoma game from two years ago, can also step in if healthy. He has struggled with injuries. He is a bruising back who hits the hole quickly and doesn't shy from contact.
The next most likely candidate to earn more carries is true freshman running back Eric Stephens. Eric was a four-star recruit out of Mansfield, Texas. He has looked very good in opening practices. Still, I imagine the staff might try and redshirt Stephens if possible. If Batch's injury is serious, the possibility of a redshirt becomes less likely.
Last season Batch gained 758 yards on the ground, averaging 6.7 a carry. He caught 45 passes for 449 yards. He had eight touchdowns total.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!