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September 27, 2004

Lots of action in three Big 12 games

By the numbers:
1 - First downs recorded by North Texas in the second half of its 37-14 loss to Baylor. The Mean Green recorded seven first downs and trailed just 17-14 in the first half.
4 - Number of additional rushing yards Texas running back Cedric Benson needed to overtake Oklahoma State's Vernand Morency for the nation's lead in average rushing yards per game. Benson finished with 189 yards against Rice.
11 - The number of Big 12 teams currently on winning streaks. Kansas, after a 31-30 loss to Texas Tech, is the lone Big 12 team on a losing streak.
154 - Total points surrendered by North Texas during its three road losses to Big 12 opponents. The Mean Green (0-4) previously was dropped 65-0 by Texas and 52-21 by Colorado.
426.75 - Total yards per game by Texas Tech quarterback Sonny Cumbie, who leads the nation.
4,001 - Career rushing yards for Kansas State running back Darren Sproles, making him No. 2 among active rushers.
4,264 - Career rushing yards by Texas' Benson, who leads active rushers.

T.H. and TDs: The passing game gets all the credit at Texas Tech, but running back Taurean Henderson is becoming the difference maker during comeback victories. Down 21 points to TCU last week, it was Henderson's 4-yard rushing touchdown, one of three on the day, that sparked a 56-point rally in the 70-35 win. This weekend, it was Henderson once again getting free for a 70-yard touchdown run with 2:37 left in the game to bring the Red Raiders back from 25 points down in a 31-30 victory against Kansas. The junior recorded two touchdowns on the day and now leads the Big 12 with six rushing touchdowns heading into Saturday's showdown at Oklahoma.

Ground Wars: Get ready for some helmets to fly during conference play. The Big 12 has put an emphasis on establishing the running game during the first part of the season. Seven Big 12 teams rank among the top 30 in the nation in rushing offense. Texas leads the nation with 370 yards per game and Oklahoma State joins the Longhorns in the top five with a No. 4 ranking of 334. Nebraska (No 12, 253), Kansas State (No. 13, 252), Oklahoma (No. 14, 249) and Texas A&M (No. 20, 216) all crack the top 20 with Missouri (192.67) at No. 30. All 12 of the conference's teams are averaging more the 100 yards a game, including the pass-happy Red Raiders at No. 99 with 103 yards per game.

It's the player, not the system: You've heard the argument about the success of certain players because of the system they play in and not necessarily their talent. Yes, Texas Tech sophomore wide receiver Jarrett Hicks plays in a system that benefits any eligible receiver on the field with a pulse, but it's Hicks' ability to take the Red Raiders system to another level that makes him special. On the season, Hicks has 33 receptions in four games, surpassing his 2003 total of 32. His receptions per game are impressive, but also what you would expect out of the system. It's his whopping 19.45 yards per catch that makes him a player. Hicks, who leads the nation in receiving yards per game, has surpassed the 100-yard mark in each of his four games this season and exploded for 211 yards on Sept. 19 against TCU.

Board Bytes: The best of the best from Rivals.com Big 12 message boards from Week 4 action.

"I'm calling it right now, if Tech beats KU, they beat OU. THERE I SAID IT! You know it's true! Don't deny your inner Raider! Use the force, Luke! I see dead Sooners! You're gonna need a bigger boat! I'VE GONE COMPLETELY INSANE! BEAT THE 'HAWKS, BEAT THE SOONERS! DONE DEAL! I don't have time for pain! The only pain I got time for is the pain I put on fools who don't know what time it is! THE PAIN TRAIN IS COMING! WOOOOO WOOOOOOO!" - RaiderRolf 13 on RedRaiderSports.com making his second appearance in board bytes.

"Settle down, Beavis." - ZRaider on RedRaiderSports.com in reply to RaiderRolf 13's post.


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