West pro­vides a needed spark for rush­ing at­tack

Baltimore Sun - - RAVENS INSIDER - By Ed­ward Lee

On Satur­day, Ravens run­ning back Terrance West learned he would start Sun­day’s game against the Oak­land Raiders.

The Tow­son Uni­ver­sity and North­west­ern High prod­uct proved that the coaches made the right de­ci­sion.

In his first start for the team, West rushed for a ca­reer-high113 yards, av­er­ag­ing 5.4 yards on 21 car­ries, and scored on a 3-yard run that gave the Ravens a short­lived six-point lead late in the fourth quar­ter. In one game, West nearly matched the 119 yards on 33 at­tempts he had through his first three games.

But the lus­ter of his per­for­mance faded in light of the Ravens’ 28-27 loss to the Raiders.

“It was a great op­por­tu­nity for me, but I wish that I could trade the stats in for a win,” West said. “We came up short.”

West’s out­ing came on the heels of the team’s sur­pris­ing de­ci­sion to de­ac­ti­vate Justin Forsett, who started the first three games and had 98 yards on 31 car­ries. Forsett has not looked like the player who led the 2014 team with 1,266 yards and eight touch­downs, earn­ing a three-year, $9 mil­lion ex­ten­sion.

Forsett, who watched Sun­day’s game in street clothes from the side­line, was not in the locker room af­ter the game.

Coach John Har­baugh said the of­fense needed a spark.

“I think I need to make clear — that doesn’t mean we think Justin Forsett was the prob­lem with the run­ning game,” he said. “But you’ve got to try to do some­thing. You try to do all the things, and then some­times you try to do some­thing else, too. That’s what we tried to do this week.”

West took ad­van­tage of the op­por­tu­nity. Af­ter gain­ing 26 yards on five car­ries in the first half, West had 87 yards on 16 at­tempts in the sec­ond half. Two of his three long­est runs came in the sec­ond half.

“I’ve been that type of back my whole ca­reer,” he said. “I’m not a ro­ta­tion back. I like to feel a de­fense out. I get stronger as the game goes on.”

With rookie Ken­neth Dixon get­ting closer to re­turn­ing from a strained MCL in his left knee, West’s time as the pri­mary tail­back could de­pend on whether he can con­sis­tently power the rush­ing at­tack. Hurst owns up to poor play: James Hurst clearly was dis­ap­pointed in his play in his first start of the sea­son at left tackle Sun­day.

Hurst, who was start­ing for rookie Ron­nie Stan­ley (foot), did not sur­ren­der a sack but was pe­nal­ized for hold­ing once, had an­other hold­ing penalty de­clined by

KARL MERTON FERRON/BAL­TI­MORE SUN

The Ravens’ Terrance West, right, rushed for a ca­reer-high 113 yards, av­er­ag­ing 5.4 yards on 21 car­ries, against the Raiders on Sun­day.

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