While at Hurst L.D. Bell, Kenneth Farrow was a true power running back, bowling over defenders and leading a strong Blue Raiders offense.
Now a redshirt sophomore at Houston, Farrow has learned how to use his mind as well as strength. As a result, Farrow is poised for a breakout performance.
“In high school, they just kind of hand you the ball, and you go make plays,” Farrow said. “In college, you have to do more film study, and the more you do during the week, the more it pays off on the weekend. I’ve been a better student of the game, learning a lot more.”
Farrow’s biggest advice for high school players who will make the transition to the college game is don’t be afraid to sit out a year.
“You can get in, learn the system, and see what it takes every day at this level,” he said. “You have to be focused every day. Having a year to learn all of that without having to play every weekend helps tremendously. You soak it all in. I would redshirt every time. Everybody wants to play right away. I looked at it like that in the beginning. But it’s a learning process. It brings nothing but benefits in the long run.”
Farrow started the season with 175 yards on 29 carries in his first two games, but he suffered an ankle injury at the end of Houston’s second game. He missed the next two games, wins against Rice and UTSA. With an off week after each game, he was off the field for a month.
“It was definitely disappointing to have an early setback, but I was able to sit back and learn some things, some different aspects of the game,” Farrow said. “I wasn’t playing, so I was in there watching a lot more film than usual. It taught me a lot more about preparing. I was waking up early and getting in some rehab, and while I was doing that, I was going in to watch film. That’s something I carried over, even after my ankle was back to 100 percent. I still start my day earlier and watch more in the film room.”
In his first game back, a win against Memphis, Farrow picked up his first two touchdowns of the season. He also played well in a tough road win against Rutgers, rushing for 74 yards and a touchdown on six carries.
“We are an up-tempo team,” said Farrow, who is second on the team this season with 399 rushing yards. “Being able to go fast catches the defense off guard. The defense has to give you something if you spread them out over the field. It’s about taking advantage of whatever they are giving up. You have to make the right reads at the last minute.”
Last week, Houston lost on the road against No. 17 UCF. This week, Farrow and the Cougars have another tough road test at No. 20 Louisville.
“When you lose, that just shows you have room for improvement,” Farrow said. “We can go out there and do more. We saw the mistakes we made on film, and now we can go out and correct those things. I expect us to have a good game and play well.
“I love playing the best teams on our schedule. That’s when the best players step up and play their best football. It’s a chance to play in front of a rocking stadium. The fact they are ranked just gives me motivation to go out and play even better.”
Games of the week
“It is not a disgrace to lose to Vanderbilt.” — South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier on Florida’s recent struggles. Spurrier, who said too much has been made of the Gators losing to the Commodores last week, noted that Vanderbilt has also beaten Georgia. South Carolina beat Vanderbilt 35-25 and will play Florida Saturday.
“Playing like one of the top teams in the country right now.” — Ohio State coach Urban Meyer using a sentence fragment for his short opening statement when he met with reporters this week. Meyer’s 12-word opener may have been to remind the nation that the Buckeyes, like Alabama and Florida State, are still undefeated. Right now, Ohio State is outside of the BCS National Championship game, with Alabama and Florida State ahead in the rankings.