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Buck Allen And Terrance West A 'Top-Notch' 1-2 Punch


The cupboard certainly isn't bare for the Ravens at running back.

In Baltimore's first game without starter Justin Forsett in the lineup, young running backs Buck Allen and Terrance West stepped up with an impressive showing. They combined to average 4.8 yards per carry against Cleveland, and Allen also found his way into the end zone for his first career score.

"I think they both showed they're capable of being top-notch NFL running backs," Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh said. "I thought they both did a good job."

Allen got the start and the bulk of the reps, finishing with 12 carries for 55 yards. He also caught four passes for 29 yards, including a 13-yard touchdown. 

West saw more action in the second half, carrying seven times for 37 yards against his former team.

They ran behind an offensive line that was without three starters, but they were still able to find room on the ground to take some of the pressure of quarterback Matt Schaub and the passing game.

"Buck and Terrance West both ran really hard," Harbaugh said. "The offensive line did a really good job, and [the Browns] were really coming after our run game."

The victory over Cleveland had a special significance for both Allen and West. It was the first start of Allen's career, and it was also the first game for West against the team that drafted him in the third round last year.

Cleveland dealt West away this summer after what Head Coach Mike Pettine described as "maturity issues," and he ended up with his hometown Ravens a few months later getting the win over the Browns on Monday Night Football.

"It's a dream come true," West said. "I tried to keep my composure and play for my team. I'm a Raven now, so I didn't want to make it about me. I went out there and just played hard."

The strong debut for the two young running backs was a good sign for the rest of this year and going into next season. Allen, West and Forsett all complement each other's skill sets, giving the Ravens plenty of options to maximize the players' strengths. 

That doesn't even include Lorenzo Taliaferro, who started the season off strong as the primary backup but landed on injured reserve (foot). He will be heading into his third NFL season.

In the meantime, the Ravens will just look for Allen and West to continue developing. They started strong, but still have plenty of room to grow over the next five weeks of the season.

"You never know when you're time is going to come," Allen said. "It's a blessing to go out and play with this group of guys."

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