Coastal’s Taliaferro makes dominant debut for Ravens

NFL: Preseason-Baltimore Ravens at Dallas CowboysFormer Coastal Carolina University running back Lorenzo Taliaferro made an impressive NFL debut with the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, helping them to a 23-21 comeback victory over the Clevelend Browns.

Taliaferro, a fourth-round draft pick out of Coastal, has made a meteoric rise up the Ravens’ depth chart and may have earned the starting job by rushing for 91 yards on 18 carries and a touchdown.

Taliaferro’s ascent was precipitated by the suspension of veteran Ray Rice in a highly publicized domestic violence case. Bernard Pierce was inactive with a hamstring injury, so Justin Forsett replaced him in the starting lineup.

But it didn’t take long for the Ravens to turn to Taliaferro for some tough running against the Browns’ front. Baltimore took a 14-10 lead on an eight-play, 80-yard drive as Taliaferro plowed in from the 1 for his first NFL TD.

“The results speak for themselves with Lorenzo,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. “He’s physical. He’s a downhill runner. He’s hard to tackle. That’s a big plus for an offense.”

Taliaferro will face a tough test and some familiar faces when the Ravens host the Carolina Panthers next week. Fullback Mike Tolbert and defensive back Josh Norman are also CCU alums.

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