What You Need To Know About The Texas Tech Defense
– The Texas Tech defense will always be trying to hold serve, but there’s finally a whole lot to be excited about with the top nine tacklers returning, a whole lot of depth, and for the first time in a very, very long time, most of the team’s top talents on this side of the ball.
It starts with Dakota Allen, one of the Big 12’s best all-around outside linebackers next to 240-pound Jordyn Brooks, a big thumper in the middle. It’s not a deep group overall, but with these two about to combine for around 200 stops, and with Riko Jeffers looking like a keeper, this might just be the team’s best unit if it’s not …
– The safeties are tremendous. It only seems like Jah’Shawn Johnson has been hitting everything that moves since the Spike Dykes era, as one of the Big 12’s most productive defensive backs over the last three years. Justus Parker is a feisty, versatile try-hard playmaker, and fourth-leading tackler Vaughnte Dorsey can pop – but can’t cover.
The corners aren’t quite as good, but they’re not far off. The combination of Octavious Morgan, Desmond Smith and DaMarcus Fields are more-than-capable corners.
– The pass rush has to show up. The Red Raiders were dead last in the Big Ten in both sacks and tackles for loss, but at least there’s a veteran line to try doing more. Eli Howard was a key part of the rotation, and now he’ll take on a bigger role. Broderick Washington is a decent veteran tackle, but size inside will be a slight issue.
Biggest Key To The Texas Tech Defense
Stop the run. The defense did a better job last year against the run than in 2016, and was vastly improved from the 2015 nightmare that couldn’t slow anything down. However, it’s still a big deal when the D gets hammered on, going 0-5 last season when allowing 200 yards or more. Over the last two seasons, the Red Raiders are 2-11 when giving up two bills.