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Game Review: Iowa State 17, Texas Tech - The Defense

  • Defensive Line: This defensive line gave up 100 yards rushing for the game and gave up 42 for three quarters. Let that sink in for a second. This Texas Tech defense which has been rightfully criticized for being porous against the rush, was outstanding on Saturday night. As I watched the game I wanted to focus on the defensive line and there's no doubt that the line got a push on the ISU linemen and they contained the running backs and Meyer for most of the night. Henley was all over the field, he seemed like he was in the backfield quite a bit. Colby Whitlock is learning on the job and he's getting better with each and every game. I think he's done a better job of getting leverage and not being so tall. Brandon Williams was good as was Jake Ratliff, who finally got pressure on the opposing quarterback. Collectively, the group finished with 21 tackles, 5.5 tackles for a loss of 32 yards, 3 sacks and 5 quarterback hurries. Stand up guys, you deserve a standing ovation.

    Participated: Jake Ratliff, Colby Whitlock, Rajon Henley, Brandon Williams, Clint Stoffels, Sandy Riley, Daniel Howard, Tyler Yenzer, Brian Jones, and Richard Jones.

    Grade: A

  • Linebackers: Marlon Williams is a leader. He is the absolute unquestioned leader of this defense and it shows on the field. Marlon started at middle linebacker, he played more on the strongside than at any other position. Brian Duncan played a ton at middle linebacker, probably 3/4 of the game and Bront Bird played almost every third down situation. This entire group helped contribute to the overall run-stuffing defense. Brian Duncan had 9 tackles leading the team. That's the way it should be. As a group here's the damage, 26 tackles. 0.5 tackles for a loss for 1 yard. Lots of tackles and little rushing, that's success.

    Participated: Marlon Williams, Paul Williams, Brian Duncan, Julius Howard, Bront Bird, Ryan Hale, and Victor Howard.

    Grade: A

  • Secondary: An outstanding effort for the secondary, however, watching the game I thought Meyer looked horrible. I don't know if that's to credit the secondary or a statement on Meyer. ISU completed less that 50% of his passes and managed only 1 touchdown late in the 4th quarter. The defensive play of the game was from Darcel McBath where he recovered a fumble for 16 yards for a touchdown. I cannot tell you how big of a boost it is to the offense to see the defense pick up the slack. It really gets the entire team excited. That's what you expect, turnovers and capitalizing on those turnovers. The most important thing to note, is that the entire secondary, and I mean the entire group, were excellent in the open field and all made solid tackles and limited ISU to the reception and nothing more. Another good sign: McBath and Garcia finished the day with 4 tackles total, which means that they weren't having to help with the run or the pass. Good stuff. The secondary ended with 21 tackles.

    Participated: Jamar Wall, Joe Garcia, Darcel McBath, Marcus Bunton, Daniel Charbonnet, Anthony Hines, Lance Fuller, LaShawn Vation, Jordy Rowland, and Steven Harris.

    Grade: A

  • Special Teams: Bad news here. L.A. Reed was injured last night and by the second half he was walking around on crutches. I don't even want to speculate on the severity of his injury, but it didn't look good. Reed is a special teams' ace and is vital to the overall success of this phase of the game. Alex Trlica had no opportunities for a field goal, but was good on all of the extra points. Trlica averaged 69 yards a kickoff, which is almost to the goal line. LaCour averaged 41.7 yards a punt. Some were better than others, but for a freshman, he's just fine. Defensively, Texas Tech limited ISU to 19.7 yards per kick-off return and there were no punt returns from the Cyclones.

    Grade: B