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Texas Tech Will Need Secondary Help To Stop Fournette

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A lot of people are saying this game depends on the DL and LBs. We think it will actually hinge on secondary play

Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

The Texas Bowl has been touted as a mismatch from the day it was announced. We've heard it all, Leonard Fournette is going to run all over us, we have no chance, and all the other statements that have resigned the Red Raiders to almost certain doom. Thankfully, football games aren't played on paper.

Make no mistake, in order to stop Fournette, we're going to need a herculean effort on defense. Many have suggested that this effort will need to come from the front 7. I disagree slightly. The front 7 will be wildly important, but we will need our secondary to play better than any other group on the field.

The only real way to stop Fournette is to stack the box. We need to commit all of our linebackers in our 4-3 scheme to stopping the run game. This isolates our DBs on the speedy LSU wide receivers. If we can't cover them effectively, LSU will simply pass on us. I know they don't have the strongest passing offense, but looking back at the Oklahoma State and Kansas State games, teams with average passing attacks have shown the ability to be effective with one on one coverage.

Another factor in this chess game is the run support from the safeties, Jah'Shawn Johnson and JJ Gaines. Against Texas in the first half, Johnson and Gaines played outstanding in run support, allowing Texas Tech to hold the Longhorns to a respectable first half rush defense. Things only fell apart until around halfway through the 3rd Quarter.

To stop Fournette, our secondary is going to have to do a number of things. They're going to have to cover well enough to allow our linebackers to commit to the run first, instead of having to drop a linebacker into coverage. In addition to coverage duties, they'll have to challenge LSU at the line of scrimmage. Yes, the defensive lines and linebackers will play a major part in stopping Fournette. In order to do that, they'll need the secondary to play an amazing game so that they can focus on only one dimension of the LSU offense.