No Louisiana Tech offensive player threatened to break any NCAA records against the Red Raiders Saturday night, so that’s a plus, right?
After a promising yet unsustainable performance against Stephen F. Austin and a demoralizing yet (hopefully) unsustainable performance against Arizona State, the Texas Tech defense probably showed its truest colors against the Bulldogs this week. Let’s get into the grades.
Defensive Line: D
The defensive line never totally got it going against the Bulldogs, who did a good job blocking and had a very solid running back and mobile quarterback, both of which were difficult to contain. Louisiana Tech had tons of success running from the spread because they could usually block our defensive line straight up, which allowed blockers to get to the second level quickly to block linebackers. Quarterback Ryan Higgins had all day to throw and generally made the most of it.
Freshman Jordyn Brooks continues to be a bright spot for this unit and is someone Red Raider fans should be excited about. Brooks had a key pass deflection on a 4th down late in the game that helped Tech close the game out. He has perhaps the best instincts on the defense and is athletic enough to make plays in the open field. This group as a whole took several bad angles on the night which allowed running back Jarred Craft to have some big gains. If the line in front of them had played better, this group could have had a better game.
Defensive Backs: D-
These schools essentially swapped DB coaches in the offseason and Texas Tech’s group did little to prove that they won that swap. Multiple blown coverages cost the team points, but many of the passing yards surrendered were a result of the quarterback having too much time to throw. Some garbage time stat padding made the numbers look worse than the game really was, but the defense, and especially the secondary, needs every rep it can get if there’s going to be improvement.
Overall Grade: D+
Several young faces in the secondary could see additional playing time for a variety of reasons when the Red Raiders come off of their bye week to face Kansas. Tech should win that game at home comfortably, which means that David Gibbs has about 20 days before the first big conference test. If these next 20 days can move the needle at all, Tech could march into conference play and compete for a top four spot in a down year for several Big 12 teams. If not, something like the performance against Louisiana Tech will probably be the norm for the rest of the season.