Adjustments. Adjustments. Adjustments. Coach Gibbs had to bring out the full arsenal in this game to try and limit the high power offense that Oklahoma State displayed. After James Washington started the game off strong, the defense started targeting him to limit his catches, then Justice Hill began to tote the rock and gash the team until Gibbs loaded the box. And just when it seems as though Tech has slowed down the Cowboy attack, Mason Rudolph keeps the ball on a read option and scores. The Red Raider defense still proved just how far they’ve come even in a losing effort.
This unit faced the toughest O Line they’ve faced so far and it showed. The dominant duo of Mychealon Thomas and Broderick Washington Jr weren’t as forceful as they have been previously, and besides the lone Tony Jones sack, Rudolph was not taken down at all. Up until late, Justice Hill consistently ran past the first line of defense and the Cowboy O Linemen were able to create holes. Kolin Hill was a bright spot for the team in this game as he racked up four solo tackles including one for loss.
Once again this unit did not disappoint as both Dakota Allen & Jordyn Brooks proved to be the backbone of this defense. The duo combined for 15 tackles and were a big reason why Justice Hill was limited in the fourth quarter. Kolin Hill played more of a hybrid position in this game as well, showing his versatility at Linebacker. This unit did struggle up until late however, as Justice Hill ran around and right at them for the better part of three quarters. Big tackles and deflections down the stretch helped the team stay in it, which can only spell good things going forward.
The stat sheet won’t show just how good of a game this group played. From Damarcus Fields-pick 6 to limiting James Washington to only two second half catches, this unit seemed to get better as the game went on. Damarcus Fields had himself a career night, not only getting that big interception, but adding on five tackles and a pass deflection. One week after being carried on a stretcher to the hospital, Tech’s resident big hitter Vaughntae Dorsey also showed out with seven tackles and preventing a few third down conversions. Octavious Morgan also had a good day on the outside as well, however his day will be overshadowed by that tremendous catch on third down by Oklahoma State’s Marcell Ateman. This secondary held Mason Rudolph to his lowest full game passing yardage all year, and though the game ended in a loss, secondary play like this against one of the best passing offenses in the nation is nothing to hang your head on.