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Red Raider defense dominates despite terrible offensive showing

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Defensive grades against TCU

TCU v Texas Tech Photo by John Weast/Getty Images

Throughout the year, I have been told that I have been a little harsh on my grades for the defense. Most of that is because I grade the defense on a scale of what a good defense looks like not what a good “Tech” defense looks like. As Red Raiders, we tend to give the defense a pass for playing average or mediocre defense because we are just happy they’re no longer dreadful. However, on Sunday there was no average or mediocre defense. There was a defense that went out and, with the exception of that first TCU touchdown drive, dominated their side of the ball. TCU QB Shawn Robinson was smothered throughout the entire game, every thrown pass was batted down or held for short gain. Though Robinson showed off his speed, the Tech defense corralled him for the most part once the game got going. This was the best the defense has been in conference play, it is just disappointing that it was wasted by an abysmal offensive performance.

Defensive Line

Broderick. Washington. Jr. That man was a monster on the line. Posting a career best seven tackles and constently pushing the vaunted TCU OLine on their heels. Eli Howard also did a great job of putting pressure on Robinson throughout the game and even though he got a RIDICULOUS roughing the passer call, he did let that phase him as he went on to record a sack and force a fumble out of the young freshman’s hands. This unit took the challenge of facing one of the best OLines in the conference head on and won the battle.

Grade: A

Linebackers

TCU runing back’s Kyle Hicks and Sewo Olonilua now know what the Tech front six is capable of as they had no running room all game. Dakota Allen and Jordyn Brooks filled up any holes that Hicks and Olunilua tried to exploit and Olunilua kept getting the ball stripped from his hands. Robinson became the primary runner for the Horned Frogs and found success in the first drive rattling off back to back long runs, but after that drive Robinson had difficulty finding lanes.

Grade: A-

Secondary

Thank goodness we get another year of Jah’Shawn Johnson because that man played Sunday like he was a senior, recording a team high 10 tackles. Johnson and Justus Parker showed why they’ve been the most valuable players of this secondary all season. Parker found himself i the backfield on multiple occasions rattling off seven tackles with two of them going for loss. This secondary held TCU to only 85 YARDS PASSING and Robinson ended the day with a 35% completion percentage. That’s one of the worst quarterbacking displays in Big 12 play all season (Unfortunately, another terrible QB display happened on the other side of the ball). This secondary played great throughout the game and fully deserve this grade.

Grade: A+

The only negative that can possibly be said about this defense is, we have GOT to recover a few more of those fumbles. Only recovering one of the six fumbles (especially the one at the goal line) is going to make Coach David Gibbs head hurt. Though with how poorly the offense played, I doubt it truly would have made a winning difference.