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Nate Night Thoughts: Another star has emerged under David Gibbs

Texas Tech has a defense worth noticing

NCAA Football: Kansas State at Texas Tech
Nov 4, 2017; Lubbock, TX, USA; Texas Tech Red Raiders assistant coach David Gibbs before the game with the Kansas State Wildcats at Jones AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

The Texas Tech Red Raiders have shown that their defense is not what we are accustomed to anymore. Even during the ESPN broadcast of the Tech and TCU game, Kirk Herbstreit and Joey Galloway were baffled by how well the Texas Tech defense was playing throughout the game. In three Big 12 games, the Red Raiders have shown the ability to shut down the opposition, especially in the second half. The 806D has allowed a grand total of 7 points in the second half of their last three games.

Against TCU, we saw the Red Raiders accomplish something they had not done since 2013, and that was to hold a conference opponent to two touchdowns or less in a win. For the first time in a long time, the Red Raiders relied on their defense to win a game for them. The Texas Tech defense is turning heads and gaining attention of fans all over the country after last week’s win, but can they keep it going?

We all know about Dakota Allen and Jah’Shawn Johnson, but the emergence of Adrian Frye has been a surprise to every Red Raider fan. Frye is a redshirt freshman who enrolled in the 2017 class for Texas Tech. The Red Raiders were his only Power 5 scholarship offer and his only other offers were from Grambling State, Louisiana-Monroe, McNeese State, and Texas Southern according to Rivals. At the beginning of this season Frye was not expected to play much on a defense that returned 10 starters from last year, but after the Ole Miss game, Frye has found himself heavily involved in the Texas Tech defense.

Adrian Frye is tied for the most interceptions in the country right now with 4 picks on the season. Two of those came against Lamar where he took one of them back for a TD, one was against Oklahoma State, and the other was on the final offensive play for TCU last Thursday in Fort Worth. In addition to his interceptions, Frye has defended 13 passes on the season which is tied for 2nd in the FBS. Frye was recently named an AP Midseason 2nd Team All-American this past week and he is 1 of 2 Big 12 defensive players to be selected.

Players like Adrian Frye show how far David Gibbs has brought this defense since coming to Lubbock. Before Gibbs showed up, Texas Tech rarely had standout defensive players that could alter the outcome of a game, but Gibbs has now brought stars such as Riko Jeffers, Jordyn Brooks, Dakota Allen, and now Adrian Frye to Lubbock and each of them has shown game-changing ability during their time wearing the Double-T.

Frye had very little interest from collegiate programs coming out of high school and Gibbs and his staff have shown a keen eye for recruiting players that will fit the Texas Tech defense and perform at a high level. Kirby Hocutt has done a fantastic job by trusting Kliff and Gibbs to bring this program in the right direction. Many programs across the country have fired coaches before they can even get started and Hocutt’s patience is starting to pay dividends for the Red Raiders. While Tech has not accomplished anything yet, it seems to be clear that continuity is going to be the key to success on Raiderland.