The Red Raiders have been known as an offensive power since the new millennium started. The Air Raid offense has brought inflated numbers to college football and no team has taken more advantage of that than the Red Raiders. Texas Tech has had incredibly prolific offenses, but lost in the 4,000 yard passers and 1,000 yard receivers over the years has been the defense.
Gibbs’ 806D returns 10 starters this fall and after the improvements on defense last year, it’s time to be excited about what this defense can do. Last year’s unit forced 29 turnovers which led the Big 12 and was ranked 6th nationally. Texas Tech had not forced that many turnovers since 2008. Additionally, the 806D had 4 defensive touchdowns.
Now, can the upward trending defense continue? It seems likely that this unit will be even tougher for opposing offenses in 2018. The only starter that will be missing from last year is Defensive Tackle, Mychealon Thomas, who is now with the New York Jets (#66 in the tweet below).
Look for grad transfer, Preston Gordon, to fill the hole that Mych Thomas left. Gordon started 28 games during his career at Rice and he will plug up the middle along with Broderick Washington on the defensive line.
Everyone knows that the star of the defense is Dakota Allen. Allen dominated at the WILL linebacker position last season. Allen recorded 102 tackles, 2 sacks, 2 interceptions, 1 forced fumble and 1 fumble recovery. Dakota will be the heart and soul of this defense and they will feed off of his play. Allen, along with Riko Jeffers and Jordyn Brooks could be one of the best linebacker groups that Lubbock has seen in a long time. Look for Allen to see his NFL Draft stock rise after a monster year this coming fall.
While Gibbs’ defense still gave up 32.2 ppg, there was tremendous improvement from the 2016 campaign in which the defense allowed 43.5 ppg. If the 806D can lower that number into the 20s, I’m sure Kliff can lead the offense to put enough points on the board to win games.
2018 might be the year Tech fans have been waiting for. A defense that can win tough games is something that has eluded the South Plains for a long time. Is this the year that Texas Tech can have a complete team? I think so, but we’ll get our first glimpse in Houston on September 1st when the Red Raiders take on Ole Miss.