Saturday’s game was a heartbreaker to say the least. Texas Tech’s defense, however, showed a lot of heart during that long-fought battle against Baylor. The Red Raider defense kept the game within reach and held the Bears to just a three-point lead when it all came to a close. With that being said, here are this week’s grades.
Defensive Line: B-
All in all, the defensive unit had a pretty solid day. However, it seemed like Baylor was able to run the ball almost without effort against our lineman this weekend. There were some crucial moments where all we needed was a stop at the line of scrimmage, but it just couldn't always be done.
Despite the slight mishaps, I do think there were some really bright moments for this group of guys. Senior Broderick Washington and junior Eli Howard led the lineman and helped this core force several three-and-outs including the very beginning of the game to get the momentum going for Texas Tech.
Washington and Howard definitely took the term “lead by example” to heart as both Red Raiders recorded big time sacks to shake things up, literally, against the Bears. The effort for these guys was definitely apparent, they just couldn't hold it together in overtime.
This grade was a little difficult because I almost think this grade is a little too high with how many rushing touchdowns Baylor racked up, but I saw the grit these guys had out there in Waco. So, the B stands.
I’d say out of all the defensive positions out there Saturday, this group of guys had some of the most impressive plays that turned into direct offense for Texas Tech. We all know when senior Jordyn Brooks is out there, the other team is destined for some trouble. That's exactly what he brought to the table leading all Red Raiders with 8 total tackles and 2 quarterback hurries.
What was even more impressive was the play of junior Evan Rambo. He’s not someone mentioned very often, but this performance may have just changed that. Baylor quarterback Charlie Brewer’s first of three interceptions of the game came right into the hands of Rambo, who took it right down the field for 23 yards. Talk about keeping the momentum on Tech’s side regardless of who has possession of the football.
Defensive Backs: B+
You have now arrived at interception station. That's how I would describe what I saw out of these fellas Saturday. Specifically from Douglas Coleman and Ja’Marcus Ingram, but ill get into Coleman a little later.
In the fourth quarter, Ingram joined the defensive backs with an interception of his own to get the ball back in Jett Duffey’s hands and get back down the field. Their efforts alone couldn't help swing the momentum all the way, however. Despite constantly getting the ball back on offense, Texas Tech just couldn't pull it out.
I will give it to these guys, they played smart for most of the game, and didn't hold back on their aggressiveness when it came to Baylor’s passing game.
Unfortunately, the Red Raider offense didn't fully reciprocate the effort that the defense was making out there, but I'm not playing the blame game. Things could have been different on both sides of the ball.
Defensive Player of the Week: Douglas Coleman
Talk about showing up to the showdown. Very cliché, I know, but it’s fitting. Time and time again Coleman has shown Red Raider nation what he is capable of on the field. Being selected as Defensive Player of the Week should come as no surprise to anyone, and if someone doesn’t see that then I would politely disagree.
His interception against Baylor marked Coleman’s sixth interception in just four games this season. Saying he puts in the work is an understatement. Coleman now leads the FBS in interceptions and now has racked up a total of 9 in his collegiate career as a Red Raider.
He was just on the ball and never took his eyes off of where it was going and which man he needed to go after to get the tackle. He tied Brooks for the most tackles in that game with 8 with 2 assists and 6 being solo.
He has continued to prove his worth to his teammates, coaches, and Red Raider fans everywhere. This kid is something special, and he will continue to have performances like this as the season moves on.