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Defensive grit can’t match offensive ineptitude in this week’s grades

Tech’s defense laid everything out on the field against the Arizona... but it wasn't enough.

NCAA Football: Texas Tech at Arizona Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

That was a terrible display of football on Saturday to say the least. Texas Tech finally notched its first loss of the season, and boy was it ugly. I can’t criticize Texas Tech’s defense too much; they did their best to keep the game close and hold Arizona off. It was just a matter of time before they broke.


Defensive Line: B

Texas Tech v Arizona Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Red Raider defensive line didn't quite step up as they should have in this weekends loss. They allowed Arizona to accumulate 338 rushing yards and 3 rushing touchdowns. All I can say is... yikes.

Despite the horrific number mentioned above, there were some guys on the line that had really strong outings despite the outcome of the game. Freshman Jaylon Hutchings had some big moments with 5 total tackles, all of which were on his own, and 1 sack for a loss of 2 yards on the play. Senior Broderick Washington led the lineman with 6 total tackles, all of which were solo as well. If it wasn't for these guys, I think Arizona's’ run game would have been that much more dominant.

Now, I'm not being too hard on these guys. With Texas Tech’s offense performing as poorly as it did, I just cant criticize these lineman too much. You can only do so much when you've exhausted yourself in every aspect on the field.

Linebackers: A-

Texas Tech v Arizona Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Without a doubt, these guys did their job. In that first half of the game, senior Jordyn Brooks and junior Riko Jeffers really stepped their game up. At least while they had the energy to do so.

Brooks always puts on a good performance, and Saturday was no different. He had 3 tackles for a loss of 4 yards and led all defenders with 13 total tackles. He not only led in stats, but also in his mental toughness.

Even when the going got tough, this guy never put his head down. As a senior, it was his responsibility to try and keep morale up, and I think he showed just how important that asset is in games like these. Jeffers also out-performed his usual self with 5 total tackles and one tackle for a loss of 3 yards.

Like I stated before, there’s only so much one group of guys can do when they see the field more than their own offense does. So, kudos to these guys.

Defensive Backs: A

Texas Tech v Arizona Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Talk about playing your heart out. These guys came up with some big plays for Texas Tech’s defense that boosted the momentum for the Red Raiders early on. This group of guys held a once former Heisman mentioned Arizona quarterback to just 185 passing yards and 1 touchdown. I was pretty impressed, even with the loss at hand.

Senior Douglas Coleman had arguably one of the best games of his collegiate career, and I promise I will go into detail about his performance in a minute.

The coverage on the Arizona receivers was really all that us Red Raider fans could have asked for. Once upon a time, Tech had one of the worst defensive units in the nation. That just cant be said anymore. Not after the way these guys held on to every last bit of energy and stamina they had in that fourth quarter. There’s not much blame to go around here.

Defensive Player of the Week: Douglas Coleman

Coleman played like a man on a mission. He was just in the right place at the right time for the Red Raiders. I just re-watched his film from Saturday and I jumped out of my seat AGAIN after seeing him make that wild interception in the first quarter. I’m not even mad about him getting that flag because of how awesome that play was. Also I don't think he was in the wrong at all. If anything, Mike Defee had no right to grab Coleman as he was heading back to the sideline.

The junior defensive back had a field day racking up 10 total tackles and had a career high 2 interceptions to shake up the Wildcats. His 10 tackles also marked a season high for Coleman, but I bet he doesn't stop there. We have so much more to see from this guy, and I cant wait.