After a few high-scoring losses, the Texas Tech defense had enough and held the West Virginia offense to ten points as the Red Raiders cruised to a 48-10 victory in Lubbock.
The key to this game was the secondary, a position group that I raved about all offseason and thought had potential to be the best in the Big 12. They are currently just that as far as efficiency goes and will be the key for us going forward against a few explosive offenses that remain.
That being said, let’s check out how each position group graded out.
Defensive Line: A-
This game turned into a shootout and eventually a blowout too fast for the West Virginia running game to get going. It was nonexistent anyways as the big guys up front were controlling the line of scrimmage from the start.
The pressure was there as well and there was no easy drop backs for whoever was in for the Mountaineers at quarterback. This was yet another solid performance from the big guys in the trenches as they may not have lit up the stat sheet but they made the plays that they need to in order to free up some of the other defenders to capitalize.
Tyree Wilson and Jesiah Pierre had a great day containing the outside and applying their own pressure on the West Virginia offense. Wilson is one of the best defenders in the nation which is nothing new, but being able to be solid at both edge positions is helpful in bottling up the run and containing quarterbacks in the pocket.
Marquis Waters also lines up on the edge here and there, and he ended up leading us in tackles. Waters was flying to the ballcarrier and making life hard for the Mountaineers skill-position guys.
The linebackers were covering the entire field and making sure that if they gave up anything to get right to the ball carrier and stop the damage. It was good to see some of the backup guys get in and have great performances of their own as well. This position has boasted depth and even though the two starters are great it’s nice to know that the backups can make an impact.
This unit did an outstanding job in stopping the run, and besides a few catches allowed with little damage done there wasn’t much they did wrong all day. With this game being well out of hand, I’m hoping that the guys can take this performance and carry it onto the next game against a much better rushing attack in Baylor.
One of the biggest surprises this year is just how good these cornerbacks have been playing. I have been a believer of Adrian Frye since his Freshman year and even during his rough stretch as a Sophomore. As he has dealt with injury this year, Malik Dunlap and Rayshad Williams have taken turns making an impact throughout the year.
The only hiccup on the day was a 50-50 ball that Dunlap mistimed against the big-play threat for the Mountaineers in Bryce Ford-Wheaton. Besides that, both of these playmakers had an interception and were covering well most of the day.
The younger guys that were in the game towards the end showed promise, and Frye was in as well for around 14 snaps and allowed two catches for little damage. I hope to see him back in the rotation more consistently as his speed and cover ability is going to be helpful.
Dadrion. Taylor. Demerson. Playmakers know when to shine, and right before the half coming up with that type of interception was the swing in the game that we needed to pull away.
Muddy Waters was all over the place as well per usual, leading the team in tackles. Reggie Pearson Jr. was a stud as well flying around and making plays. This position held its own and will need to continue this play against a better Baylor team this Saturday.
Defensive Player of the Week: Dadrion Taylor-Demerson
Seven tackles to go along with that beauty of an interception. DTD is a playmaker as good as they come and he’s been a pleasure to watch since he arrived on the scene. If he chooses to go to the next level, he is going to be making plays left and right and I have no doubt that by the end of the year he will have scouts clamoring for his skillset.