Don't laugh - that is progress.
While West Virginia, Oklahoma State, Texas and Baylor are seemingly all built to out-score opponents, both TCU and Tech are structured more to make stops than those teams. Oklahoma should be better on defense, and probably will as the season progresses.
TCU is ranked 7th nationally defensively. At some point it comes down to stops.
TCU's reputation has been defense for a decade. Tech hasn't played defense for more than a decade.
The team that could not play defense last season and was forced to use kickers to play defensive back in 2011 (I might have made that up), is now slowing people down. Give some credit to defensive tackle Kerry Hyder. The young man is what we call, "A player".
Through the first four games of the season Texas Tech has the top ranked defense in the nation.
As Joe Biden would say, "Let me say that again - through the first four games of the season Texas Tech has the top ranked defense in the nation. Literally!"
The Red Raiders' defense is at least not a bad joke.
"Two things speed on both sides of the ball and they were a different team physically," Iowa State coach Paul Rhodes today when I asked him the difference between Texas Tech last season and today. "Both in the interior and skill positions. They physically got after us. They smothered our receivers in the pass game."
Tech has not exactly played the NFC East. Winning in Ames is not like winning in Tuscaloosa, but this is progress.
"In this league you have to have as much speed as you possibly can. Totally different than the SEC," Red Raiders coach Tommy Tuberville said today on the Big 12 coaches' conference call. 'We are playing a lot better obviously. We are tackling better. We have more speed. We made it a priority to bring in height and speed. It’s an ongoing process to get up to speed to play Oklahoma State and West Virginia to play them every down."
There is no way Tech is going undefeated in these next five games ...
10/6 v. No. 17 Oklahoma (2-1) in Lubbock
10/13 v. No. 8 West Virginia (4-0) in Lubbock
10/20 at No. 15 TCU (4-0) in Ft. Worth
10/27 at No. 7 Kansas State (4-0) in Manhattan, Kan.
11/3 v. No. 11 Texas (4-0) in Lubbock
... But if Tech continues to play physical defense and control some of the clock the Red Raiders are going to be in those games, and win a few of those.
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