Texas Tech football: 5 ex Red Raiders we wish we could add to 2019 defense

FORT WORTH, TX - OCTOBER 25: Pete Robertson #10 of the Texas Tech Red Raiders at Amon G. Carter Stadium on October 25, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
FORT WORTH, TX - OCTOBER 25: Pete Robertson #10 of the Texas Tech Red Raiders at Amon G. Carter Stadium on October 25, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images) /

There are most certainly holes in the 2019 Texas Tech football team’s defense and adding these five former Red Raiders would help fill those gaps.

Keith Patterson, step right up.  You’re the next contestant on “Who wants to fix the Red Raider football defense?”  Should you succeed, riches may await and your name will go down in Texas Tech lore.  Unfortunately, the task awaiting you has befuddled virtually every man that has taken on the task this century.

New head coach Matt Wells has brought with him to Lubbock, both of his coordinators from Utah State in hopes that the continuity within the staff will expedite the transition process for his new team.  While it seems like every Red Raider fan and most of the local media has quickly fallen in love with quirky OC David Yost (because we do love our unusual offensive geniuses in Lubbock), Patterson has been somewhat under the radar.

That’s surprising given that his defense will be what determines the success of the Matt Wells era.  If the 12-year college assistant is able to solve the program’s defensive woes, there’s reason to believe that the Red Raiders could be back towards the top of the Big 12 standings sooner than most expect.

The 55-year-old cut his teeth in the high school football ranks in Texas and his native Oklahoma from 1988-2002 ending his time as a prep coach as defensive coordinator at Allen High School. He then spent the next eight seasons as an assistant coach at Tulsa where he was co-defensive coordinator from 2006-10.

He then spent 2011 as defensive coordinator at Pittsburgh where his defense finished No. 45 in the nation.  Patterson was also the Panthers’ interim head coach in the 2011 BBVA Compass Bowl.

The next two seasons he coached at West Virginia where he also coordinated the defense.  His tenure in Morgantown was less than impressive and Tech fans got to see his 2012 defense in person when Seth Doege and Jace Amaro led a 49-14 thrashing of the No. 4 Mountaineers in Lubbock.

From 2014-16, Patterson was the defensive coordinator at Arizona St. where his defenses were awful.  In fact, in 2016, ASU finished second-last in the nation in total defense ahead of only one school…Texas Tech.  That year, Pat Mahomes and the Red Raiders had their way with Patterson’s Sun Devil defense to the tune of 612 total yards in an unforgettably frustrating 68-55 loss.

Following that season, he was demoted to linebackers coach when ASU brought in former Baylor DC and former SMU head coach Phil Bennett to fix the defense.  Being replaced by a man in Bennett that Tech fans have seen the Red Raiders have more than their share of huge days against is not a bullet point on Patterson’s resume that is going to instill great confidence in the fan base.

But maybe we should take heart in the success Patterson had last year in his lone season as DC at Utah State.  According to Patterson’s Texas Tech bio page, the Aggies tied for the lead nationally with 32 forced turnovers while leading the country in interceptions (22) and three-and-outs forced (5.7 per game), while ranking third in defensive touchdowns (6), 16th in third down conversion defense (33.0 percent), 19th in passing efficiency defense (113.76), 21st in fourth down conversion defense (41.9 percent) and 33rd in scoring defense (22.2 points per game).

But this year’s Texas Tech defense is having to replace a number of key contributors.  Gone is middle linebacker Dakota Allen, the team’s second-leading tackler last fall.  Likewise, the Red Raiders two top pass rushers from a year ago, Tony Jones and Kolin Hill, have exhausted their eligibility.  What’s more, Patterson will have to find two new starting safeties to replace Jah’Shawn Johnson and Vaughnte Dorsey.

Unfortunately, we do not have a time machine that would allow us to bring Red Raider greats from the past to fill those holes.  But if we did have that ability, these are the players we would pick.