The defense will finish in the top 75 nationally
Quality defense is something that Texas Tech football has been allergic to for the better part of the last quarter century. In fact, this program hasn’t had a defense that finished in the top 75 of the national rankings in total defense since 2013.
That could change this year though as Tech will have a top-75 defense when it comes to yards allowed. How much higher than 75 this unit will rank will tell a huge portion of 2022’s story.
New defensive coordinator Tim DeRuyter has the benefit of taking over an old and experienced group. All eleven starters on his side of the ball are either juniors or seniors and eight are returning starters.
Also making it possible for Tech to have a better defensive ranking this year is the fact that the offenses in the Big 12 aren’t what they used to be. Teams such as Baylor and Oklahoma State now hang their hat on their defense rather than trying to light up the scoreboards as they did a decade ago. Meanwhile, Oklahoma has swapped out offensive genius Lincoln Riley for defensive-minded Brent Venables.
In Ames, Iowa State will be replacing the greatest QB in program history (Brock Purdy) and the greatest running back in program history (Breece Hall). In all, a third of the conference should either live by their defense or take a step back offensively.
Tech needs this side of the ball to become a strength, or at least not be a liability anymore. DeRuyter has the skins on the wall to suggest he could be the man to make that happen and his group is talented and deep this season. It should all add up to at least a top-75 ranking this fall.