Bradford and Blidi were monsters along the defensive line
Finally, we should throw some love to the defense, and leading that charge was the defensive line. Specifically, Tony Bradford Jr. and Philip Blidi stood out against the Racers as Tech held Murray State to just 258 total yards and 50 yards on the ground.
Blidi, the native of Portales, New Mexico, was credited with four tackles, three of which came for a loss. Of course, two of those stops behind the line were sacks.
Maybe this is a sign that the junior is about to have a breakout season. Entering the night, he’d had only 0.5 sacks in his entire career as well as just 21 career tackles despite being in the Red Raider two-deep since his true freshman season.
Meanwhile, Bradford had three tackles (1.5 for loss) and a sack. It was only the 13th time in his 27 career games at Tech that he’s made at least three stops.
"“Seeing those guys who’ve maybe not been as productive at times being extremely productive was huge for us,” McGuire said of Bradford and Blidi."
As for the star of the defensive line, Tyree Wilson, he was heard from too, though not as loudly. The standout edge rusher was credited with six tackles, including two for loss, and 0.5 sacks.
McGuire was quick to point out that some key defensive line pieces such as Josep Adedire and Robert Wooten (a former Virginia Tech transfer) did not play but would return to the mix in short order. That will only serve to give this defensive line even more depth the likes of which previous versions of Texas Tech football have not had along the defensive front.
If Bradford and Blidi can continue to be disruptive forces in the middle of the line, it will make this defense truly difficult to handle and it will help create more one-on-one situations for Wilson. So as we move forward, keep an eye on those two linemen because they could be the key to unlocking the entire defense’s potential.