Tech is giving the ball away far too much and not taking it away hardly at all
Last season, the Red Raiders were one of the worst teams in the Big 12 when it came to turnover margin. That hasn’t improved this year.
In 2021, Tech was 92nd nationally and 7th in the Big 12 with a turnover margin of -0.31 per game. This year, the Red Raiders are trending worse.
Sitting at 123rd nationally and last in the Big 12, Tech has a turnover margin of -1.67 per game. That’s playing with fire.
Against NC State, Tech gave the ball away four times (three interceptions and one punt return fumble). When trying to beat a top-20 team on the road, that can’t happen.
What’s also concerning is that the defense isn’t generating the number of takeaways that we expected under new defensive coordinator Tim DeRuyter.
Last year, his Oregon defense ranked 26th nationally in takeaways with 22. And when he arrived, he preached “Take 3” to his defensive players, a slogan that was put on t-shirts and wrist bands for the defensive players to always be thinking about taking the ball away.
However, he’s yet to see his defense turn that slogan into reality. What’s more, Tech has generated only three takeaways total in three games this year.
Takeaways can be a way to help a struggling offense by setting up a short field. However, Tech has not turned any of this year’s turnovers into points, largely because the takeaways have occurred in Tech’s own end of the field.
The turnovers need to be a positive part of the game for Tech to be successful this year and thus far, that hasn’t been the case. If that doesn’t change in Big 12 play, the Red Raiders are going to be in for a long season.