The defense is the backbone of the team
Speaking of the Texas Tech defense, entering this season, there was an expectation that the roles in 2022 might be reversed from what we normally see from a Red Raider team in that the defense might be what carried the team, not the offense. And after six games, we can say without question that the defense is the backbone of this year’s team.
Though we are coming off of a game in which the Red Raiders gave up 41 points to Oklahoma State, the reality is that this year’s defense is much stronger than any defense we’ve seen from this program in the past decade or more.
Allowing 367 yards per game, Tech currently sits at No. 61 nationally in total defense. Also, at 220.5 passing yards allowed, Tech sits at No. 59 against the pass after being last in the Big 12 in that regard a season ago.
Meanwhile, aside from the Kansas State game, Tech has been rather salty against the run as well. Currently, Tech is No. 74 nationally by allowing 146.5 rushing yards per game. However, when you take away the anomaly that was the KSU game, Tech has given up an average of 107.2 yards per game, a huge improvement over what we have come to expect from this program during the modern era.
As we’ve already discussed, McGuire seems to be more than comfortable asking his defense to bail his team out of some tough situations. That’s a sign that he also believes in that side of the ball. Thus far, that belief has been warranted.
The Red Raider defense has given up just 27.5 points per game. That’s been needed as the offense has struggled at times. Fortunately, the defense has kept Tech in every game this year.
What’s more, moving forward, the Red Raiders face some of the weaker offenses in the Big 12 as three of the final six opponents on the schedule (Baylor, Oklahoma, and Iowa State) feature offenses that rank in the bottom half of the Big 12. Thus, Tech’s defensive numbers might improve as the season progresses. It might still be odd for Texas Tech fans to trust in this program’s defense but this year, that’s the side of the ball that has been the team’s backbone and that’s not likely to change in the second half of the season.