The Texas Tech defense should take a bow
In many ways, this game was reminiscent of last season’s 14-10 November win at Iowa State. In both games, the offense sputtered for most of the game forcing the defense to come up clutch time and again, and in both games, that’s exactly what happened.
For the game on Saturday, Tech gave up only 344 total yards. What’s more, 60 of those came on Devin Neal’s TD scamper in the fourth quarter meaning that on the other 68 plays of the game, the defense surrendered just 284 yards. That’s an average of just 4.1 yards per play.
Some may negate what the Red Raider defense did because of KU’s QB situation. However, there have been plenty of other instances in this program’s recent history when a backup or even third-string QB has done plenty of damage against or led his team to a win over Tech.
What was most impressive was that the Red Raiders came up big in the red zone. Three times, KU managed to get into the red zone but those trips resulted in only six total points. That meant that the Jayhawks left 15 potential points off the board.
Jaylon Hutchings played one of his best games as a Red Raider. The 300-pound defensive tackle racked up eight tackles (six solo) and a half of a sack. He was a huge reason why the dangerous KU ground game was essentially held in check outside of Neal’s long TD.
C.J. Baskerville was also fantastic with 11 tackles to lead the team. Ten of those were of the solo variety as he made a ton of plays from his new safety position.
Meanwhile, redshirt freshman Ben Roberts also continues to be a tackling machine. With nine more stops on Saturday, he’s up to 72 on the season and since being inserted into the starting lineup in week two, he’s had only one game with fewer than six tackles (and that was against Tarleton State when he didn’t play the full game due to it being a blowout).
This year, Tech is asking quite a lot of its defense given the offense’s limitations, and for the most part, Tim DeRuyter’s unit is answering the bell. On Saturday, that side of the ball had to carry the load and it did its part in a big way. This was certainly a throwback game that had to make old-school Red Raider fans happy.