Texas Tech football: Top 5 individual performances of 2023

Texas Tech v Baylor
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No. 3: Dadrion Taylor-Demerson leads Texas Tech to victory with two INTs vs. TCU

Often, it isn't about how many plays you make but when you make them. That was the case for Dadrion Taylor-Demerson, Texas Tech's highly-productive super-senior safety when he picked off two second-half passes against TCU on a night when he made only four tackles.

Don't forget how critical that 35-28 win was for Tech. It pushed the Red Raiders to 4-5 on the year and 3-3 in Big 12 play to keep alive hopes of a bowl appearance. Without it, Tech doesn't get a 13th game this year.

In that game, Taylor-Demerson could have had three or four picks but on at least two occasions, he was unable to corral passes that hit him in the hands or which floated near enough to him to be intercepted. Fortunately, when Tech did need big plays, he came through.

Remember that Tech entered halftime of that game leading 20-7 but by the end of the third quarter, the Red Raiders trailed 21-20. Taylor-Demerson would snag the momentum for his team though when he reached behind himself to grab an errant pass from TCU QB Josh Hoover with just 40 seconds to play in the third.

Picking the ball off at the TCU 39, he would take it all the way to the TCU 17 on the return. Two plays later, Tahj Brooks would find the end zone to give Tech the lead.

Though the Red Raiders wouldn't trail again in this game, the Frogs nearly erased a two-score 4th-quarter deficit. Driving the ball for the potential equalizing score late in the quarter, TCU had a 2nd-and-10 at the TTU 44 with 61 seconds remaining.

That's when Taylor-Demerson played hero once again. This time, Hoover simply missed on a deep out and threw the ball wide of his target and right to a waiting Taylor-Demerson for an easy interception.

That would prove to be the ninth of ten career interceptions for the converted high school running back from Oklahoma. It might have also been his most important because it helped the Red Raiders end a four-game losing streak to its detested rival from Fort Worth. It also kept alive Tech's hopes of reaching a third-straight bowl game.

Taylor-Demerson has played his final game as a Red Raider and that's both sad and hard to believe. He leaves as one of the best ball-hawking safeties to come through Lubbock in the last two decades and he will be hard to replace, especially because he had a knack for coming up with timely plays as he did this year against TCU.