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Defensive Grades: Texas

I’ll be honest… this was not my favorite thing to have to write. Last week, I gave the defense all-around A’s, not only from their performance against FIU but from all three weeks. I thought we were seeing a new era of Texas Tech defense with the stacked veteran team, but that was not the case.

The only way our defense can be successful in the coming weeks is if they are on fire from kickoff to the very end of the game. There is no room with the upcoming teams we play, for our defense to give up even the slightest plays and stops. We need to see the defense we saw against Houston and FIU for the rest of the season.

Defensive Line: F

I have to give the defensive line an F for many reasons. Starting off, there was absolutely no pressure. They couldn’t even get past the offensive line. They were allowing Texas’ quarterback to have all this time in the pocket to read every player and see who could do what. There is no reason that our defensive line should not have been able to break through and stop at least someone in the Texas backfield.

I also did not see any energy or explosiveness out of the defensive line at all. From kick-off to when the clock ran out, our defensive line just didn’t have the drive off the line to make stops.

Linebackers: F

I am giving the linebackers an F because I did not see any action from them. The past three weeks we have had major plays by Krishon Merriweather, Brandon Bouyer-Randle, Riko Jeffers, Jesiah Pierre, and Colin Schooler. During the Texas game, I did not hear any mentions of their names, no stops, no huge plays, nothing. Our linebackers also have been very successful at keeping the momentum up or changing the momentum of the game with turnovers and Tech didn’t have any of those.

Merging the linebackers in with the defensive line, if there were holes in the plays that Texas had, the linebackers’ job is to fill the gap and make a stop. Our linebackers were unable to fill any gaps and make those critical stops. Most of the plays ran by Texas had Running Back Bijan Robinson run right through each gap in the plays. It is the linebackers’ job to make that stop and they were unsuccessful in making stops and bringing guys down.

Secondary: D

The only reason I am giving the secondaries a D instead of an F is because of Dadrion Taylor-Demerson. Out of the defense as a whole, he was the only player I saw actively making big defensive plays. The corners and safeties were not as active either in doing much.

Going back to Dadrion Taylor, he had an interception as well. This was definitely a strong game for Taylor-Demerson, but I found myself questioning a lot where were the rest of the secondaries to help him out. Like I said last week, our corners and safeties just didn’t look like they were in the right field position all day long. They weren’t reading the offense or making stops, as well as letting the outside receivers make those huge 1st down plays over and over again.

Hopefully, going into this week, Wells and the entire defensive coaching staff have hardcore practices. There is a lot of questioning now going into next week’s game against West Virginia and Tech will need the defense to stand up strong, be the veteran defense we know, and make those huge stops to help out our offense.

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