Some say appearances are everything. When you look at statistics, it appears that Texas Tech is one of the nation’s premier defenses.
The Red Raiders boast the 2nd best total defense, 12th against the run, 1st against the pass, and 22nd in scoring defense. Those kind of stats should be pretty intimidating. That is, at least, until you take a closer look at Texas Tech’s schedule.
The Red Raiders have benefited from playing a relatively weak schedule. The Red Raiders jumped out to a 4-0 record against cupcakes Northwestern State (3-3 at the FCS level), Texas State (2-3 WAC), New Mexico (3-3 WAC), and offensively challenged Iowa State (4-1 Big XII).
Texas Tech looked like a lock to be ranked in the polls if they could take down Oklahoma last week. The Sooners humbled the Red Raiders defense in front of their home crowd, 41-20. TTU’s defense held the Sooners to 380 yards of offense, but yielded 4 touchdowns to Oklahoma’s offense.
Oklahoma’s offense is pretty good, especially in comparison to the other 4 teams that Texas Tech had previously played. Looking at the hard hitting offenses on the horizon for the Red Raiders, especially the Mountaineers, the Red Raiders defenses rankings are due to plunge.
The Mountaineers 2nd ranked passing attack will put that top ranked Texas Tech passing defense to the test this Saturday in Lubbock. The way Geno has played all season, it does not appear that their is a secondary in the country that can stop the air raid attack. Look for Geno to step up to the defensive challenge and put up impressive passing totals, knocking Texas Tech off the top spot in terms of passing defense.
When the season is all said and done, I would expect to see Texas Tech’s defense still ranked among the nation’s best, but not in the top 5 as they are now. So are the Red Raiders for real? Yes and no. Yes they are a solid unit that will propel Texas Tech into a post season bowl game. But, no, they are not an elite defense as their statistics would suggest.