Defense Dominates Again

The Kansas Jayhawks piled up 390 rushing yards on Texas Tech in 2012. The Red Raider defense cut that number by over 300 yards Saturday.

The Kansas Jayhawks piled up 390 rushing yards on Texas Tech in 2012.

The Red Raider defense cut that number by over 300 yards Saturday. Kansas was held to 53 yards on 37 carries for an average of 1.4 yards per carry.

"You know it feels great. That was one of the things we were harping on," Texas Tech linebacker Will Smith said following the game. "This is not the same defense as last year, so let's let that be known pretty early and I feel like we did a good job with that."

Matt Wallerstedt has transformed the defense from possibly the weakest point of the team to arguably the Red Raiders biggest weapon. Wallerstedt's defense has been phenomenal and gaining momentum every week.

Stopping the Jayhawks rushing attack was not the only strong point of Tech's defense Saturday. The Red Raiders defense forced four turnovers against the Jayhawks not including two possessions where Kansas failed to convert on fourth down. Three of the four turnovers forced were fumble recoveries.

Tech also forced a fourth fumble late in the final quarter, but Kansas was able to recover it. The start of the game featured the defense allowing 10 points. The statistics do not reflect it, but the offense is a big reason for the deficit. True freshman quarterback Baker Mayfield threw an interception in Red Raider territory on the first drive, which led to a field goal. The second time Tech had possession, the offense went three-and-out. The defense barely had time to catch their breath.

After the Jayhawks' first touchdown, Tech's defense held the Kansas offense scoreless over the next eight consecutive possessions.

At one point in the first half, the Tech defense may have frustrated the Jayhawks to the point Kansas attempted a fake punt from their own 16-yard line. The play went for no gain and Tech scored a touchdown two plays later.

The defense has yet to face some of its toughest competitors, but the Red Raiders have consistently played great defense this season and appear to be getting better.

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