You know it really is a new Big XII when the best defense in the conference is not the Texas Longhorns or the Oklahoma Sooners, but the Texas Tech Red Raiders. Texas Tech not only has the best defense (on paper) in the conference, but they have the best defense in all of college football right now. The words defense and Texas Tech have never been synonymous together, but for the time being, the 4-0 Red Raiders are playing hot.
Their 24-13 win over the Iowa State Cyclones on Saturday has prompted some of the voters to add them to their Top 25 ballot, including the USA Today poll and the Coaches poll. Red Raiders head coach Tommy Tuberville made it a point to say that one of his main goals when taking over the position two seasons ago was to turn the defense around. So far this season, he has done just that.
Sooners QB Landry Jones has a task in front of him. He has to improve against a defense that ranks No. 1 in the pass and as mentioned, ranked No. 1 in the country. The Red Raiders have only allowed 4 touchdowns and 670 yards total, with just 328 passing yards in the first four games. Think they can only stop the pass? They are also only allowing 85 yards on the ground. Last season, Jones threw for 412 yards and 5 touchdowns, which is more than half the total amount of yards they have allowed so far this season. If you expect that to happen again this season, I hate to be the bearer of bad news.
The Sooners have struggled in Lubbock over the last several years and more importantly, have not won there since 2003. On the flip-side of that, the Red Raiders haven’t won a conference home game since 2010. Head coach Bob Stoops said on Monday during his press conference he really didn’t think that had a factor going into the game, but when you have lost 3 games in-a-row there, I’d tend to disagree.
Texas Tech has built a lot of confidence going into this game, where the Sooners have added more question marks. The only thing you can guarantee on Saturday is that it won’t be a defensive monstrosity, like the Baylor at West Virginia defense-less game, if you can even call it a game, over the past weekend.