Dartwan Bush Key to Defense for Texas Tech Red Raiders in 2013

Andrew Weber – USA TODAY Sports

Kliff Kingsbury has returned to Lubbock with every intention of taking the Texas Tech Red Raiders to the top of the Big 12. He still has some work to do figuring just what he has on the roster as he builds his plan of attack for the 2013 season as he puts his stamp on this Raiders team. If he hopes to improve on the defensive side of the ball, however, he will need to find ways to unleash Dartwan Bush.

The senior defensive lineman returns to Lubbock after a pretty good junior season. He finished seventh on the team with 41 tackles and second with 12 tackles for loss while also tying for the team lead in sacks with 5.5, the same number as fellow senior lineman Kerry Hyder. Bush, however, looks to see a bigger boost from the new coaching staff in his senior season thanks to his versatility and athleticism.

Kingsbury and defensive coordinator Matt Wallerstedt will using multiple defensive fronts next season, switching between a 4-3 and 3-4 front to better utilize the defensive assets of the roster. They’ll be working to improve a defense that finished No. 38 in the country in total defense, but No. 92 in scoring defense. Tech surrendered 31 points or more in each of its last four games of the season, including 111 combined points in back-to-back losses to the Oklahoma State Cowboys and Baylor Bears.

One of the biggest reasons for their late-season swoon was breakdowns in their secondary. With Tech losing its most experienced deep defender in Cody Davis for next season, they will be on the lookout for new talent that could help, but adding a more consistent pass rush could do wonders for their pas defense next fall.

At 6-foot-1, 256 pounds, Bush has the long, lean frame to find success as a defensive end/outside linebacker hybrid and create havoc for opposing offenses from multiple angles. If he can capitalize on his talents and the coaching staff can utilize him effectively, Bush will make a major impact on 2013 and be a pass-rushing force in the Big 12.

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