New head coach Kliff Kingsbury has a lot of plans for reinvigorating the program of the Texas Tech Red Raiders. He wants to bring back the wide-open offensive style that he played in that was exciting to watch and made the Raiders a dangerous team in the Big 12 every single week. Defensively, he wants to be aggressive and bring pressure from all kinds of different angles, which has prompted a shift in defensive philosophy which will pay huge dividends for sophomore Pete Robertson in 2013.
The 6-foot-3, 220-pound Longview, Texas, native showed flashes of what he was capable of during his freshman season in 2012. He finished the year with 20 tackles, including 1.5 sacks and a forced fumble. The athletic Robertson was used in a variety of ways, but showed the most potential in his ability to rush the edge against the pass. Playing in a base 4-3 defense, however, didn’t allow him to do it with great regularity.
That will change in 2013 as Kingsbury is transitioning Tech from the 4-3 to a 3-4 defense to allow athletic pass rushers like Robertson to line up on the edge without having to take on offensive tackles on every play. The new defense will also allow the Red Raiders to mix up their pressure packages, bringing blitzes from multiple angles while dropping other defenders into coverage to confuse quarterback reads next fall.
As that rush-end outside linebacker, Robertson could make a major impact in 2013 for the Texas Tech defense. He has the physical tools to become an effective edge rusher like Von Miller did with the Texas A&M Aggies back in 2010 when he made 68 tackles, including 17.5 for loss and a team-high 10.5 sacks before taking his skills to the NFL. The young Robertson isn’t at that level just yet, but he could develop into that kind of impact player for the Red Raiders defense.
For Texas Tech to be successful under Kingsbury, they will not only have to get back to their high-octane offensive ways, but they will need to develop a defense that can disrupt some of the other high-powered Big 12 offenses from time to time. Developing an edge rusher like Robertson in the 3-4 could be a huge boost for the Red Raiders in 2013 and beyond.