There is no denying the impact that Kliff Kingsbury has had in his return to Lubbock on the offense of the Texas Tech Red Raiders. The Air Raid has returned in full force and should be one of the more prolific units in the Big 12 this season thanks to the continued development of sophomore quarterback Davis Webb. But for Tech to take their program to the next level and compete for a conference title in 2014, they will need more from their defense. Can “bandit” linebacker Pete Robertson help them get it done?
As a sophomore in 2013, Robertson was one of the most disruptive defensive players on the roster for Texas Tech. He finished the year with 60 tackles, including nine tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks. He also forced two fumbles and recorded two interceptions (tied for the team lead), one of which he returned for a touchdown. His efforts earned him honorable mention All-Big 12 last season and should put him in a prominent position to make plays again in 2014.
The challenge for Robertson, and the rest of the Texas Tech defense for that matter, will be to overcome their general lack of size to stand up better against the run in 2014. The Red Raiders finished second to last in the Big 12 against the run last season, allowing 201.62 yards per game. They worked on addressing this issue in recruiting, signing four junior college defensive linemen to add some bulk up front, but the pressure will be on returning players, like the 6-foot-3, 225-pound Robertson, to make more plays this fall
With a solid defense, Texas Tech could be a very dangerous team in the Big 12 title race in 2014. For their defense to take the next step and take this program to another level this season, they will need leaders like Pete Roberston to step up and be difference-makers on the field and in the locker room this fall.