Texas Tech hasn't exactly been known around the Big 12 for its defense, but this squad appears to be a different group and it starts up front.
The Red Raiders are tied for 12th in the nation in tackles for loss per game at 7.9. Senior nose guard Kerry Hyder, who is second in the Big 12 in tackles for loss with 10, is the heart of the defense.
Senior defensive end Branden Jackson is enjoying the best season of his career with 22 tackles, 5.5 for loss and two sacks. The Red Raiders lead the Big 12 and are No. 10 nationally in third-down defense allowing offenses to convert just 30 percent of the time. They are also 24th nationally against the run allowing 123.1 rushing yards per game.
Both of these rankings will be put to the test Saturday against Oklahoma, who have the best offensive line and rushing attack Texas Tech has seen thus far.
If the Red Raiders can stop the run and force the Sooners into obvious passing downs, they will have a chance, if not, it will be a long night.