Baucum's Take: Defensive Performance

Baucum takes a deeper look into what worked and didn't work for Tech's defense on Saturday night.

Saturday's showdown with Texas A&M was a hard fought game. The Red Raiders played well to claw back into the game and have a chance to win at the end. However, some poor decision making on offense and a few untimely errors on defense ultimately doomed Texas Tech. Regardless of what the offense does, the up-and-down play of Tech's defense must level out. However, it must be stated emphatically that the defense showed encouraging signs of improvement in the second half.

The first head scratcher of the evening occurred on A&M's first offensive drive.  A&M faced third down and 14 from their own 31 yard line. Tannehill completed a pass to Uzoma Nwachukwu for 40 yards to the Tech 29. Just two plays later, Tannehill would score on a 19 yard scamper into the endzone. The defense series started with such promise and ended with a rather painful result as A&M drove 83 yards in seven plays to score the game's first points.

Next, Tech tied the game at seven and forced Texas A&M to punt as the Aggies had a 3-play drive for minus 5 yards. Unfortunately, the Red Raiders had nine play drive that netted 21 yards and Tech was forced to punt it back to A&M. This sequence seems to sum up the evening pretty well for the Red Raiders—when the offense made a play, the defense didn't follow it up and vice-versa.

On a positive note, Chad Glasgow's charges rose to the occasion in the third quarter. As mentioned previously, Tech turned back the Aggies on consecutive drives.  On their first offensive series of the second half, the Aggies had a three play, five yard drive and were forced to punt. On the next series, A&M was stopped on downs.  The euphoria from that stand was short-lived. Tech was forced to try another field goal after that A&M drive and it was blocked and returned by the Aggies.

In closing, I'd like to quote Will Rogers, whose horse, Soapsuds, has its posterior pointed directly towards College Station. Will Rogers once said: "Good judgment comes from experience and a lot of that comes from bad judgment." Taking some liberties, that can be applied to Texas Tech's defense easily. It might read something like this: "Good defense comes from experience and a lot of that comes from growing together and learning from mistakes."  It's a sure bet that at some point in the not too distant future, fans will recall this game as the harbinger of a well-rounded, consistent defense at Texas Tech.


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