Return Of the D?

The Texas Tech defense has been outstanding through three games.

Texas Tech hasn't exactly been known recently for its defensive prowess.

Rather the Red Raiders have grabbed headlines around the nation for their high-octane air raid offense that rung up 50-plus points a game.

Now in 2013, the new-look Red Raiders are still an offensive-minded team averaging more than 40 points per game, but a new sense of defense is at Tech.

"Yeah, it was huge. You turn on the film, and the effort was just incredible," said Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury about the defense's performance against TCU. "Guys sacrificing their bodies to make plays. You know, hold them on third down and fourth down. Just an incredible effort and great scheme by Coach (Matt) Wallerstedt and our assistant coaches. "But the effort is what jumps out at you. They play their butts off every single snap the whole night. We put on the field a ton offensively in the second half 57 plays, I think, and you'd never know it. That last rep they were going like it was the first play of the game."

So far this season the Red Raider defense has stood up to the challenges, especially when it comes to forcing turnovers.

Unlike in previous seasons, Tech has been a turnover-forcing machine through the first three games.

The Red Raiders didn't have the ball bounce the right way against SMU, forcing two fumbles but not recovering the ball, to get any turnovers but a fumble against Stephen F. Austin really got them going.

Since that fumble, the Tech defense has forced three interceptions and a total of three forced fumbles, one being recovered by Tech.

Against TCU, Tech's defense forced two interceptions, two tackles for loss and 7 breakups of plays.

For defensive lineman Kerry Hyder the performance of the defense against the Horned Frogs was pleasing.

"It felt good to put together a real team win like that," Hyder said. "Everybody played their part. The secondary, linebackers, D-line, I thought it was a great team win."

Defensive coordinator Matt Wallerstedt is in his first season in charge of this defensive unit.

Before him it was Art Kaufman, then Chad Glasgow and then, well you get the picture. Wallerstedt is the fifth in as many seasons for the Red Raiders.

For Hyder, who has had a different defensive coordinator every single season in his collegiate career, this year, his final year, is different.

Even though they have had some success, Hyder said they know they still have to put in hard work the rest of the season to make the positive results continue to roll in.

"Well, Coach Wally put a great game plan together, and the entire defense just bought in and we just rolled with it," he said. "It's great to see how it worked on the field. We understand we can't get satisfied, and we still have a lot of work to do."

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