Emerging Star

Texas Tech linebacker Will Smith has raised his level of play in 2013.

LUBBOCK - The offense couldn't generate any points to start off the game against Texas State on Saturday night, so the defense needed to step up and they did – especially linebacker Will Smith.

"Yeah, he was all over the field," Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury said about the play of Smith. "Really proud of him, a senior that does everything right and doesn't say much, just does his job. I think he had eight tackles and a tackle for a loss, so it was fun to see him play."

The Riverside, Calif. native recording eight tackles, five solos and three assisted, with one going for a two-yard loss.

Smith also had a scoop and score in the second quarter after defensive lineman Kerry Hyder forced a fumble, which Smith picked up and ran into the end zone for the Red Raiders first score of the night.

"It just opened up really, and then Kerry Hyder had picked it up at first and we just tried to push him in and then a guy punched it out," Smith said. "It was like a blessing in disguise it just dropped right there. I just picked it up and scored."

With his performance on Saturday night, Smith took over as the team leader for the season in tackles with 26, which is one in front of Tre' Porter.

Through four games, Smith has already recorded nearly half of the amount of tackles, 55, than he registered all of last season.

"The difference for me, I just feel more relaxed," Smith said. "A lot of things were real tight last year and I just feel like the defense as a whole, we're all very relaxed this year, and if we make a mistake it's just on to the next play."

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