Texas Tech fans should take a moment and truly appreciate the explanation defensive coordinator Matt Wallerstedt, who could run for mayor right now, gave for the play of the defensive line this season.
"Experience, with a lot of guys that have played. Really good coaching, [defensive line coach]John Scott has done a really good job with those guys. Technique, fundamentals, understanding our scheme, moving those guys around into different spots to have success. Kerry Hyder has had to play a lot of different spots. Dartwan Bush-same thing. I think Branden Jackson has had a really big year for us. Just depth and some of the guys spotting one another and keeping guys fresh. I know John's done a great job of rotating that front."
Experience, technique, fundementals and depth!? Music to the ears.
It's been a long time since a Texas Tech defensive front has been described with such superlatives. The defense has enjoyed good starts to the season before and faltered, but this group has a different feel.
Veterans such as senior standout Kerry Hyder, who leads the team with 7.5 tackles for loss to go along with 18 stops, two sacks, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery, have taken ownership of the team.
"We've just got to be relentless and continue to work. I felt like we still haven't played our best yet," Hyder said. "We've put together some good games, but I felt like as an entire group, we've still got some steps to make. Everyone's doing their part. We've got a nice mixture of old and young guys, we're out doing our part."
Texas Tech is allowing just 13.8 points per game, 107.2 rushing yards per contest and just under three yards per carry; all amongst the best numbers in the country. Last week may have been the defense's best performance yet as the Red Raiders held the Jayhawks scoreless on 12 consecutive possessions and limited them to just 67 rushing yards on 37 attempts for an average of 1.4 yards per carry.
"I really feel it on every drive. We're going out there and we just know we're going to stop people," Hyder said. "We can feel it. It's an energy now. No matter where the ball is at, we feel like we can go out there and play defense and get it back for the offense."
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