The "Money Down"

The defensive line is full of optimists. Third down is not a chore for them. Instead, third down is their opportunity. Texas Tech's defense held the Cyclones to 5-of-16 on third down.

The defensive line is full of optimists.

Third down is not a chore for them. Instead, third down is their opportunity.

"We call that the money down," senior defensive line,an Kerry Hyder said. "We always try to get off the field on third down, so when third down come up, (we) try to get off the field and give the ball back to the offense."

Texas Tech's defense held the Cyclones to 5-of-16 on third down. For those too lazy to do the math, the Cyclones converted 31.25 percent of the time on third down.

The defense was stellar forcing the Cyclones to punt 11 times. The last time Texas Tech forced 11 punts was against Indiana State in 2005. Sophomore defensive tackle Branden Jackson explained that staying on the sidelines is kind of like getting a paycheck.

"We get paid as in getting off the field," Jackson said. "Every time we get off the field, that's a paycheck. Every time we get a paycheck, that's another opportunity that their defense has to deal with our explosive offense and going against them in practice, I know that's something you don't want to do."

Jackson has a point. The offense exploded for 666 total yards. The rushing attack amounted for 251 yards and seven different players were a part of scoring plays. Iowa State's defense must have been tired considering the air raid attack snapped the ball 101 times.

Tech Head Coach Kliff Kingsbury said today is not the only day the Tech defense has proven themselves.

"They've been great on third down all year," Kingsbury said. "They've been great on three-and-outs. They have played really well."

When asked about going back on the field after Cyclones linebacker Jeremiah George intercepted a pass deep in Tech territory, Jackson responded by calling it a bonus check. It's clear that the attitude of the defense from this season is a complete 180-degree turn from one year ago.

With the toughest part of the schedule coming up, it will take an optimist to make it through the grind. The defense will need to force third downs in the next six games and stop the other team. Jackson does not seem to have a problem doing so.

"Third down is the money down," Jackson said. "And who doesn't love money?

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