Defensive Report Card: Texas Tech vs. K-State

In the conference opener against Kansas State, the Red Raider defense looked a bit tentative at first, but they were quickly able to get focused on their goal- slowing down the Wildcat offense. grades the defense's performance in Saturday's conference opener.

Defensive Line: B+

The defensive line looked solid against K-State. They held quarterback Josh Freeman in check, limiting him to only 13 rushing yards on seven attempts.

DE McKinner Dixon continued his streak of making at least one sack per game this year as he came up with the first sack of 2008 for Freeman. Dixon also had one pass break up in the game.

Linebackers: A

LB Brian Duncan led the D with five solo and seven assisted tackles. He also had once forced fumble which the Red Raiders recovered. Marlon Williams also forced a K-State fumble, which he recovered and returned for 11 yards.

During the game, the Wildcats had only 113 rushing yards on 36 carries, which is evidence of just how much Texas Tech's run D has improved.

Defensive Backfield: B-

Texas Tech's backfield struggled early in the game, allowing the Wildcats to drive down the field and score in just a minute and 26 seconds on their first possession. After allowing 92 passing yards during the first quarter, the secondary calmed down and held K-State to a respectable 91 yards through the air for the rest of the game.

Daniel Charbonnet led the backfield with eight tackles, two pass break ups, and a tackle for a loss of 17 yards.

Overall Defensive Grade: B

The Red Raider D held the K-State Wildcats to 296 yards of total offense. They also allowed only two conversions on 12 third downs.

Kansas State was undoubtedly the defense's biggest test of the season thus far, and after getting the opening jitters out, they played a solid game. If they can continue to build upon their performance, they should be able to slow down the high powered offenses of the Big 12 and hopefully compete for a conference championship.

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