Skip to main content

Red Raiders vs. Baylor Bears Week 9: Defensive Players to Watch

The Red Raiders continue Big 12 play with a matchup against defending league champion Baylor at Jones AT&T Stadium on Saturday.

The Texas Tech Red Raiders continue their Big 12 slate on Saturday when they host defending Big 12 champion Baylor at Jones A&T Stadium.

The game is a meeting of former co-workers. Texas Tech coach Joey McGuire is in his first season with the Red Raiders. Before taking the job last fall, he was an assistant coach at Baylor for five seasons — first for Matt Rhule and then for Dave Aranda. 

In both cases, McGuire’s high school roots were critical in helping both Rhule and Aranda, coming from schools out-of-state, to gain credibility with Texas high school coaches. McGuire won state championships as the coach at Cedar Hill, outside of Dallas.

Aranda had such respect for McGuire that he gave his blessing to allow McGuire to interview for the Tech job last season. This will be their first meeting on the field.

The Red Raiders are coming off a 48-10 win over West Virginia. But, Texas Tech will face a much better defense this time around. Plus, the Bears and the Red Raiders are playing to avoid a third loss in league action, which would likely end any chance of them reaching the Big 12 Championship Game in December.

The Bears won last year’s matchup in Waco, Texas, 27-24.

Be sure to stick with as we preview every aspect of the matchup with the Bears throughout the week.

Now, here’s a look at some of the top defensive players to watch for Baylor.

LB Dillon Doyle

Doyle has not disappointed this season, after being overshadowed by Terrell Bernard last season. The coaches in the league know Doyle well. He had 90 tackles last season, which was second-best on the team. 

He’s not the top tackler on the team this season, but he’s still producing. He has 35 total tackles, 1/2 tackle for loss, an interception, a pass breakup and a quarterback hurry in seven games.

NT Siaki Ika

You can’t judge Ika by his numbers. Well, I mean you can judge him by one number — 358. That's his weight. The fact that he only has 14 total tackles so far, with one tackle for loss, doesn’t matter that much. 

He’s a mountain to move. It usually takes two offensive linemen to slow him down. If you’re devoting that much entering to stopping Ika, well, guess what? There’s someone you’re not stopping, like Doyle.

CB Al Walcott

On the depth chart Walcott plays the Star position, one of the most vital on the defense. It’s a hybrid safety-linebacker position that requires sure tackling and the ability to defend in the passing game. 

Well, Walcott can do both. 

He’s the team’s leading tackler with 41 on the season. He has six tackles for loss (also the best on the team) and a sack. His three pass break-ups are one behind linebacker Matt Jones. He already has more tackles than last season (30). Now he just needs a few interceptions to match last year’s total of three.

You can follow Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard

Follow the Texas Tech Red Raiders Daily Blitz Podcast HERE

Follow Red Raider Review on Facebook and Twitter

Want More Red Raiders News? Check Out The Latest In Texas Tech News Here