But it won't be
The Red Raiders are 98th nationally against the pass, giving up 245.5 yards per game, but it's part of the risk/reward approach of this defense. Coordinator
Texas Tech's game plan was at its best against Kansas last week, when the Red Raiders forced five turnovers, including three picks by
"We're telling our guys to get in bed, get off your feet," Texas coach
The 'Horns' defense often looked worn down against Oklahoma State, missing 12 tackles that led to 125 additional yards. The group entered the game ranked second nationally against the run, but gave up 217 yards on the ground, 62 more yards than in their last five games combined.
While the Longhorns were locked in a physical game with Oklahoma State that was their narrowest victory of the season (28-24), the Red Raiders are coming off a 63-21 blowout of Kansas.
Considering the emotional toll of the last three weeks, the challenge of trying to tone down the Red Raiders offense and a raucous Jones AT&T Stadium crowd, this game should be the most daunting of Texas' run.
Against the Longhorns, Tech will be facing a defense that has produced 29 sacks, second-most in the country, led by Orakpo, who leads the Big 12 in sacks (8 1/2) and tackles for loss (15). He will be locking up with Reed in a tussle of physical specimens (the 6-foot-7, 314-pound Reed bench pressed a school-record 625 pounds, while the 6-4, 260-pound Orakpo benched 515).
Orakpo had two of Texas' three sacks of Oklahoma's
"I still always believe that the first thing that you want to do is make a team one dimensional, especially the Texas Techs, the BYUs of the world. If you allow them to run the ball on you, it's game over. You have no chance. Even with them, I think that's still the secret. As soon as you sit back and allow them to dictate, then you have problems.
"It's funny to me, because it's not that hard [to handle their offensive line alignment]. I'm kind of flabbergasted. I saw a tackle in the NFL, an NFL first-rounder, dumbfounded by it. If you stick a guy in the gap and pressure the middle, they can't block it. They can't get rid of the ball. If you put guys in the middle in those gaps and run through and they have an ounce of speed about them, they have to tighten those gaps back down. The quarterback's not athletic enough, he's more athletic than he gets credit for, but he's not athletic enough to kill you sprinting outside. He's not like the
"You have to mix [coverages] up. Here's your problem: If you go with a two-man front, they can run the ball on you; they've got some behemoths that can lean on you and make life miserable. I think they want to see teams come out in a two-man front with four linebackers and five DBs and sit back all day because then they can run on you, they can find holes. There's not a lot of guys in the country that can stay with Michael Crabtree one-on-one for a period of time. You have to be able to restrict those gaps, take the run away and turn them into a conventional offense and then tee off on them a little bit and make [Harrell] get rid of the ball before he can find Crabtree and the 8,000 speedy receivers that they have and then you have a chance."