After four straight losses in which the defense gave up an average of 297.25 rushing yards, the bye week could not have occurred at a better time for the Red Raiders.
The Texas Tech defense has given up an increasing amount of rushing yards during each of the last four games, with the Baylor Bears gaining 340 yards against it.
Sophomore defensive lineman Branden Jackson said he felt the defense played better than in past weeks, but that Baylor made adjustments at halftime and Tech did not.
“They’re (Baylor) the best at getting open in routes and keeping their quarterback off the ground,” Jackson said. “They have really good protection up front and they’re really, really good at play action. They’re everything you thought they were.”
The Red Raiders’ 63-34 loss to the Bears was seen by 69,188 fans at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, where the Dallas Cowboys play on Sundays.
Tech senior wide receiver Eric Ward shined under the lights in Arlington.
During his final game at the stadium as a Red Raider, he had eight catches for 72 yards with one touchdown.
Ward said with so many more fans in the stadium, it made the adrenaline flow for the players and helped them become more pumped up.
After winning its first seven games of the season, Tech now is trying to win its final game of the season to avoid a fifth straight loss.
Jackson said after the game, coach Kliff Kingsbury’s message to the team was to not let the loss get them down.
“Coach Kingsbury just harped on, ‘Never let your head down,’” Jackson said. “We know what we did wrong, and we went against a great offense and a great defense, and we just can’t make those mistakes. He said to never let anyone make your head hang and keep your heads up and focus on the next one.”
During the final quarter of Saturday’s game, with 7:30 left, sophomore quarterback Michael Brewer played in his second game all year. Brewer injured his back during fall camp and received minimal playing time against Kansas.
Ward said after being on the field with Brewer, he thinks the quarterback is ready to play.
“He’s one of the veteran guys, and he’s got the most experience at quarterback,” Ward said. “He knows the offense, and he’s ready. I’m sure he’ll get playing time against Texas next week.”
The Red Raiders have an extra week off to work and prepare before facing the Texas Longhorns on Thanksgiving Day.
Ward said the team is trying to stay consistent this week and use the extra week to prepare for the Longhorns.
“We’re just staying consistent with everything,” Ward said, “like fundamentals and technique and just staying sharp and stuff like that.”
When the Red Raiders take the field against the Longhorns in Austin next week, they will wear new uniforms. Under Armour and Tech Athletics recently released a second version of last year’s Lone Star Pride Uniforms.
Jackson said he thinks the uniforms look really cool, and even though he’s not from Texas, it will feel really good to wear them.
“New uniforms is just like getting new shoes as a kid,” Jackson said. “You just feel better. You feel clean, you feel smooth, and you just want to go showcase what you got on and show everybody that you deserve what you just got.”