The Texas Tech football team defeated No. 21 Oklahoma State 45-35 at Jones AT&T Stadium on Saturday as the Red Raiders’ defense recording its most takeaways of the season.
With the 10-point win over the Cowboys, the Red Raiders improved its overall record 3-2, according to Tech Athletics. The Red Raiders also protected their home field, remaining undefeated at Jones AT&T Stadium, 3-0.
Tech’s win came a week after the Red Raiders were defeated 55-16 by No. 6 Oklahoma in Norman, Oklahoma. Following the 39-point loss, senior linebacker Jordyn Brooks said the loss motivated the team as they prepared for the Cowboys.
“It was a wake-up call. It was something that I think we needed and it was something for me that I needed to wake myself up and make sure that we can prove everybody wrong the next week,” Brooks said. “That’s what motivated me the most, you know, just all the outside noise. You lose one game, and everybody just turns their back on you. Only way to shut them up is to go out there and win.”
As the Red Raiders upset the Cowboys, Brooks had a breakout game as he recorded a career-high 19 total tackles, according to Tech Athletics. He also set a career-high with four tackles for loss against the Cowboys. Along with his career highs, the senior linebacker also recorded three sacks, a forced fumble and a quarterback hurry.
In the fourth quarter, Brooks stopped the Cowboys’ attempt on a two-point conversion. Wells said the stop was possibly the play of the game as it helped secure Tech’s win over Oklahoma State.
“It’s just the drive to win,” Brooks said regarding his energy level at the end of the game after leading the team in tackles. “That’s all I want to do. I don’t really care how many tackles I had as long as we got the dub and that was just my mindset the whole game. Do anything I can to help my team win and luckily we pulled it off.”
Despite breaking several personal records, Brooks said he was still not satisfied with Tech’s 10-point win against the nationally-ranked Cowboys.
“I mean; I don’t think we played great. I think they had too many points,” Brooks said. “We (gave up points) at the end, but we still improving. I don’t think we’re where we want to be at. We’re definitely not satisfied.”
After five games played, Brooks has recorded 60 total tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss, three sacks, one forced fumble and a fumble recovery, according to Tech Athletics. With his success on defense, Brooks said he credits the new defensive scheme.
“Where I’m lined up now, I can go sideline to sideline instead of being limited to one side of the field as I was last year,” Brooks said. “I think overall it’s just a better scheme for me personally. With this new defensive coordinator, Keith Patterson, and the scheme that he’s bringing.”
Although the defensive scheme Patterson brought to Tech has proven to be an improvement, Brooks said he was skeptical at the beginning of the coaching change.
“I had my doubts at first,” Brooks said. “Coach (Patterson) kept, he just kept explaining to me what could happen for me if I just learned the system and buy into it.”
In Tech’s first two games of the season, the Red Raiders held its opponents to 6.5 points per game, according to Tech Athletics. Despite keeping their opponents off of the scoreboard, the Red Raiders did not force a single turnover. Although head coach Matt Wells was proud of the way the defense performed, he said he was anxious for the first forced turnover.
“We all are (anxious for the first takeaway). I’m not going to over-dramatize it,” Wells said after Tech’s 38-3 win over UTEP. “Last place we coached, we led the country in turnovers. We’re doing the same drills. We’re going to continue to coach it and emphasize it, and I truly think when they come, they will come in bunches.”
Following the win against UTEP, the Red Raiders recorded their first takeaway as senior Douglas Coleman III intercepted two passes thrown by Arizona’s former Heisman candidate Khalil Tate, according to Tech Athletics. In the game against the Wildcats, Brooks also recovered a fumble.
“(Forcing turnovers) is just a part of our identity. It’s something we feel we have to do to be successful on defense,” Brooks said. “Earlier in the season, we just weren’t getting it done and we just emphasized it a lot more in practice, practiced hard and it showed up in the game.”
In Tech’s next game, Coleman intercepted a pass thrown by Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray and ran for 40 yards for his third takeaway of the season, according to Tech Athletics.
After playing four games this season, Tech only had four takeaways, according to Tech Athletics. In Tech’s game against Oklahoma State, the Red Raiders almost doubled their season amount as they forced five turnovers. Coleman led the defense with two interceptions as sophomore DaMarcus Fields also picked off a pass. Along with the interceptions, both Brooks and freshman Tony Bradford forced a fumble with senior Broderick Washington Jr. and freshman Dadrion Taylor recovering the loose balls.
“All my success goes to the D-line, so without the D-line putting pressure on the quarterback and containing him and making him throw inside the pocked, that allows me to make plays on the ball and stay inside tight coverage,” Coleman said.
Along with Coleman’s two interceptions, Tech’s defense only allowed Oklahoma State to throw for 290 yards as, the Red Raiders gave up 443 passing yards last weekend, according to Tech Athletics. With the improvement, Coleman said the secondary prioritized stopping deep throws down the field.
“I think in the back end what we tried to do is just stop all vertical routes. Like don’t give them any explosive plays,” Coleman said. “Based off the Oklahoma game last week, that’s where we were weak at, so we tried to stop all explosive plays on their half.”
As two seniors helped lead Tech’s defense to an upset, several younger players stepped up as freshmen Taylor and Bradford earned their first career starts, according to Tech Athletics. Freshman defensive back Alex Hogan also made his debut as a Red Raider.
Taylor and Bradford immediately made an impact on Tech’s defense as Bradford forced a fumble and Taylor recovered a fumble against Oklahoma State. Wells said Taylor is a winner and football junkie as the freshman is playing as a defensive back for the first time in his career this season.
“(Taylor’s) got a big ceiling. I mean, he’s not where he needs to be yet, but he cares,” Wells said. “He’s always studying. He’s in the building forever. I’ve got a lot of respect. I’ll go to battle with guys like that, I don’t care how young they are.”
As the Red Raiders were set to play an Oklahoma State team that averaged 40.8 points per game with the leading rusher in the nation, Brooks said he gave Taylor some advice before the game.
“I told him before the game I know it’s a lot of pressure on him as a freshman coming in playing one of the offenses in the Big 12,” Brooks said. “I just told him to stay calm and just know your job, and everybody else on the field got your back and I think he played well today.”
With the Tech’s defense having a breakout game, the Red Raiders will look to have the same success as they take on Baylor at 3 p.m. on Saturday in Waco, Texas.