Texas’ defensive front can limit the run to make Texas Tech’s offense one-dimensional
When Brooks is effectively running the football, Texas Tech’s offense has made opposing defenses pay this season. Texas Tech is on a three-game winning streak largely due to the offense avoiding costly turnovers and controlling the clock by running the ball with Brooks.
Texas Tech has turned the ball over fewer than one time per game on average during its three-game winning streak. And Brooks has rushed for at least 130 yards in each win during Tech’s streak in the last few weeks.
But it will be more difficult for Kittley and the Red Raiders to find success running the ball consistently against this menacing Texas defensive line.
Texas has the best run defense in the Big 12 this season. And they’re arguably the best up front against the run of any team in the Power Five in the last couple of months.
The All-American-caliber defensive tackle duo of redshirt senior T’Vondre Sweat and junior Byron Murphy II has helped Texas become the most dominant group in the trenches in the Big 12, and it’s not even close.
Texas has allowed just 70 rushing yards per game and 3.3 yards per carry. The Longhorns rank in the top three in the Power Five in the following run defense stat categories in the second half of the regular season: rush yards allowed per game, yards per carry against, yards after the carry per rushing attempt, and stuff rate.
The efforts of Murphy and Sweat to stall opposing rushing games came to a head last weekend against the Iowa State Cyclones on the road in Ames. Texas held Iowa State to just nine rushing yards on over 20 carries, the fewest rushing yards for the Cyclones in a single game in over a decade.
Texas hasn’t allowed an opponent to rush for over 100 yards in a game in the second half of the regular season (since Red River against Oklahoma on Oct. 7). If the Longhorns can hold Brooks and the Texas Tech ground game at bey this week, that will put the game on the arm of Morton on the road, which is not a situation that has ended particularly well for the Red Raiders this season.