Texas vs. Texas Tech: Can Weak Longhorns Defense Shut Down Red Raiders?

Carl StineCorrespondent INovember 3, 2012

ARLINGTON, TX - NOVEMBER 26:  Head coach Tommy Tuberville of the Texas Tech Red Raiders at Cowboys Stadium on November 26, 2011 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

"Weak" and "Texas defense" were two items one did not hear very often in the same sentence coming into this season. Or even in the same conversation.

You can find the Longhorns near the top of pre-season defensive rankings here, here and here.

How far from reality we were back then. Take a look at the numbers.

Texas ranks 100th in scoring defense, giving up 32.8 points per contest, 111th in rushing defense, 57th in passing defense and 99th in total defense.

If that's not weak, what is?

Alex Okafor, Jackson Jeffcoat, Kenny Vaccaro and the rest of the 'Horns defense has not been near as dominating this season as just about everybody thought they would be coming into the campaign.

If you have watched Texas at all this season, the glaring weakness of this defense seems to be missed tackles. Oklahoma seemed to have some kind of Longhorn repellent sprayed on during the Red River Rivalry, and the Longhorns have consistently displayed poor technique and tackling against just about every opponent.

Which brings us to the big question: Can the Longhorns slow down Texas Tech's offense?

Led by quarterback Seth Doege, the Red Raiders are putting up some very impressive numbers this season, including 357 yards per game through the air and over 40 points per game.

Last week, Texas struggled to beat Kansas, but the defense did hold the Jayhawks under 20 points, only the third time the defense has been able to accomplish that feat this season.

It's starting to look as of the "Manny Diaz Experiment" should be labeled "failed" and the Texas defense should get a new coordinator who understands how to teach the basics of tackling and tackling well.

To sum all this up, the Longhorns are going to have their hands full trying to slow the Raiders' offense.

Texas is ranked in the BCS, in spite of two losses already this season, but Tommy Tuberville's offense is going to put an end to that nonsense this afternoon in Lubbock.