Greg Robinson's first Thanksgiving game comes with Kliff Kingsbury's offense, not to mention a must-win game for a Texas program still clinging to its hopes for a Big 12 title.
Luckily for Robinson, it also comes with a porous Red Raider offensive line and a not-so-mobile quarterback to cover its mistakes. Not only is he not afraid of Kingsbury's offense, he should see a great opportunity for his embattled group to bounce back.
After a 38-13 loss to Oklahoma State, the honeymoon is over with Robinson. Quarterback Clint Chelf gashed his defense for 95 rushing yards and two touchdowns.
Chelf's performance may not have been the 296-yard performance by Taysom Hill that got Manny Diaz fired. It did, however, prove that adding Robinson to this team did not immediately make it a top-10 program.
Robinson's group had no solution for Chelf in the read option, which neutralized Robinson's pass-rush for its second sack-free performance under his tutelage.
|Texas Defense Under Greg Robinson|
|Opponent||QB Rush Yards||Sacks||Result|
|Ole Miss||64||0||L 44-23|
|Kansas State||74||4||W 31-21|
|Iowa State||83||5||W 31-30|
|West Virginia||-44||6||W 47-40 OT|
|Oklahoma State||95||0||L 35-13|
What's most alarming is that the Pokes' senior is the second quarterback to rush for a career-high against Robinson and third of the season. The players shoulder a large part of the blame for the team's inability to stop running quarterbacks.
The good news for Robinson and his defense is that Texas Tech does not have a mobile quarterback in Baker Mayfield and also sports one of the most porous offensive lines in the conference.
The Red Raiders allow 2.2 sacks per game, which is just seventh in the Big 12. During their current four-game losing streak, they have upped that number to three per game, translating to seven interceptions.
And while Mayfield has shown a willingness to tuck the ball and run (187 yards on 72 attempts), he is not the ball-carrier Chelf is. The latter came into the Texas game averaging 7.7 yards per carry and runs his 40 roughly .2 seconds faster than Mayfield does, according to NFLDraftScout.com.
Does that mean Texas should discount Texas Tech's ability to run Mayfield? Considering Texas' struggles in that department, and Kingsbury's track record with Johnny Manziel at Texas A&M, that answer is a resounding "no."
But given Mayfield's lack of burst and Texas' ability to break into the backfield, Robinson can afford to spend more time focusing on Tech's downfield passing attack.