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Tuberville strives for defense

New Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville is slowly trying to change the culture at his new job.

His first step came with his first signing class, when he loaded up with 18 defensive players and only seven on offense.

Tuberville's defensive background puts a priority on a solid pass rush. That's why the Red Raiders picked up eight commitments from defensive linemen.

"Recruiting is a three-year process and we did it in three weeks," Tuberville told ESPNU during its marathon National Signing Day coverage. "But you win national championships with your defense and especially defensive linemen. We've got a lot of offensive players back and we'll be exciting on offense, but I want to bring the defense to that level. To do that, you have to have a great defense and a great defensive line."

But Tuberville was adamant that the Red Raiders won't lose their offensive flair that marked the program during Mike Leach's coaching tenure.

"Number one, we needed to sell to the offensive players that we would be doing the same thing, scoring points and throwing the ball around," Tuberville said. "That's happened here in the last seven or eight years. They can go anywhere and recruit anybody. But then, putting a defensive touch on it. Over the years, they know that Texas Tech can score points, but we also have to play defense to win championships. And we did that with this group."

It's a huge shift in thinking around the Tech program with Tuberville coming aboard. He's talked about becoming the first Big 12 team to primarily use a 3-4 defense.

The Red Raiders obviously need to play better defense to consistently contend with teams like Texas and Oklahoma. Tuberville's hiring is a big step to getting there.