David Gibbs' defenses don't traditionally have problems stopping the run. But Texas Tech's defenses do. Getting that flipped and fixed in his first season as defensive coordinator hasn't been easy.
Texas Tech ranks No. 125 in run defense nationally, ahead of just New Mexico State and Eastern Michigan, and No. 123 in yards per rush after giving up 405 rushing yards, seven rushing touchdowns and 24 first downs on rushes in the 63-27 loss to Oklahoma. When is it going to get better?
“Obviously, it’s taking some time. We’ve played some really good teams, some teams that obviously you watch them come out on the field and you watch us, and it’s not the same,” Gibbs told the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. “So we’ve got to do a better job recruiting, got to do a better job coaching, and the players got to do a better job playing.”
Texas Tech is allowing nearly 300 rushing yards per game and 6.1 yards per rush in Big 12 play. It's not as if Tech isn't trying to stop the run, but players still aren't regularly getting in the right place at the right time, or making the plays when they do get there.
“If you’re going to be some rat-trap guy, go blitz every snap, that’s fine and dandy, too, but I’m trying to build something," Gibbs said.
The Oklahoma State offense they face next shouldn't pose as great a challenge as some of the teams the Red Raiders have already seen. Running backs Rennie Childs and Chris Carson have only rushed for 109 and 104 yards, respectively, in Big 12 play this year. But they'll still try to hit Tech the way everyone else has.
“Why would you pass it?" Gibbs said. "I would just hand it off every snap, but I’ve said that all year, until we show we can stop it. We’ll keep grinding."