The Red Raiders got off to a slow start in Lawrence, Kansas, Saturday morning, falling behind 10-0 before rallying back for a dominant 54-16 victory.
The main reason for the turnaround was the continued success of Tech's defense, which forced four turnovers in addition to eight Jayhawk punts. Plenty of players played big roles in the victory, but the veteran play of Senior Defensive Lineman Kerry Hyder stood out the most. As a result, Hyder is our Week 6 Raider Zone Player of the Week.
Hyder was a beast on the field Saturday, wreaking havoc in the backfield with a sack and a team high 2.5 tackles for loss, in addition to five tackles in the open field, which helped limit the Jayhawk rushing attack to just 53 yards. Hyder did it all, but credits his teammates as the reason for his success.
"I'm trying to do my best to get pressure but without the defensive ends crushing the pocket, I wouldn't have gotten my sack or my TFL (Tackle For Loss)," Hyder said. "It just shows how good the defense is doing. Anybody could have gotten player of the week this week."
He wasn't kidding. Texas Tech's defense added another strong showing to its 2013 resume, limiting the Jayhawks to 273 total yards, boosting the team to 31st in the country in Total Defense.
"Right now we're feeling good about ourselves but we're not settled at all," Hyder said. "We understand we got a lot of work to do and we have a long stretch ahead of us so we are going to keep continuing that work and hopefully these games start stacking up."
Hyder says the defense has so much pride in it's body of work that the competition has leaked over from the football field to the locker room. The Red Raider defensive players are competing amongst themselves when it comes to stuffing the stat sheet.
"When a guy gets a sack he's trying to hurry up and pull him down because we're trying to run (in) and get a half sack. We're trying to get (in) on the play! There's a lot of competition, especially amongst the D-Lineman, so we have kind of an inside game going trying to see who can get the most sacks. We are all definitely fighting for it."
Texas Tech's defense will get another chance to prove itself this Saturday against the Iowa State Cyclones at 11 a.m. at Jones AT&T Stadium.
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