Through four games, Texas Tech's defense ranks No. 1 in the country in total defense and passing defense — a far cry from the end of last year, when the Red Raiders were ranked 102nd nationally in total defense.
But given Tech's competition so far, how can anyone tell how much better the unit really is under first-year coordinator Art Kaufman?
“I don't think there's any question they're better,” said OU co-offensive coordinator Jay Norvell.
“They're doing different things defensively. They're showing more coverage variation ... blitzing a lot more than they have, and that's given people problems.
“Now, just like us and everybody else, the competition gets better now that you get into conference. ... They've proved they're a good football team.”
STOOPS INTRIGUED BY FITZGERALD'S METHODS
Texas Tech's fight song blared from loudspeakers near the end of Oklahoma's football practice Wednesday afternoon, a tactic coach Stoops sometimes uses to prepare his Sooners to play in hostile environments.
Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald took that philosophy a step further this week: He's even playing music in team meetings.
“Not the whole meeting but a little bit of it, just to get completely and thoroughly annoyed,” Fitzgerald told reporters.
Stoops was asked after Wednesday's practice if he's heard about Fitzgerald's unorthodox method of preparing his players for environments like the one the Wildcats will face Saturday at Penn State.
“Pat's a lot braver than me,” Stoops said.
“Interesting ... I should probably follow it; those guys are smart guys up there.”
Bob Stoops, when asked about Walt Anderson's apology to OSU coach Mike Gundy for a botched call on Texas' decisive touchdown last weekend:
“It's just a judgment call sometimes. ... Some of those decisions aren't very easy.
“I'm still not gonna let the guys at Oregon off the hook.”