Tech’s First Round Talent
Top Texas Tech NFL prospect Tyree Wilson has been a force in early season action. The redshirt senior EDGE defender has elite size at 6’7″, 275 pounds. Last season, his potential flashed brightly when he lead the Red Raider defense in sacks and pressures. Analysts have compared his athletic ability and frame to last year’s 1st overall pick, Travon Walker out of Georgia. In case you missed it, here are some of Walker’s highlights from his first NFL start against Washington.
— Chad Ryan (@ChadwikoTWW) September 11, 2022
NO Way TRAVON WALKER just intercepted this!!! pic.twitter.com/G6wYvNdNN6
— Laurie Fitzpatrick (@LaurieFitzptrck) September 11, 2022
Wilson must play a huge role for the Texas Tech defense to be able to overcome NC State on the road. The elite pressure rates (2nd in country in pressures, 1st in QB hurries) must continue to disrupt QB Devin Leary’s timing in the offense. Without Wilson living behind the line and absorbing two lineman, the Red Raider defense will have their hands full. Because of the pressure he creates, coverage by the rest of the defense is improved. This up-front dominance helps the secondary forcing rushed throws and throwaways to avoid sacks as a result.
Back-to-back plays Tyree Wilson came away with a sack in Texas Tech’s bowl game last year. First he flashes his power with a bull-swim and then some athleticism and flexibility to beat the guard outside and run the arc. One of the best Big 12 prospects for the 2023 NFL Draft. pic.twitter.com/F6Pk4I3zSM
— Bobby Football (@Rob__Paul) August 18, 2022
Though the Wolfpack’s early ranking is mostly predicated on their elite defense, keeping the opposing team’s score down enough to win is the Red Raider way. Last week vs. Houston was one of the best defensive performances in years, and DC Tim DeRuyter definitely wants his unit to build on that.
Wolfpack Firepower vs. Improved Red Raider D
Despite the struggles from Week 1, the NC State offensive attack is no joke. They beat up on Charleston Southern in Week 2 to the tune of 55 points scored, even with some coming from the defense. National pundits have maintained respect for the Wolfpack by giving them the favorable odds of -10.0 at home against the Red Raiders.
The Red Raider defense as a whole will be doing battle with a very experienced offensive line. The Wolfpack blockers are returning 4/5 starters from last season, minus 1st round pick Ikem Okwonu. Accordingly, their lone hole is left tackle where Okwonu started all of last season. This continuity is thanks in part to the medical hardship granted to super-senior guard Chandler Zavala to return .
Sophomore running back Demie Sumo-Karngbaye is averaging over 7 yards a carry behind this talented group. Demie has split work so far with junior Jordan Houston, and the QB Leary has scored two touchdowns with his legs as well.
This run, man.
Demie Sumo-Karngbaye had several angry runs today, but this was just ridiculous. Slimy Shark has RB1 written all over him. pic.twitter.com/uvmTlerc89
— Cory Smith (@RCorySmith) September 3, 2022
Consequently, keeping contain on these talented rushers is a top priority for the Red Raiders’ defensive success. NC State has really spread the ball around in the passing game so far, with no single receiver with even a hundred yards or more than one touchdown. The Texas Tech defenders have to keep the play in front of them and not let receivers get behind or bust coverages.
Red Raider Defenders in Raleigh
Linebacker Krishon Merriweather is probable to start, depending on how the practices for the rest of the week go. Corner/return man Adrian Frye remains a game time decision with the bruise he suffered last week. These experienced starters would be key additions to the defense and special teams units prior to kickoff. Offensively, Coach McGuire won’t say until Friday if guard Weston Wright is ready after suffering an ankle injury against Houston.
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