With 4:27 remaining in the first quarter, Stephen F. Austin junior running back Gus Johnson ran the ball for 2 yards before Texas Tech senior defensive tackle Dartwan Bush forced a fumble that was recovered by fellow Red Raider junior nose guard Jackson Richards.
That set the Red Raiders up at the Stephen F. Austin 26-yard line, and two plays later senior running back Kenny Williams ran for an 18-yards touchdown.
Richards’s recovery was Tech’s first fumble recovery since the game against Oklahoma last year on Oct. 6 when then-quarterback Seth Doege threw an interception but forced a fumble and wide receiver Tyson Williams recovered the loose ball.
The last time the defense recovered a fumble was last year against Iowa State.
It’s been even longer since the defense both forced and recovered a fumble, against Baylor in 2011.
Last week against SMU, footballs hit the ground but didn’t roll in the favor of the Red Raider defense.
“I think we feel pretty good,” senior safety Tre’ Porter said. “Last week we had a few fumbles on the ground, but we didn’t get (any). It didn’t bounce our way. So I felt like today it really bounced our way. But I think we still work hard and play hard.”
Texas Tech forced another turnover when junior linebacker Zach Winbush intercepted Joe Minden’s pass at the Tech 27-yard line and returned it 63 yards to the SFA 10-yard line.
“Yeah that was good,” head coach Kliff Kingsbury said. “They had some good takeaways. That is a good offense, traditionally, there at Stephen F. They throw it around and had good schemes, so I thought our defense hung in there and did a good job.
Turnovers have been a big emphasis for the defense throughout fall camp.
“We do turnover circuit every day, you know, working on whipping the ball out, working on jumping routes and stuff like that,” senior defensive end Kerry Hyder said earlier this season. “They put a big emphasis on it this off-season and hopefully it will carry over to the field.”
Several members of the Texas Tech team have mentioned a standard being set at practice — if the defense doesn’t force four turnovers, they do up-downs.
If up-downs aren’t a familiar term to you, a player starts standing up then drops to a pushup position then it hops back up to the standing position. Several of these can quickly gas a player.
The Texas Tech defense, if it doesn’t get four turnovers during practice, would form a circle, called an accountability circle, and do the up-downs together.
“We circle them up and do as many as we can if they’re not giving the effort that we expect,” Kingsbury said earlier this season.
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