Hyder wanting more
Texas Tech’s Kerry Hyder was rewarded with first-team All-Big 12 recognition last season after he led the league’s defensive tackles in sacks (six) and tackles for loss (14).
Now a senior, Hyder’s on pace to top his tackles for loss number with 10 through the first seven games. Nationally, only two players listed as defensive tackles or nose tackles — Pittsburgh’s Aaron Donald and Wake Forest’s Nikita Whitlock, a Texan from Wylie — have more TFLs.
“I wouldn’t trade him for anybody,” Tech defensive coordinator Matt Wallerstedt said of Hyder. “He’s done a great job.”
Hyder, a senior from Austin LBJ, says he should be producing even more, though.
“I’ve left a lot of plays out there on the field,” he said. “I feel like I could have already hit my numbers that I hit last year. I’m actually disappointed right now in my play so far. I feel like I can do much better in the second part of the season.”
No. 10 Tech (7-0, 4-0 in the Big 12) visits No. 17 Oklahoma (6-1, 3-1) at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, and Hyder figures to have one of the key matchups. He’s likely to knock heads at different times with Sooners center Gabe Ikard, who was first-team All-Big 12 last year, and guards Bronson Irwin and Adam Shead, both of whom are returning starters.
“They’ve got a good offensive line — a great core,” Hyder said. “The center, Gabe, is a real great player. I expect them to come out and be physical like they always are.”
The 6-foot-2 Hyder is playing at about 290 pounds. He added about 10 pounds since last year, hoping to make himself more of an NFL prospect.
New Tech defensive line coach John Scott Jr. spent the last three years at Georgia Southern, coaching three-time FCS all-American Brent Russell, who’s about the same size as Hyder.
“The thing I like about Kerry is he’s so (quick-twitch), and he feels things,” Scott said. “He’s able to see it before it happens sometimes, just anticipate, and that’s what you want in a defensive lineman.”
Opposing teams can’t be sure at which spot the Red Raiders will deploy Hyder. Tech’s staff uses several defensive linemen at more than one position. Hyder and Jackson Richards have played defensive tackle and noseguard, and Dartwan Bush has played defensive tackle and defensive end.
“As we watch it as coaches, we may see a certain matchup that we want or a certain weakness that we can exploit,” Scott said. “We try to put our best on their worst or our best on a matchup that we can expose. It can change series by series. It can change play by play. When you’ve got guys that can play multiple positions, it allows you to do more.”
Tech has 1,700 tickets remaining for its Nov. 2 home game against Oklahoma State, Tech spokesman Blayne Beal said at the end of the day Wednesday.
Beal also said Tech has sold nearly 20,000 from its allotment of 24,000 tickets for the Nov. 16 game against Baylor in Arlington. Only a limited number of lower-level seats are left in Tech’s stock.
Beal said Tech sold 17,000 tickets for last year’s Baylor game in Arlington.
Compiled by Don Williams