No. 2 Texas Tech's Defense Gaining Respect

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LUBBOCK -- Texas Tech coach Mike Leach knew something had to change when the Red Raiders rolled up 718 yards last year against Oklahoma State - and lost.

The offensive wizard's days of merely tolerating defense were

It turned out all Leach had to do to fix things was walk a few
doors down the hall to the office of a coach who came with him to
Lubbock seven years earlier.

Ruffin McNeill's promotion to defensive coordinator, after that
deflating 49-45 defeat, transformed Tech perhaps more than Leach
could have imagined.

The No. 2 Red Raiders now pass for 400-plus yards and score at
least 40 points nearly every week.

Across-the-board improvement by the defense under McNeill played
a major role in positioning Texas Tech (10-0) for a run at the
national championship.

The next step comes Saturday night at No. 5 Oklahoma (9-1).

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