Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

Opponents to Watch: Texas Tech

Blaine Young

After marching into Ames and taking care of business versus Iowa State, Texas football will return home for its regular season closer as it looks to beat Texas Tech and punch their ticket to the Big 12 Championship.

The Red Raiders, while 6–5, have won three straight games and will head to Austin looking to spoil their chance at a playoff spot. Here are a few opponents to watch out for on Texas Tech:


Tahj Brooks, RB

Far and away the biggest threat offensively for Texas Tech is running back Tahj Brooks. After a pair of productive years in 2021 and 2022, the senior has exploded in 2023, currently sitting with the third-most rushing yards in the country with 1,348 to go along with nine touchdowns. Brooks’ presence as a true workhorse back has offered stability for a Texas Tech team that has started three different quarterbacks in 2023. In four of the Red Raiders’ last six games, Tahj Brooks has carried the ball 30 or more times. Listed at 230 pounds, Brooks is a bruiser with good patience and an ability to accelerate quickly. However, he lacks home-run speed and doesn’t offer much of a threat as a receiver with just 20 receptions for 70 yards on the year. Texas’ ability to shut down Iowa State’s ground game was key to their victory last weekend, and it will need to replicate that success to keep Brooks in check on Friday.


Dadrion Taylor-Demerson, Safety

Texas Tech free safety Dadrion Taylor-Demerson has stepped into a big role for the Red Raiders defense in 2023. The senior currently sits tied for second in the Big 12 with four interceptions and leads the team in solo tackles with 48. While on the smaller side, standing at 5 feet, 11 inches and 195 pounds, Taylor-Demerson is a rangy safety in the middle of the field who will look to take away the area Texas’ offense moves through the most effectively.

Taylor-Demerson exited in Texas Tech’s win against UCF last weekend with a groin injury, but is trending toward playing per Texas Tech head coach Joey McGuire. Should he play, he’ll be a pivotal part in the Red Raiders’ effort to slow down Texas’ offense.


Jaylon Hutchings, Defensive Tackle

Sixth-year senior defensive tackle Jaylon Hutchings will suit up one last time for the Red Raiders and look to give Texas trouble up the middle on Friday. 

Like Taylor-Demerson, Hutchings left early in Texas Tech’s game versus UCF with what was initially feared to be an ACL injury, but is expected to play Friday and will be crucial to combat a Texas offensive line that looked solid against Iowa State. Hutchings operates as Texas Tech’s starting nose tackle and will look to clog up rushing lanes for Texas freshman tailback CJ Baxter. Also on the smaller side, at just six feet, 305 pounds, Hutchings is tied for the team’s leader in sacks with 3.5 and has 7.5 tackles for loss on the year. Assuming he’s good to go, Hutchings will give the Red Raiders a big boost in the front seven.


Behren Morton, Quarterback

Texas’ season will come down to a duel between the Longhorns’ quarterback Quinn Ewers and Texas Tech’s quarterback, sophomore Behren Morton. The highest-rated quarterback commit in Texas Tech history, Morton — despite injuries — has excelled in 2023, as the Red Raiders are 5–0 in games he’s played start to finish. After missing time with a shoulder injury, Morton returned as the starter against TCU and has the Red Raiders playing red hot, captaining them to three wins in a row. Morton has taken a step forward in 2023, improving his completion percentage to 63.6 and currently sitting with a 12:4 touchdown to interception ratio. He’s got a big arm capable of spreading the ball around to different targets. While Tahj Brooks is Texas Tech’s focus offensively, it will likely come down to Behren Morton for the Red Raiders to pull off an upset in Austin.

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