Junior tight end Jace Amaro gets all the publicity among Texas Tech's draft prospects, but the Red Raiders have a couple of guys who can play defense, too. That group -- linebacker Will Smith and defensive linemen Kerry Hyder and Dartwan Bush -- came through in a big way as the Red Raiders upset Arizona State, 37-23, in the Holiday Bowl on Monday night.
Texas Tech held Sun Devils quarterback Taylor Kelly to 16-of-29 passing for 125 yards and intercepted him once. Though Kelly rushed for 135 yards and one touchdown and sophomore running back D.J. Foster added 132 yards and one touchdown, Texas Tech largely dominated the line of scrimmage, especially whenever Kelly dropped back to throw.
Smith (6-foot-3, 220 pounds) had 14 tackles with two tackles for loss, and Hyder (6-2, 280) added five tackles.
The real revelation was Bush, whose value was already clear as the Texas Tech defense regressed badly when Bush missed four games with a sprained knee. Back at maximum explosiveness, Bush (6-1, 255) consistently pressured Kelly coming off the edge, recording his third sack of the season.
Texas Tech has not had a defensive player drafted in the first two days since 2009, but the disruptive Hyder and Bush could change that next May.
The most heralded defender coming into the game, Arizona State defensive tackle Will Sutton, had four tackles and two tackles for loss but was never able to truly slow down freshman quarterback Davis Webb and the "Air Raid" offense.
Webb was 28 of 41 for 403 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions, showing a fantastic rapport with Amaro.
Amaro caught eight passes for 112 yards, finishing the season with 1,352 receiving yards to set the new NCAA single-season record for a tight end.