College Sports: Texas Tech coach Matt Wells is ready to embrace defense: ‘I like scoring points more than anybody, but I like winning better’

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New Texas Tech coach Matt Wells inherited one of the Big 12’s best offenses, both currently and historically, when he agreed to leave Utah State and take over the Red Raider program last December.

But it’s Tech’s defense that will likely determine the level of success Wells experiences in Year One, he told reporters on Monday.

“It’s a challenge to play defense every single Saturday in this league and I know that’s something that (defensive coordinator) Keith Patterson and our defensive staff are excited to do and our players are excited to do,” Wells said.

Wells said there has never been a time where it has been more challenging to play strong defense in the Big 12 than it is right now, citing the conference’s strength at the QB and WR positions.

He tasked Patterson to lead the challenge of helping solve — or at least slow down — opposing Big 12 offenses. Patterson came over to Lubbock with Wells after serving as the Aggies’ co-defensive coordinator in 2018. He was defensive coordinator for Arizona State the four years before that.

When asked about the biggest difference Texas Tech fans will see this fall when it comes to a Patterson-led defense, linebacker Jordyn Brooks said you’ll be seeing much more aggressive schemes.

Wells was quick to point out that the conference has plenty of great defensive minds, singling out TCU’s Gary Patterson, Texas’ Todd Orlando and Iowa State’s Jon Heacock. All of those coaches’ defenses have had success thanks to putting an emphasis on pressure. Wells hopes Texas Tech can add its name to that list, too, and wouldn’t mind Texas Tech being known as more than an offensive school.

“I like scoring points more than anybody,” Wells said. “But I like winning better.”

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