It’s unusual to see changes in the coordinator ranks just three weeks into the season, but Texas Tech has decided to fire co-defensive coordinator Matt Wallerstedt.
Wallerstedt was fired one week after the Red Raiders’ defense was gashed for 438 rushing yards in the 49-28 loss to Arkansas.
However, according to reports, Wallerstedt’s firing isn’t related to Texas Tech’s on-field performance.
ESPN’s Jake Trotter reported on Thursday that Wallerstedt was fired after being under the influence of an unknown substance in the school’s football building.
Wallerstedt shared the defensive play-calling with Mike Smith, and Smith is going to call the plays for the remainder of the 2014 season.
Most of Smith’s experience as a coach is in the NFL ranks, including three years with the Jets.
Smith played linebacker at Texas Tech from 2001-04 and recorded 104 tackles during the 2012 season.
With only three returning starters, Texas Tech’s defense was expected to be a work in progress in 2014. And so far, the Red Raiders have struggled on that side of the ball.
The Red Raiders are allowing 5.2 yards per play and ranked last in the Big 12 by giving up 36.7 points per contest.
An infusion of junior college recruits was slated to help the defensive line, but Texas Tech has just three sacks in three games and was dominated by Arkansas last Saturday – a week after struggling against UTEP.
Smith will have three tough opponents to open his tenure as the defensive coordinator, starting with the Sept. 25 date at Oklahoma State, followed by games against Kansas State and West Virginia.