Football Quotebook: Texas Tech

Dan McCarney's Opening comments:

"It's Homecoming for our football team and program. It's a chance for a lot of people to come back and take a look at this football team up close. We're going to do all we can to make them proud of us on Saturday night."

"The special teams captain for the Texas Tech game will be Anthony Forrest. Andy Leaders got hurt in practice last week and will have surgery on Friday for a torn ACL. He'll be out the rest of the year. I feel real bad for him. He's done an excellent job of improving and helping our team as a valuable reserve. We're hoping to get him back for spring football."

"This is our fourth (torn ACL) this year, which is real unusual. We just haven't had many problems with it, but Boyd Viers went down in two-a-days. Cory Wierson and T.J. Klith went down about a month ago and have already had surgery. We've had four ACLs, which is a real concern. Two of them it was one-on-one and the other two situations there wasn't much contact. It can sure happen and they're freak injuries. Thankfully we've got a great training group here, so hopefully they'll all be back for spring football."

"We've got a tremendous challenge this week with Texas Tech. The next seven games we play five teams that were all in bowl games last year. No one in the country is going to play a tougher schedule this year or in the next seven weeks, starting with Texas Tech this week."

"They're an outstanding team. No one is putting up more points and no one has been more productive offensively, especially in recent weeks. You don't stop Texas Tech. I haven't seen anybody do that. We've got to find a way to slow them down, then when it's all said and down hopefully have one more point than they have."

"We're playing for a lot, as all teams are this time of year when you've gotten off to a good start. With each win you keep yourself in line and alive for some great things. With every loss you eliminate yourself from something. There are a lot of things that we're playing for this week."

On Tech's offense compared to one that the Huskers brought in:

"It's completely different than Nebraska for our defense. Defensively they're not a lot different than some of the people we've seen, but offensively we go from a complete power attack and option attack to somebody that just throws it all over and throws with efficiency. (Kliff) Kingsbury is just an unbelievable player and he's doing it every week. He's putting up huge numbers and is very accurate. And this is the best group of receivers on any one team that we've seen so far this year."

On team coming off of bye week:

"I like the way our team worked through the open week. We had this thing set for a long time and how we would handle it, regardless of what happened in the Nebraska game. I had the schedule set for a long time. Hopefully we handled it good. We practiced three times and lifted weights three times. We still maintained conditioning, but they got some time off. I thought practice went real well last night. We'd better be at our best and start fast on Saturday or we're going to be in huge trouble."

On importance of gaining yards on the ground versus Red Raiders:

"We've got to try to establish a running game, no doubt about it. We were very much improved against Nebraska on nearly 200 yards rushing. We're going to do all that we can to establish a good running game. But they don't need lots of time, that's the scary thing. Texas A&M's defense had held them to 17 points early in the fourth quarter and they end up with 48. That's a lot of points scored in a short amount of time. It isn't necessarily time of possession, because they can score a lot of points fast."

"We've got to be sound and great tacklers on defense. They're going to complete a lot of passes. That's just the way it's going to happen, but we've got to make sure that they're not throwing, catching and running. We've got to be great tacklers and hopefully get some breakups and maybe some turnovers."

On system of Texas Tech's head coach:

"Mike Leach is doing a great job. Wherever he's been he's been very successful. It's his system and his offense. He calls it and knows what he's doing. Whatever look you give him, whether it's rush three, drop eight or bring the house, he's got an answer for everything you do. Kingsbury's got an answer for everything you do and he reads blitzes as good as any quarterback I've seen."

On possibility of Tech running a no-huddle offense:

"That's all we understand. You don't see that on tape, but the people we've talked to said to anticipate no huddle. We've seen two teams like that already with Tennessee Tech and Troy State. It still makes it hard, because they know what they're doing and do it year-round and we get two weeks to prepare for them."

"We'll change it up. We don't know if that's the only way, but that's the way we're going to do it. We've got to give them different looks and are not going to sit in there with one coverage, one front or one blitz all day long. We'll give them different looks to try and slow them down."

On scouting tape of Red Raider-Iowa Alamo Bowl game:

"We did exchange bowl games with Iowa last year. The difference is they have 17 starters back and are playing much better than at anytime last year, especially offensively. Kingsbury has taken it to another level. He's always been good, this is his third year and he's been very productive. But he's just unconscious right now throwing the football. He is unbelievable to watch. He's putting the ball in a lot of places where, no matter where they are, defenders can't get to the ball. That's going to make it very hard."

On matchup of two of nation's top quarterbacks, Seneca Wallace and Kingsbury:

"I don't know if that's ever happened with two of them of that much quality. These are very different styles of quarterbacks, but they're both very effective and great leaders. These teams go as the quarterbacks go. It's not a one-man show for either team, but they lead their teams. That's obvious when you watch them play."

"The way Kingsbury's been playing the last few weeks, he's playing with as much productivity, consistency and accuracy as any quarterback that I remember. He's really something."

On Kingsbury:

"He's got great height and can see over the defensive players rushing him. He's one of the toughest players I've been around. He's taken plenty of hits, but that doesn't bother him one bit. I think he and Seneca Wallace are two of the toughest quarterbacks that I've seen."

"I think there longest completion last week was 35 yards. There were a lot of crossing routes and they threw the ball to the back 16 times last week, which means they're checking and screening them. They're moving around. They just know what they're doing and it's really hard. No matter where you put your people to defend, he seems to know exactly where you need to put the ball. I have seen him throw some great completions when the coverage was outstanding and they still made the play."

On national attention Cyclones have started to get:

"It's a great feeling. It's midseason, so really that and 75 cents will get you a Mountain Dew out of that machine downstairs. It's still a sign of how far we've come. We've never been in the top 10 in school history and the last time we were 6-1 was 1907. That was 95 years ago. No ISU team has ever scored more than 30 points in seven straight games. The last time Iowa State was 3-0 in the conference was 53 years ago."

"Those are things that I share with this team—let's try and keep going places this school has never been. That's your legacy. There's not any one game that's any more important than the rest. We're going to do all that we can to keep it going."

On Tech's defense:

"They don't lack for good players. Their defensive coordinator is one of the most respected defensive coordinators in the country. Flugence is the all-time leading tackler there and is leading the nation in tackles right now. Aaron Hunt is a Lombardi Award candidate, All-Big 12 and is on many preseason All-American teams."

"There is plenty of talent, but some teams have hit some big plays on them. We don't take one thing for granted. We fight, scratch and dig for everything we do. We have great respect for their defense. But we have to find a way to score some points, because Texas Tech is going to."

On defensive approach to facing Red Raiders:

"They're going to move the ball and score some points. Nobody has shut them out or stopped them. Ohio State didn't stop them. They moved the ball on Ohio State and that's a fine football team. We've got to do all that we can to not give them a lot of breakouts. The thing that's scary is they've had a lot of big plays on six, seven, eight or 10-yard completions, with missed tackles and they're out of the gate. They have those kinds of athletes catching the football."


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