Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury's Monday press conference transcript:
Q. Coach, looking back on it now, couple days removed, what do you feel are the two biggest things that separated you guys from Oklahoma State?
COACH KINGSBURY: I think just the fourth and a foot there that we fumbled the snap going in, and then the other interception in the red zone there. Just kind of going back and forth at that point, we stumbled, and they didn't.
Q. Do you think that having the lead going into halftime gave your players some sort of sense of security and they came out differently?
COACH KINGSBURY: I don't think so. I think you've got to give credit to Oklahoma State. That's a team that's come back from some deficits. They've won a bunch of games and that wasn't a new situation to them, and they came back and adjusted and played at a higher level.
Q. The second half it seemed Ian Sadler came on strong. What do you think about where he's at and you kind of developed into a go-to guy on third down and things like that?
COACH KINGSBURY: I think so. Him and Pat have a great rapport, and he seems to get open when Pat starts moving around. But Ian I thought in the Oklahoma game was a little slower, little hampered still. But I think he was full-speed this last week and has a chance to be a very good player for us.
Q. You mentioned mental toughness, Oklahoma State making more plays in the second half than you all did. Is there a way to coach to get that started to get over the top?
COACH KINGSBURY: You just have to do it until they get than sensation I guess. It's nothing you can coach out of them, I don't think. We just have to do it. We had a couple opportunities this year to win games late and haven't done it against highly-ranked teams. So it's something we've got to keep working on and find ways to do it at the end.
Q. Your guys on the outside didn't have very many catches last week. Do you think that's more of Oklahoma State's coverage trying to take that away or do you think it's a combination of what we kind of think that was?
COACH KINGSBURY: Yeah, we've got to get better outside, really. They have good secondary. They have good corners. But we took some shots and didn't make plays on footballs, and we have to improve at the outside receiver. It's kind of come back to bite us again. So that's the only -- over the last three weeks, we're going to see a lot of pressed man coverage on our face and challenge those guys, and those guys got to step up and make plays.
Q. Is Devin okay physically?
COACH KINGSBURY: Yes, sir.
Q. What do you attribute to his lack of skill relative to the second half of last season?
COACH KINGSBURY: I think he's got to grow up. He's got to practice better, be more consistent, same things continue to show up on game day, and he's got to get better. We're depending on him to be a better player, and I think he's got to mature on and off the field.
Q. What did you tell him about those unsportsmanlike kind of things? Did you talk to him about that?
COACH KINGSBURY: Yeah, that's a private conversation and that's been handled.
Q. It's been a couple years now, but what is it that makes Jakeem the player that he is?
COACH KINGSBURY: I think this year is by far the most mature he's been on and off the field, the way he practices and handles himself in the classroom, he's just grown up each year we've been here. He's thee most difficult to tackle in space that I've ever been around. The first guy's never going to make him miss. He's so quick. He's add added the physicality to his game when it comes to blocking the run game. He's a special talent. Works hard, good kid. I'm really proud of him.
Q. Is there a never-ending chip on his shoulder? Is that consistent?
COACH KINGSBURY: I think so. I think he's always, if you asked him, he's ten-feet tall and that's the way he carries himself and the way he acts around the locker room. He's just a special young man.
Q. The 90-yard plays is that kind of how you drew up?
COACH KINGSBURY: Yeah, exactly. Just threw it out there and let him cut back five times and let him go. He can do that any time he touches the ball, and that's what we try to do is find ways to get him the ball in space.
Q. Do you see him playing on Sundays?
COACH KINGSBURY: I think he'll get an opportunity. There have been some guys before him of similar stature. So I think he's that dynamic; if he continues to work at his craft that he'll definitely have an opportunity.
Q. This week you go up against a West Virginia team that obviously standings struggled, but on the field has been pretty good. What do you attribute that to?
COACH KINGSBURY: They've played very good teams in this stretch. I think the same losses we have are the ones they have against highly-ranked teams. They're a good football team. Very good defensively, seniorladen group there at linebackers. Then offensively I think Dana's doing a good job of adjusting to his personnel, running the ball more. They have a great running back, a quarterback that can run around. It's a very good football team. They just ran up against very good competition as well.
Q. Do you think part of (indiscernible)?
COACH KINGSBURY: Yeah, he's a game-changer. There is no doubt. They're still very good defensively, but he's a guy you really can't replace because of his talent and he'll be playing on Sundays.
Q. You guys have the second and third highest scoring totals, but you're still losing in games this year. Do you feel like it's the way the defense is playing? I know the turnovers have played a role, but do you feel like you have to coach almost 60 points a game?
COACH KINGSBURY: No, really more than anything I think it's how the league is set up. You look over the history of the last three, four, five years all those elite teams have had those games where you shootout and just get outscored. The offense is very good in how it's set up. So I don't think there is a certain number. I always look at it from the offensive side, should have scored here, should have scored there. The defense on Saturday in the third quarter gave us, I think, three times in a row the ball back to go up 17 and we didn't go do it. So I look at that more than anything else.
Q. The touchdown you guys got, you wanted tp go for 2, but you kind of take the timeout. It looked like you had some numbers coming on. Can you go through that sequence and format?
COACH KINGSBURY: Yeah, there are two schools of thought on it. We thought about kicking it. The amount of time was right on that fringe where you're chasing it or not chasing it, and decided not to. Ended up going for it and getting it.
COACH KINGSBURY: Yeah, yeah, we had kind of changed our mind and decided the way things were going that was our best bet. Q. Was there any thought about an on-side kick after that?
COACH KINGSBURY: No, not with that much time left. We felt like we could get it back in plenty of time, and as fast as we can go, and we don't need much.
Q. West Virginia's third in the conference in rushing offense. What makes them so prolific on the ground?
COACH KINGSBURY: A great back, very physical offensive line. They've really taken the approach that they're going to run it. They've forced some runs in there. They run the ball on 3rd and 7, 3rd and 8. You can tell that's the mentality this year. It's a physical team that's going to run the ball no matter how many guys you have in the box. They've gotten good at it.
Q. Coach Gibbs said that if he was an offensive coordinator on the other sideline, he'd just line it up and run it against the defense. Is that what you expect from them?
COACH KINGSBURY: I think that's what they've shown this year. We've had struggles against the run. I thought last week our run defense was pretty good. But throughout the year we've definitely struggled in that area.
Q. You guys got off to a quick start last week. Was something changing maybe intangibly that you noticed, or were there things that you took advantage of?
COACH KINGSBURY: No, I think guys just came out and played well from the beginning with the exception of those two games in a row, Kansas and Oklahoma, I think we started fast in all of them. So we just got back to what we do, and came out and executed at a high level early on and didn't wait around.
Q. What kind of challenge is it when you have a first quarter like you did, and try to press upon those guys there are still three quarters of the ballgame left to play?
COACH KINGSBURY: Yeah, it shouldn't be hard. I think more than anything, like we talked about earlier is just getting over that hump of now let's finish. But our guys were into it. They were locked in. In the second half thought they had good energy, we just didn't make the plays we needed to make.
Q. Any special preparations this week because of the extra long trip to West Virginia?
COACH KINGSBURY: No, we'll leave a little earlier, but other than that, that's about it.
Q. Aside from the disappointment of losing those games, are these situations going to pay off down the road? Are you glad to see some of the things from your team?
COACH KINGSBURY: I hate to lose, but I think you have a young quarterback that's seeing a lot of different things and been through a lot. Knowing from experience, that's definitely going to pay off down the road.
Q. Why didn't Keland McElrath play last week?
COACH KINGSBURY: He went to see his father who is not doing well.
Q. What's Symmank's status?
COACH KINGSBURY: Obviously a couple times in that game we had miscues on the punt team. But for the most part I think Barnes handled himself well. I think Taylor hopefully will be back this week.
COACH KINGSBURY: Just continually nagged with him, different parts of that kicking leg.
Q. What are your expectations of him this week?
COACH KINGSBURY: We're going to get him out there today to see. He won't practice the first couple of days this week. But we're going to run him and see how he holds up, and if not this week, I would say definitely for Kansas State.
Q. What's your message to your quarterback? It seems like in games he starts to press a little bit as the defense struggles. What is your message to make sure he doesn't do too much here late in games?
COACH KINGSBURY: You stay within yourself. He's a competitor, and he wants to win it. That comes with growing up in that position. He still hasn't started that many games. He'll grow out of that where he's trying to do it all all the time. But I've been proud of the way he's battled. He's fought in every game until the end, and that's all you can ask.