Photo By Steven Chapman

Mike Jinks: Protect the Football and We Win

There has been a lot of talk questioning Texas Tech's mental toughness following a second-half collapse against Oklahoma State last week. caught up with associate head coach and running backs coach Mike Jinks after a practice this week who said the Red Raiders will respond to adversity the final three games of the regular season and laid out his formula for Tech's success.

Texas Tech must win one of their next three games to make a bowl game; it’s as simple as that. 

After coming off harsh losses to Oklahoma and most recently Oklahoma State, the Tech coaching staff have honed in on some problematic areas. 

In the weekly press conference head coach Kliff Kingsbury said the Red Raiders (5-4, 2-4 in the Big 12) need mental toughness to be able to finish games and have success for the remainder of the season. 

“You just have to do it [finish games]. Until they learn that, feel that sensation it’s nothing you can coach, you just have to do it,” Kingsbury said. 

It’s up to the leaders of the team to make sure their fellow teammates heads are in the right place, according to running backs coach Mike Jinks. Staying focused, even away from the field is what could change things on Saturday’s. 

“When they are here they are like robots, it’s when they go away from here,” he said. “What’s going on outside this place, what’s the talk, what’s in their head? We need those leaders to step up and make sure we are focused and we aren’t doing things that take away from us off the field to where it affects what’s on it.”

Although he gives the leadership on this team, the seniors, credit because this team has done a “good job of that this year.” Being DeAndre Washington’s position coach, Jinks has really seen the change this senior group has made. 

Photo By Steven Chapman

Washington, who needs just 68 rushing yards Saturday against West Virginia to post his second consecutive 1,000-yard season, told coach Jinks he could care less about the numbers he is putting up.  He just wants to win games, and that mentality is catching fire. 

“We had that talk today. He is tired of talking about it (1000 yards), and he just wants to win. (We talked about) what do we need to do better and make this team successful and for that I will always be grateful because that is rubbing off on the rest of the guys in my room. Not only that it’s trickling down to the rest of the football team. It’s been pretty neat to watch,” Jinks said. 

Jinks added the formula for victory isn’t complicated,“If we don’t turn the ball over, we win, so we have to get that fixed,” he said. 

After turning the ball over just seven times in the first six games, the Red Raiders have given the ball away nine times the past three contests.

Jinks added making routine plays, which is where they struggled against Oklahoma State, and “just being themselves” is what he expects from this offense the remainder of this season. 

This team has responded to adversity better than last year by “tons.” According to Jinks, you will see that in the next three games.  

Inside the Red Raiders Top Stories