Postgame Report: Texas Tech 59, K-State 44

Texas Tech defeated Kansas State 59-44 Saturday at Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock (Tex.).

Kliff Kingsbury Postgame Presser Transcript

Q. Coach, you said you don't like to run the ball?

COACH KINGSBURY: That's a great question. I think when you got a guy like that totting it -- we probably didn't run it enough, honestly. We had a couple of negative plays trying to throw the ball and a couple of drives that we probably should have just let him keep going. Very excited for him and proud of him on Senior Day to have such a night.

Q. Coach, from an overall standpoint, excited, thrilled, relieved to get to six wins and be bowl eligible?

COACH KINGSBURY: Just as a program, those practices are huge. You hear coaches say that all the time, but they are. We have a bunch of young talent on this team that needs to be developed, and those extra practices, it's incredible to get those guys going and get them ready for the off-season and ready for spring football.

Q. Lauderdale kind of maybe under the radar because of DeAndre's performance, but your leading receiver, had a real bounce-back day, so just talk about him and maybe the week of practice?

COACH KINGSBURY: We put it on him. We said enough is enough. He went through a little tough spell, last week he had some big drops, and we just asked him to man up, and he did. He practiced really well all week, came out and completed hard, blocked better than he has, so it was good to see. We're going to need him to have that type of production if we want to be successful the next game.

Q. Talk about the defense and Nigel, his play out there?

COACH KINGSBURY: Yeah, Nigel has continued to get better. I thought, you know, they had some big receivers there throwing it up and made some nice plays on the ball but he did a good job, and the defense gave us plenty of opportunities, particularly in that second quarter, to really put that thing away, make it 35-7, 42-7, and we just didn't get it done, but I thought they played hard. They played -- that's a good offense who scored a bunch of points, had a bunch of yards against some good teams, and they definitely got it done for us tonight.

Q. What was the defensive game plan against Hubener, considering he had run for 100 yards and (Away from mic.)

COACH KINGSBURY: Yeah. We felt like we were going to do everything we could to take that away, and if he can beat us throwing it, we will let him beat us throwing it, which he made some good throws and he threw it better than I expected him to, honestly, but he's a tough kid, and we knew if he was their leading rusher we probably wouldn't win the game.

Q. The team probably played as physically as they have the entire season. Do you think that's an accurate assessment?

COACH KINGSBURY: I do. I thought last week we played soft, and that team played tougher than us, and that was is disappointing; on film it shows up. We backed down from it, so we challenged them all week. We knew this was a physical team, a tough team a well-coached team, and we would have to play that way in order to win, and I think they answered the call, which was good to see.

Q. Kliff, you spent some time with Tori Henderson, who I think most view as maybe the best running back in modern Texas Tech era. What is similar or different from Washington to Henderson?

COACH KINGSBURY: I think they're both great players obviously. What DeAndre has become, in my opinion, is just a complete back, the way he catches the ball out of the backfield, his understanding of our protections, the way he blocks in that, and then he makes people miss or he runs through people as good as anybody I've been around. It doesn't always have to be there; he creates a lot on his own. You get one like that it makes it he's on the play caller.

Q. Have you ever been around a guy that had a Senior Day like that? Maybe one of the best in school history?

COACH KINGSBURY: I haven't, I haven't, and nobody is more deserving, from when we got here and he was coming after that knee injury to where he is now, how hard he's worked and how he's handled himself in the locker room. Everybody on the team looks up at that guy. As a coaching staff we go to him to talk to the team, we ask him his opinion on things, because he has that sort of trust and that sort of character.

Q. Did you sense this game coming from him? Was that something that you looked at this week and said he could have a big game?

COACH KINGSBURY: I thought we would really throw it more, honestly. I thought they'd done a pretty good job against the run, when you look at TCU. Boykin had a big good game against them, but their running backs didn't, for the most part, and then against Baylor, they really did a good job against the run. I didn't see this coming, but once we got hot, he just kept going.

Q. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think this is the first time we had seen Brown and Okafor in the lineup that they were in, so what do you think about the offensive line and their contribution to it?

COACH KINGSBURY: That was big, that was big, it was great to see Okafor being a senior start, and then Baylen has worked his way back from that injury and has really played better the last couple of weeks. So I think that it definitely showed having that type of size up front helped us tonight.

Q. (No microphone.)

COACH KINGSBURY: I liked Shaud. He was a good kid. He ended up going to Alabama, but he was a heck of a running back, heck of a high school player, so he's in good company, DeAndre is in good company because Shaud played in the National Football League for a while, heck of a running back.

Q. What were you telling the officials on the flag on Jah'Shawn on the targeting?

COACH KINGSBURY: That he used his shoulder but the call was that plus defenseless player, he didn't go for the ball, so they waived off the targeting, but it was still a personal foul for the defenseless call.

Q. Did you agree with the call?

COACH KINGSBURY: I understand they're going to be overprotective; that's the nature of the game right now, and so if you go for that type of hit, and they think you could have made a play on the ball, you're going to get that call.

Q. Talk about Mahomes. Didn't make any mistakes, very good today but didn't have to stand out, didn't have to be every play command the whole time.

COACH KINGSBURY: It was good. He was very accurate. I thought he played an efficient game, had a couple of throws we would like back, we had some things that he wanted back, but for the most part, I thought he stayed within himself and that's something we've been working on, not to always go into that mode, but tough kid. You saw him run a couple -- try to run a couple of people over, very competitive and just -- I'm excited that he gets those practices as well. He's only had, I guess, 13, 14 starts, so he's still a young player so that will be really good for him moving forward.

Q. What do you think about the way you guys played in the second half in general. You had a really strong third quarter, looked like you would put the game away, with what you did there and a couple of slip-ups, there at the end, what did you think about the second half?

COACH KINGSBURY: Started well, gotta finish, special teams-wise we gotta be better there, we've got to have answers to onside kicks, but in the end the other team was coming back, and we found a way to get it done.

Q. (No microphone.)

COACH KINGSBURY: Yeah, he's come a long way. I think last year none of us would have ever expected that he would get on the field but he progressed so much through the summer working hard and had a good fall camp, and now he started a couple of games for us, made some big plays and as a walk-on wide receiver, very proud to see that type of effort and that he's helped us win some games.

Q. (No microphone.)

COACH KINGSBURY: No, we just felt like that was the direction we needed to go this week. He stepped up and made some plays.

Q. (No microphone.)

COACH KINGSBURY: Yeah, get the ball. (Laughter.) Which we didn't coach 'em very well, obviously. I think -- we expected it to go one way, and they kicked it back another, and we have to be prepared for that as coaches and do a better job.

Q. This is the Big 12 Conference. You just got your first win against Bill Snyder, obviously one of the best. Does it mean anything additional to you because of that?

COACH KINGSBURY: No, just -- I have such a tremendous respect for him. I've gotten to know him a little bit through the Big 12 coaches' meetings, and in those meetings, he is still the sharpest guy. Anytime he speaks, everybody sits up and listens. So I have a lot of appreciation for him. When I was a player, as a sophomore, we lost to them, and he wrote me a letter, and it always stayed with me because I was trying to find my way, and I didn't know if I was any good or not, and he was very complimentary and ever since then I've been a huge Bill Snyder fan.

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