Photo By Steven Chapman

Choice Cuts from Spring Camp

Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury and selected players preview the upcoming Midland scrimmage and provide player updates to gathered media following practice Thursday.

Kingsbury

  • Midland excitement: "No question. Our veteran players know what a fun atmosphere that is with the tailgating, 10,000 people very excited crowd so it'll be good. They've had good practices building up to this point. Now we'll be moving a little bit faster. Any time you get to game time it speeds up so I'm excited to see how we'll react."
  • What Midland scrimmage means to Tech football: "It's huge. It's exceeded expectations every time we go down there. There's tailgating as far as you can see. A raucous crowd. They're great to our players. We have an incredible steak dinner after the scrimmage. It just means a lot to our program to know all the support that's out there, when they come out there to support those players on a Saturday."
  • Has the team "cleaned up" its game over the last few practices: "The first scrimmage is usually a little rough when it comes to penalties. All those refs in the off season are excited to get out there as well. Hopefully we can play clean, and we can protect the football, although you'd like to see the defense get some take-aways. But offensively we'd just like to protect the football and have a smooth scrimmage."
  • On Gibbs' second year: "I think any time you're back for the second year the terminology is the same, the way he coaches is the same, he's getting more comfortable, our players are getting more comfortable with what we want to do. And there's a lot of young energy. Like I said, last year we had a lot of veterans on that side of the ball, but this year it's a young, excited group that's anxious to play, anxious to get out there and show what they can do, so I think that's a lot of energy we're seeing."
  • Is the Midland scrimmage also important to the new coaches?: "No doubt. There's more anxiety on game day, it's moving faster, they can see the pace we play, how our players react, how coaches react in different high-stress situations so the whole event is incredible. We get to travel, we get off the bus and are mentally preparing, so it's a tremendous deal for us on a lot of different levels."
  • On how vanilla the packages will be in the scrimmage: "Pretty basic. We're about half way through spring practice so we've installed about half of our stuff, so we'll stick to what we've installed and try to really just push the tempo. During a lot of practices we don't push the tempo as much because we want to get good film and get good stuff to teach on from film, but in the scrimmage we'll kind of cut it loose. It'll be fast. The defense will have to catch its breath. It'll be good for us."

Keenon Ward

  • What does a successful day look like for the defense in a scrimmage? "The offense is gonna run as many plays as possible so I think if we can make as many turnovers as we can, just focus on doing the right thing for as many plays as we can than I think that'll be a successful day for us."
  • On the gauntlet drill: "This is a new drill we're doing. It's called the bob drill. We go at it for about 10 to 15 minutes and it brings a lot of excitement and physicality to our team and it's really gonna help us."

Justis Nelson

  • New guys in the secondary who have stood out: "Payton Hendrix. He's stepping up. He's gonna make a lot of plays for us."
  • What will a good day for the defense look like in Midland? "No big plays, first of all. Lots of turnovers. And Pat's a great quarterback so we'll have to force turnovers. Just playing together, and everybody flying to the ball and stopping the run."
  • What is Coach Scott like: "He's a real cool dude. He's very detailed and wants you to do it like it's coached. He's on us all the time. He jokes with us, he laughs with us, but when it's time to be serious, he's serious. He's a real personable guy, so I enjoy playing for him."
  • On Coach Whitt: "I like that he's over on the defensive side, cheering for us. The offense has a lot of guys so it's nice that he's on the defensive sideline rootin' and cheering us on. And he gives us a lot of energy."

Quinton White

  • On Coach Foster: "He harps on ball security a lot. He's been in the NFL and done it, and that's what he harps on. Big brotherhood, everybody stick together, everybody close, and just finish plays."

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