Photo By Steven Chapman

Texas Tech Week 3 Practice Report

A compilation of notes and quotes after Monday's media luncheon press conference and post practice availability with select players.

Offense Against Arizona State

  • Note: Patrick Mahomes was named the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week but he said that while the award is nice it doesn’t mean as much when it follows a loss. 
  • Kingsbury on his general thoughts after watching the Arizona St. film: “Missed opportunities, both sides of the ball, went back and forth for a while and we had a chance on offense to score more points and defense had a chance to get 'em down and get some stops and create some stuff, and we didn't make the plays we needed to. A lot of that has to do with them and their execution”
  • Kingsbury on the offensive line against Arizona St: “ I thought we were better. We were more physical. We still weren't able to run the ball on a couple of times, we had very light boxes, and you would like to hand it off and get some yards and we weren't. It's still a work in progress, but I thought protection wise they held up against a defensive line fairly well.” 
  • Mahomes on Cameron Batson’s performance: “We talked about it all offseason. He came in and took that spot and took the ownership of playing in behind Jakeem who was a big producer the year before and you can see it on the field he's going out there playing confident and making big plays happen and making big catches. It's something that he worked on all off-season and he took his game to the next level and it's showing on the field.”

Defense Against Arizona St

  • Kingsbury on if the defense is broken or had a bad night: “We're disappointed in how we played defensively, but I believe in those guys. I believe in Coach Gibbs. After you watch the film there were times we had positive people in positions and didn't make plays, so we gotta keep growing and keep playing together and go from there. Not anything that's broke. We gotta improve it, no question. But we just gotta get-going the right direction.”
  • Luke Stice on how the defense felt about their gap integrity and fundamentals against Arizona St: “ I feel like for the most part we're fundamentally sound. We will break it down this afternoon. We broke it down this morning with the position coach, but we gotta do better on picking each other up if some guy doesn't do what they need to do. There need to be ten guys flying to the ball, which we are, but we got to continue to improve each week.”
  • Stice on what to say on the sideline when the game gets ‘demoralizing’: “That's a tough deal especially on the road and we gotta do -- we gotta keep fighting and respond. There is no secret formula. There is no magic play Coach Gibbs can call other than going out and competing and that's what we need to do moving forward.”

Texas Tech Defense Tackling

  • Kingsbury on Arizona St getting 5 more yards after initial contact by Tech defense: “No, we gotta get more people to the ball. Some of the backs are big guys and couple times we had safeties or DBs there to make the plays and got overpowered. Need more bodies trying to get those guys down.”
  • Kingsbury said that during Spring and Fall camp that the team implemented 3 times the amount of tackling that they had in previous offseasons. He mentioned that they do not tackle veterans in practice during the season. 
  • Stice on how to work on tackling when you can’t tackle in practice:  “We get individual periods, beginning of practice, each with the linebacker unit and the defensive line secondary. They do things as well and that's when you can work on fundamentals. But as far as practices go, you still put your body in position to make a play and you're still breaking down and trying to fill up the running back, you're just not taking him to the ground and help out your teammates keep the legs under 'em. But at this point in the game it's about critiquing the little things and getting prepared to do whatever you can to be successful on Saturday.”

Moving on to Louisiana Tech

  • Cameron Batson on the morale of the locker room: “Coming back from Arizona St. of course everybody was down. It was pretty tough because it was a tough loss. Those guys at Arizona St did a great job but we know we could have come out on top if we had executed like we should have but other than what we have to rebuild and connect with each other and make sure there is not a lot of bickering and the team is still together.”
  • Kingsbury on what stood out about La Tech against Arkansas: “ I like their young quarterback, athletic, true freshmen went in there and handled himself very well and that was the one thing that jumped out to me was for a young kid how poised he was in that atmosphere” 
  • Mahomes on La Tech: “They're a confident group and those guys are really confident and think they can win a football game. So we have to put our minds in the right place and compete and hopefully we can come out with a win at home.”
  • Stice on La Tech: “We're not going to overlook anybody week-to-week. This is a one-game season and it takes our primary focus. At the end of the day it doesn't matter who we're playing. It's what we do as a unit. We're confident in the game plan that Coach Gibbs instills in us, and we gotta continue to execute and move forward and whoever we are playing be able to compete.”

Offensive Players Perspective 

  • Jonathan Giles on where offense needs improvement: “If I said one thing it would probably be get in better shape. Like I said before at the end of the game you could really tell on film, especially with the receiver group, that we were getting tired and weren’t running our routes like we were supposed to so that’s something we are going to get fixed.” 
  • Note: This comment kind of surprised me considering all the depth they have at the receiver position. When someone asked Kingsbury if the Arizona heat affected their conditioning he straight up said no. 
  • Baylen Brown on the o-line’s run blocking: “It’s on us. When he calls the run we have to excel it because we know that's how it works. If you don’t have a good run then he doesn’t call it again. We got to excel in the run when it’s called and we will get more run calls.” 
  • Brown also mentioned that the younger guys on the offensive line have been adjusting well to the speed of the game and showed improvement there from Week 1 to Week 2. 

Other Stuff

  • Stice was asked what his career goal is after football and if it involved wanting to coach his response was this: “When you are out there and you put so much heart and soul into the game there is definitely that mind-set and I'm a single-mindset guy right now, and it's a goal to get to the championship and continue to compete at a high level week-in and week-out, and we're attempting to do that. I'm not worried about anything else”

My Take: The press conference had more color than I expected today. Despite the defense’s performance against Arizona State, Luke Stice got up there and was confident in the culture that the defense lives by and that they were going to get it fixed. If he is one of the louder voices on that side of the ball then I think that is a bright spot. The offense was very critical of themselves and is working to be more conditioned and correct the small mistakes that hurt them last week. 

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