Photo By Steven Chapman

Texas Tech Week 11 Practice Report

A compilation of notes and quotes after Monday's press conference and post practice availability with head coach Kliff Kingsbury, quarterback Patrick Mahomes, cornerback Justis Nelson, plus receivers Keke Coutee, receiver Cameron Batson (pictured above) and Dylan Cantrell.

Malik Jefferson Wreaking Havoc

  • Kingsbury on what he was able to see on film: “Yeah, I think some of the protection issues. We had some things that we needed to get picked up throughout the game and we didn't. Allowed Jefferson to really wreak havoc the whole game. Looking back, we should have some answers for that.”
  • Kingsbury on what Jefferson:He was kind of spying the quarterback. But we had a guy for him. We just did some things that allowed him to have some free runs at Pat that I think made us a little jittery in the pocket and missed a few throws we probably could have made had we had him accounted for.
  • When asked if anyone in the booth made the sideline aware Kingsbury said, “Yeah, it was addressed. We just consistently didn't get it fixed for whatever reason.” and that it was a “line issue” and they just “didn’t get it done” after addressing it with the o-line.
Offensive Struggles Against UT
  • Kingsbury on Mahomes’ decision making: “ I don't think decision-making. It's been a combination of not practicing that much that month, and defense is daring us to do different things and us being not that effective in doing it. So he's had a lot on him to drop back and try to make a lot of things happen. So I think that's the biggest thing. There are some throws we'd like to have back. But he's got a lot on his shoulders right now with us not being able to run the ball as well as we'd like. So we'll have to keep working at that.”

  • Kingsbury on 108 yards on 35 plays in the 4th quarter: “Yeah, we just can't move very well. I think in the second half we had it inside the 30 three times and got zero points. They did a good job. They dropped everybody out, and we were trying to run the ball and we weren't effective doing that. We tried to pass, and they covered everything up. So they had a good scheme, and we have to be better at running the football when teams are giving us that.” 
  • Mahomes on the most complete game this team has put together: “The most complete game as an offense, I mean, it was really against Oklahoma. We really clicked. But as an offense and defense, I don't know if we completely played well together. Our defense played really well against TCU. Offense didn't really show up. It seemed like all year it's been like that. Off and on the offense and defense. But one game I would -- I mean, LA Tech was a pretty good game, I guess. But I don't know if we really clicked all together.”
  • Batson on the miscommunication: “Some of the receivers did have some miscommunication with us and the quarterback. We definitely have to get some of those things fixed. That’s something you work on everyday in practice, you can’t let those mistakes happen in the game, especially at critical points. He added that there was not miscommunication with the sideline, it was mainly with Pat.” 
Texas Tech Defense Continued Improvement
  • Kingsbury on what Gibbs said about the defense: “Yeah, really just those moments where they gave us the ball back, with a chance to win it. That's all you can ask for in this league is having the ball at the end with a chance to win the game. There were several times there at the end where we had to have a stop. Their backs were against the wall, and they got the ball back and held a very good rushing team when they had to. Lots of plays throughout the game we'd like to have back, obviously. But those were moments that earlier in the season we weren't standing up and making those plays.” 
  • Nelson on if it’s frustrating to see the offense struggle when the defense stands up:” wouldn't say frustrating. Like you said, it is a team sport. We had our mishaps. We had our mistakes throughout the game that cost us in the long run just as well. So it's a combination of both. Offense has to play well, defense has to play well, and when that happens, everybody's happy.”
  • Cantrell: “The defense they have been playing great. They had some huge turnovers, big stops and we have to capitalize on that. We have all the confidence and know we can get it done and we just need to be more sound, communicate better and be more efficient [to ensure both sides of the ball work together].”
  • Batson on Douglass Coleman’s fumble return: “He did a great job. It was either they were going to score or we were going to score. The freshman has really been stepping up as a defensive back and gaining confidence, which is something you want to see in a defensive back because that is very hard position to play.” 
Team Feeling the Pressure to Win?
  • Kingsbury on feeling pressure to be bowl eligible: “Yeah, I think you focus on each week, really and truly. I'm sure players think about it. Coaches think about it. But when you're playing a top- 15 team on the road, you better worry about them first. So that's a big challenge and it's been our main focus.” 
  • Mahomes on whether they think about bowl eligibility: “Definitely we think about it. We want to be here playing for a bowl game. You don't want to go home in December and sit home. I did that my freshman year and never want to do that again. It's something people are going to fight and give whatever they've got to win hopefully three games and get to a bowl game. So people do think about it, but like you said, give it one game at a time, go out there and leave it on the field.” 
  • Nelson on the pressure: “Yeah, I mean, we've got to go. There's no time to sit around and wait for somebody else to make a play or do something. I mean, it's everybody. We have to have that sense of urgency. That's something that Coach talked about all the time. There's no time to rest. I mean, you can rest after the game. You can rest at night. So just urgency, we have to go right now.”
  • I asked Batson on what the key is to getting both sides of the ball to work together, he answered both have to execute at a high level, but when they do that they will be unstoppable. I followed up with do expect to do that against Oklahoma St he said, “You have to. You have three games left. You have to come to practice and everything needs to be crisp and can’t have any errors, any redos, we just have to be a well-oiled machine.”
Prepping for Oklahoma State
  • Kingsbury on Okie St: “It's a team that continues to find a way to win at the end. They've had some really good comebacks. They're offensively tremendous skill players. The young running backs doing a great job. Washington's as good as anybody in the country, and the quarterback's throwing it really well. So defensively they tend to make plays when they have to. But it's a team that throughout this league at the end, they've found a way to win, and that's a credit to them.”

  • Mahomes on if Okie St. will play similar to TCU and UT: “Yeah, probably so. It's worked these last two weeks. I think West Virginia has a similar game plan too. It's something that's worked against us. So we need to find ways to execute against it. I expect to have a pretty good game plan going in this week.” 
  • I asked Coutee if he expects to see the same type of defense they’ve seen the last 2 weeks and he said, “No. What people show on film is not what they do to us in the game. We watch teams on film and then when we get to the game it’s a whole different scheme so it will be a game time thing.” 
  • Cantrell: “We realize that but we have to take it one game at a time. We can’t win two games without winning one first, so we definitely realize we have to win and we feel like we can win all three of these next games, so we just have to face it that way.” 
History and Atmosphere Adding Energy To Preparation
  • Kingsbury on not winning there since 2001: “Yeah, we haven't beaten them in a long time. So I would expect us to be excited to play. It's a ranked team. Probably the last ranked team we'll play this season. On the road, they always have a great environment. The fans are right on top of you. So I think our players understand what it means and how long it's been.”
  • Mahomes on the atmosphere: “ They have a great atmosphere there. They have an awesome stadium. The fans come out there strong and they support them. Like I said, they always have a good football team. Going to someone's place in the Big 12 is never easy. We've got to find a way to get out there and win.”
  • Coutee: “He [Kingsbury] was actually there and playing and he said he was ‘slinging that thing’ that’s what he said and I know Pat will be slinging that thing so hopefully we get the win this weekend.”
  • Batson: “Me personally, I stay fired up for every game, but personally with Oklahoma State that is something different being from Oklahoma. The energy will definitely be crazy, those fans are wild…” He added that he wasn’t offered by Oklahoma State and he wanted an offer from any Oklahoma school being from there but “Texas Tech was the best fit for him,” but he is going to take it out of them.

Injury Updates and Other Stuff

  • D’Vonta Hinton is day-today.
  • TJ Vasher will not play in the remaining three games due to his knee injury.
  • Devin Lauderdale and Gary Moore are still out due to a “coaches decision” and they are still “working through” if they are still on the team or not.
  • Kingsbury on why what he saw from this team in fall camp (when he called it his best team) is not translating to wins and losses: “I think just really and truly, turnover margin. I think we needed to get some more throughout those first nine games, and we haven't. I think we've won one game where we won the turnover margin, and that was Stephen F. Austin. So when you consistently don't win there, it's hard to win in this league.” 

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