Weekly Press Conference Quotes

Each week Coach Leach and a few of the team captains take time out of their busy schedules to hold a weekly press conference for the media. Come inside to see what Coach Leach, Graham Harrell, and Jarrett Hicks had to say about the heart-pounding 31-27 win over the Texas A&M Aggies.

Head Coach Mike Leach
On practicing game-winning drives:
"(We don't practice that) very much, but we do no-huddle. We no-huddle for two reasons: because it helps our tempo and because we like to no-huddle and it puts pressure on the defense. We do it in the course of practice, because you like to have practice as short as you can, within reason. It allows you to get more plays into a shorter period of time. It serves a lot of functions. Everyone wants more time, but offensively you've got the ability to stop the clock a little easier than you do on defense."

On focus in practice after a win such as last week's:
"I think all wins are good. We have plenty to gripe about, believe me. I think we need to improve at a faster rate. I haven't been entirely happy with how rapidly we have improved as a team. We have some promise at several positions, but we're not a group that has improved as fast as I would like. We did some really good things in the first half. In the second half, we could have played a lot better. The last drive was very dramatic and memorable, but the second half we did not play as well as we might have."

On what to emphasize to improve faster:
"I touched on it earlier in camp. All teams evolve; all teams emerge. I don't know that I have totally got the handle on it. We just need to keep a lot of pressure on everybody: coaches, players, myself. We need to be focused on improving. We need to have great effort and value every rep and respect it accordingly. We need to continue to push in that direction."

On Kyle Field:
"If you go out there in pregame and you have a chance to look, it's captivating to look at as the stands sway. When the game starts, players and coaches don't notice it. It's an incredibly loud place. Without the tradition, the thing that would still be captivating about Kyle Field would be the noise level and how vertical the place is. On one hand it would be a shame to not go to Kyle Field. On the other hand, Kyle Field is as challenging as it gets. That is what makes it Kyle Field. It wouldn't be as near as much fun playing at Jones Stadium. Some of the aggravations such as being on the road would not exist perhaps to quite the extent as at Kyle Field. I would sort of miss Kyle Field, but it's not easy to win there."

On the breakdowns in the second half:
"The biggest thing was a lack of consistency. There were a lot of snaps playing with nine guys instead of 11. Graham (Harrell) played as good as I've ever seen him play most of the first half. In the second half, he'd make a great pass and they'd get a bad read. We were set to have a really great run and someone would miss their block. There were no big things, just a series of little things. Everyone struggles through it. I'm just not satisfied with the fact that we could not get past that within a series or two."

Graham Harrell, QB, So.
On the touchdown pass to Robert Johnson against Texas A&M:
"It was a really nice catch. You have to give Robert (Johnson) credit. They blitzed and pressed Robert. If they press we are going to take a shot at them. We knew that if they continued to press we would hit them eventually. They stayed in press, and I was kind of surprised, but they did blitz and we did a good job picking it up. Shannon (Woods) had a good block. I gave Robert a chance and he made the play. We keep it simple around here. We don't like to complicate things. A lot of hand signals. He was supposed to have a slant on the play, but I was going to give him a fake if they did stay in press."

On Texas Tech's confidence:
"I think every time we go out we play to win. We knew we could move the ball against Texas A&M. We moved the ball consistently in the first half and we came out in the second half flat and we weren't really moving the ball. But if we fall down I don't think we ever think we are out of it."

On Missouri
"Today is the day we look at film so we really haven't seen a lot of them. Obviously they are pretty good at defense. They are No. 2 in the nation. Last week, Texas A&M was really good on defense too. We can't harp on that (the rankings) or worry about. We have to execute things that we can do. We need to execute offensively. If we execute we can run the ball on any kind of defense. That is what we are going to try to do. We know that they are a good team and we are going to have to play well. We are confident in what we can do."

Jarrett Hicks, R, Sr.
On the role of the receiver:
"Playing receiver we always have to have the mentality that we could get the ball on any play. So, we have to be prepared and ready. That fourth down play, just like any other fourth down play, we had to go out there and execute."

On Texas Tech's confidence:
"Anytime we can get a win is definitely a confidence booster. I think there are a lot of things we can take out of this game (against Texas A&M) and learn from and better ourselves from. Hopefully, this game will be more of a teaching tool and motivating factor for us to keep going and keep being more aggressive offensively. It is definitely a confidence booster, but hopefully it is a teaching tool also."

On Quarterback Graham Harrell:
"Graham always amazes me more than anything. We always talk about how young he is, but he has played the last six or seven years counting high school. So, I guess it is to the point that nothing amazes me now. I know he is going to make the pass. I guess it falls on our shoulders to make the play now."

On Missouri:
"The last trip to Missouri was definitely a frustrating one for all of us. It was my first year and we didn't play well on either side of the ball. So, for us older guys it is definitely a motivation factor for us. Prepare this week and be ready to play. Go out everyday this week, today and tomorrow, and the rest of the week and beat them everyday in practice. Not too many guys that witnessed that game are still around, but for me personally, it is motivating factor."

Jake Ratliff, DE, So.
On how to finish a game:
"We really didn't figure out (how to finish a game) this last week. If we would have come out the second half like we did the first half we would have had it figured out. We still need to work on finishing hard and playing the entire game."

On Missouri:
"We watched a little bit (of film) on them earlier. They look good. Their offense is big and they are going to be pretty tough. They are probably the biggest tight ends we have faced all season. But Texas A&M had big tight ends too and they were good too. But Missouri is probably a little bit bigger. Missouri is good. If you are undefeated at this point then you are good. They must be doing something right. I think it will be a good game."

Alex Reyes, P, Sr.
On his season performance:
"I feel like I am having a great season. I could do a few things a little bit better. I have put two balls in the end zone which I don't think is acceptable for me. I am not pushing myself everyday to put the ball in certain places. It is tough dealing with the wind and everything. I think that if I can punt in West Texas I can punt anywhere in the nation. I feel pretty confident in what I am doing."

On Texas Tech's confidence:
"I think our team is coming together really well. I hate taking it down to the last second like we have been doing. We need to finish early. This (last second win) makes us so much stronger, because we know that if we are in the fourth quarter and we are down by that much we have that much confidence in our offense that we can go down there and score."

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