Pullquotes | HC Kliff Kingsbury, TE Jace Amaro & DT Kerry Hyder Discuss the Sooners

Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Spo

Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury along with players Jace Amaro and Kerry Hyder discuss the Oklahoma Sooners.

Just five more games to go. In this week's presser, we get Head Coach Kliff Kingsbury, DT Kerry Hyder and TE Jace Amaro. Before we get to this, I wanted to get a couple of links out of the way.

LINKS

  • The title for this article is "Tech should prove no problem for Sooners".  Not just a little problem, but no problem.
  • This article from the official OU site is titled, "Bring on Texas Tech," touting the fact that Oklahoma has the best pass defense in the country.
  • There are probably going to be a handful of articles about Kingsbury using what other people say (i.e. Kirk Hebstreit picking WVU) to motivate that team, and I've included some of it here, but I've never really bought into that really motivating players all that much, but maybe it does.  I'm not sure.  I've always thought that the ultimate motivation is that you just want to beat your opponent because this is sports.  Anyway, the LAJ has a bit on that outside motivation. The LAJ also has a notebook of things.
  • CBS Sports Jerry Palm is upset, and rightfully so, that the guys doing the computer programs with the BCS aren't being checked in regards to their formulas and the math.  Pretty amazing that we base a national championship on guys that do math but we don't make sure it's accurate.  The example used here is that Sagarin changes his formula and removes "margin of victory".  He really didn't let anyone know he was going to do this.
  • TE Jace Amaro was named the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week and 24/7 Sports names Davis Webb the freshman of the week.
  • Next week when Oklahoma St. visits Lubbock, the game will kickoff at 6:00 pm.
  • Texas Tech vs. Baylor is one of the most important games the rest of the way out according to USA Today.
  • This is not a football link, but it needs to be mentioned.  Kennedy Kithuka dominated at the Pre-National meet and was named the National Runner of the Week by the USTFCCCA.  Kithuka won by over 30 seconds. That's just unbelievable.

Let's get to it.

They're a ball-hawking defense. Get their hands on a bunch of balls. So they're good against the rush, against the pass. They're just overall very well-coached, very disciplined defense so, it will be a challenge to move it in all phases. -HC Kliff Kingsbury on the OU defense

Kingsbury is asked about Oklahoma in general.

Q. What do you see looking at OU? What are your concerns or focal points on offense and defense?
COACH KINGSBURY: Speaking offensively, their defense schematically has changed a bunch from last year. He does a good job bringing people from everywhere, very athletic, fly around, fundamentally sound. It will be a very, very good challenge for a young quarterback. Their offense with the big quarterback, he's hard to bring down. They have very talented receivers, a running back that can take it the distance anytime. It's a huge challenge. We know that going on the road there. So we'll have to play our best game.

Specifically, Kingsbury is asked about what makes OU so good defensively as a pass defense.

Q. Oklahoma's got a pretty good pass defense; what is the key against that?
COACH KINGSBURY: Yeah, protecting it first and foremost. They're a ball-hawking defense. Get their hands on a bunch of balls. So they're good against the rush, against the pass. They're just overall very well-coached, very disciplined defense so, it will be a challenge to move it in all phases.

There were a lot of questions where the players and coaches were asked about swag and stuff like that. I think that we can now move on and maybe use "confidence" because that's what we're talking about. We're talking about a team that plays with a lot of confidence and at this point, when reporters ask questions and use the word "swag" it just sounds a bit dated. It's the reason I don't use it as a 40 year old dude. Anyway, this question actually uses the word confidence and Kingsbury is asked if that rubs off on the players.

Q. You're a confident guy, and it's clear that you have confidence in your players. Do you think that that really rubs off on them?
COACH KINGSBURY: I hope so. I want them -- since day one, I told them we're going to cut it loose and make sure you're having fun and you're confident when you're out there. As long as you're going a hundred percent if you make a mistake, we'll live with it. It's when you're out there playing hesitant that we'll have to get on you. But I want them to have fun, play loose and enjoy the moment.
if we have the ball in our hands, we're going to go win the game. We're not going to try to depend on somebody else or something to happen. -HC Kliff Kingsbury

I think that Kingsbury was asked about the phrase, "Fortune favors the bold." and there were a couple of responses prior to this response that I didn't think were as interesting, but I liked this one:

Q. Are you surprised that that statement has resonated so much over the last two or three days, not only in Texas but nationally?
COACH KINGSBURY: Yeah, I didn't think it would be that big of a deal. But like I said, if we have the ball in our hands, we're going to go win the game. We're not going to try to depend on somebody else or something to happen. We're going to sit on it and take control of our own destiny. That's what these kids want to do, and as coaches, that's what we want to do.

I thought it was interesting to see hear that someone asked about how Texas played Oklahoma and Texas Tech played Iowa St. that morning at the same time, so unless Kingsbury went out of his way to watch the game, I found the assumption by the reporter that Kingsbury did watch the game somewhat interesting (maybe I shouldn't).

Q. Did you notice anything that Texas did well against OU?
COACH KINGSBURY: Yeah, they ran the ball very well. They won the turnover battle and pretty much everything else. That's one of those games that you can't put too much stock in it because you never know. One team could be 0-8, and the other could be 8-0. It's a toss-up because of the emotions and everything that goes into that game. We don't look too much into that.
We're not changing anything up in practice or changing the way we prepare for any team. That's really helped us out a lot this season. We prepare for every opponent the same exact way. Doesn't matter who we're playing. -TE Jace Amaro on preparing for an opponent

Up next are the players.

Q. Do you guys talk about just the implications that a win in a place like that would mean in terms of the Big 12 race and how important this game would be?
JACE AMARO: Yeah, every game's important. If we lose last week, it wouldn't have mattered anyway. Every game is important. We're just trying to go 1-0 every single week; we're going to take it like we played every game this season. We're not changing anything up in practice or changing the way we prepare for any team. That's really helped us out a lot this season. We prepare for every opponent the same exact way. Doesn't matter who we're playing. It helps our minds stay level and not get too high or too low.

I think Amaro is asked what Kingsbury does to talk about how the media and everyone else doubted this team.

Q. Can you talk about (Inaudible)?
JACE AMARO: Yeah, definitely. He likes to put a lot of bullets and stuff in there. He tells us every day how many times people are doubting us, that we have something to prove every single day in practice and walk throughs and meetings. And it just helps everyone focus a little more than as we should, and it makes us a little more mad and angry that people picked us 10, 9th or 8th in the Big 12, and right now we're sitting at number one, and that's where we want to be and where we plan on staying.

Amaro is also asked about not being on the Mackey Watch List and I think this is the best answer, everything will take care of itself, you can't control what someone or something else does.

Q. Speaking of chip on the shoulder, maybe extra motivation, does it motivate you not being on the Mackey list, and you said at the start of the year that you wanted to win that?
JACE AMARO: Yeah, of course it does. I know what kind of player I am, and I'm not sure why I'm not on it. But I know that these guys in this building and the media and everyone else has a plan for me. I'm just going to keep on playing the way I've been playing all season long, and I'm not really going to worry about it because I know in the end it's all going to work out.

Up next is DT Kerry Hyder and is asked about Kingsbury's confidence. You know, I am starting to wonder if people are going to credit Kingsbury's success to his confidence, which I suppose is part of the equation, but the other part of it, the much bigger part, is the fact that he's a really good coach.

Q. Can you talk about how Coach Kingsbury's confidence in himself personally and then his team really carries over and gives you guys the same kind of confidence?
KERRY HYDER: Definitely. He brings, like Jace was saying bringing new energy to the team, the University and the community so far since he's been here. That fire he brings, that confidence, it rubs off on the entire team. You know, we want to -- we are as our leader is. We reflect his attitude and try to portray that on the field.
I'm going to try to tell the guys it's going to be a tough environment. The crowd's going to be rowdy, but we've got to be the rock. We've got to play good on defense because if the offense can't get going or whatever, the defense has to be there to be that safety net. -DT Kerry Hyder on the environment in Norman

I'm not sure that this is the real question that was asked, but I think the idea of what to expect in Norman is going to be very important for these players.

Q. So you could look at West Virginia and tell players what to expect in Oklahoma? Kind of talk about what you kind of tell the defense?
KERRY HYDER: Yeah, pretty much the same thing. They're going to be quiet when they're on the field and we're on the field. And going to be extremely rowdy for the offense. And go on the road and you've got to play good defense, good special teams and stuff like that. So we're definitely going to try to press them this week. I'm going to try to tell the guys it's going to be a tough environment. The crowd's going to be rowdy, but we've got to be the rock. We've got to play good on defense because if the offense can't get going or whatever, the defense has to be there to be that safety net.

Hyder is asked about OU QB Blake Bell and trying to stop him.

Q. What kind of unique challenge does Bell provide as a quarterback because of his height and his bulk?
KERRY HYDER: Definitely have to gang tackle him. He's a big guy and he's not going to go down easy. We've been playing some smaller quarterbacks this past week. I feel like he's going to challenge us in the run game. He'll be able to make some plays with his arm if we're not able to shut down one of them.

The question is about how the Texas Tech defense was able to stop the West Virginia offense late (a handful of their late drives were for for very few yards) and almost no offense.

Q. How much did (Inaudible) play in that part in the fourth quarter? It seemed like you were fresh and able to go out and do what you needed to do?
eded to do? KERRY HYDER: Coach Dennis has a great summer program. We were ready for the fourth quarter. We get better as the game goes on. We keep getting stronger, the team was getting tired that we were playing against. We're still fresh. It also goes to the depth we have. We have guys that can come in and give guys breaks. Make sure we have those fresh legs in the fourth quarter.

ACTION

Again, take some time to listen to the co-coordinators, Matt Wallerstedt and Sonny Cumbie. Just really enjoyable to listen to them.

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