Pullquotes | Texas Tech HC Kliff Kingsbury, TE Jace Amaro and DT Kerry Hyder Gear Up for Baylor

Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Spo

Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury, TE Jace Amaro and DT Kerry Hyder spoke the media on Monday to discuss the upcoming game against the Baylor Bears.

In yesterday' press conference (PDF) we have head coach Kliff Kingsbury, TE Jace Amaro and DT Kerry Hyder.

Let's go ahead and rip off the band-aid for the quarterback question. Kingsbury is asked about QB Michael Brewer and it sounds like it's just not an option, so you might just have to let that dream go (this includes me). There are additional quotes where Kingsbury talks about just not having the reps for Brewer and that at this point of the season, he wants to finish with QB Davis Webb and QB Baker Mayfield at quarterback. It is frustrating, but as I said on Sunday morning, I don't think we're privy to all of the circumstances regarding this and I have no problem with Kingsbury not talking about those circumstances publicly. Kingsbury also sounded so unsure about getting a medical redshirt for Brewer, almost as if it is something that Kingsbury hasn't contemplated.

Q. Have you settled on who is going to start at quarterback?
t quarterback? COACH KINGSBURY: No. That's an interesting position to be in week 11 and still have that going on. We'll get them both reps and see how it goes this week and then trot one of them out there.
Q. Michael Brewer?
COACH KINGSBURY: We'll see. We're going to try to get him some more. He hasn't got a ton, so at times, I didn't know if it would be fair to throw him in there and just let him go. So we'll see how he looks this week and take it from there.
I think they're both playing at an astounding level for being true freshmen, as much as we put on them. So you don't want to discourage them, and they know that. We tell them we're going to do what's best for the team. But I couldn't be more impressed by the way they've played this year. -HC Kliff Kingsbury on the quarterbacks

And I think we also recognize that this the quarterbacks are maybe playing above their heads on some level, so I liked this answer.

Q. As a coach, what is your thought process like when you decide to put in another quarterback, particularly when you're working with a couple freshmen?
COACH KINGSBURY: Yeah, it's tough because I think they're both playing at an astounding level for being true freshmen, as much as we put on them. So you don't want to discourage them, and they know that. We tell them we're going to do what's best for the team. But I couldn't be more impressed by the way they've played this year. We've got a bunch on them, and they've been in adverse situations and conditions and hung in there and made a bunch of big plays. So really encouraged by both of their progress this year.
So it's really hard to find film that you see as useable game film because a lot of the times their back-ups are in and the game is out of hands. They're solid in every phase and playing with a ton of confidence right now. -Kingsbury on Baylor

Kingsbury has some pretty high praise for Baylor.

Q. What are Baylor's weaknesses?
COACH KINGSBURY: That's a good question. Still trying to find them. You turn on the tape and every time it flashes the scoreboard it's always 63-7 or 70-14. So it's really hard to find film that you see as useable game film because a lot of the times their back-ups are in and the game is out of hands. They're solid in every phase and playing with a ton of confidence right now.

Kingsbury maybe talks about what we sorta thought about the defense, which is maybe guys just are getting moved around and that maybe the problem is "personnel". Personnel is maybe a nice way to say that this team needs more players.

Q. What is your plan to try and rectify the difficulties in stopping the rush? Can you talk about that?
COACH KINGSBURY: Yeah, we're looking at all angles. Personnel is one thing we've hit on, and schematically just have to get better. There is no easy answer. We've tried to rectify the last three weeks and haven't had an answer. So we'll try to figure it out this week.
Q. Some of the technique, have they sort of lost or moved away from the fundamentals that they were doing so well?
COACH KINGSBURY: Yeah, it may be. In some instances there were some new guys in there playing. But you've got to give the teams we played credit. They're good teams with good schemes and good players. Especially last week I thought they just moved us around.

And this doesn't look like a real fun exchange?

Q. You guys have fended off people doubting you. When you saw that point spread this morning, is that something you remind the kids about all week?
COACH KINGSBURY: Yeah, I didn't see it.
Q. It was 28
COACH KINGSBURY: 28, yeah, that's probably about right with what they're doing. They've beaten everybody by 70 so far. So that's probably about right. Yeah, we'll see. Like I said earlier, both fan bases get up with this game. They're very familiar with each other, and I expect our kids to play hard.

Up next are Amaro and Hyder. Amaro is asked at the end of the interview if he knows if he's going to the NFL or not and he says that he does know. Again, Amaro has had a terrific year and he's a one-of-a-kind player in terms of what he does physically. If Amaor is going to get drafted high, then he should go because he's going to get a ton of money and he loves Texas Tech.

I just think that offensively we're not giving the defense great positions to start out with. You can't be just going three-and-out on any drive we have in the game. -TE Jace Amaro on the offense

Here's Amaro talking about some of the problems this team has had.

Q. The last couple years you guys have struggled the second half of the season. Do you see why that may be and do you think this team is maybe better equipped to break out something like that?
JACE AMARO: Yeah. I couldn't tell you. I just think that we have some bad luck with injuries. We're missing almost four guys and four starters on defense. We're throwing true freshmen out there that have never played a college game in their life. I know if I was out there I wouldn't be doing much either if I was a true freshman. It's hard. It's hard to translate from high school to being out there and trying to make plays on defense. I just think that offensively we're not giving the defense great positions to start out with. You can't be just going three-and-out on any drive we have in the game. That kind of kills the mood of our whole team. When we get down there, it's hard to come back. I know it's only the second quarter, but when we're down 28-10, it's just tough.

Amaro talks about the pressure on the quarterbacks.

Q. Knowing that there is extra pressure on Baker or Mayfield or whoever plays quarterback, this coming week, is that something you or somebody else on the team might talk to him about?
JACE AMARO: I don't think it's just Baker or Davis. We're out there, playing hard, we're just getting too many penalties. I think just putting too much pressure on it. It's hard when we had such big expectations at the beginning of the season. Then you lose a couple games and it's like, man, everyone's down. We felt like we should have won the game in OU. We felt like we had a good chance of coming back against Oklahoma State. I think it was more of a heartbreaking thing where we kind of just didn't know how to come back to it, and react to it. It's just one thing where we have to make sure we do a better job and making a good point that we're playing hard and we're a great team, and we're doing things well this season. Just keep on playing and don't put so much pressure on ourselves.

Amaro is asked to talk about Baylor and he discusses how the team needs to make sure and try to get some yards on offense and have productive drives.

Q. Going up against a team like Baylor that can score easily and quickly, does that put more pressure on you guys to try to score and try to get the ball?
JACE AMARO: Yeah, I think we need to take every drive as a precious drive. It's not necessarily getting points every single drive, but getting the ball moving and making sure that we have positive yardage on every single drive. I think that's just one thing that we really haven't execute as well. When we go three and out, it's a bad mood swing for the defense. We have put them in bad positions this whole year. They've really bailed us out a lot this season, and the offense hasn't done their job lately. In the past three games we've started so slow, and I feel like when we get behind, we really try to make a comeback and use everything we've got. I think it's just too little too late right there.

Hyder is asked about how to deal with a Baylor offense that is playing so well.

Q. No easy task coming Saturday with some of the other runners that Baylor has. What will you do in practice this week to try to improve on those missed assignments?
KERRY HYDER: Just practice with more urgency and getting to the ball. As a group, we've got to surround the ball carrier especially with the talented runners they have on their side of the ball. So the key this week is to be gang tackling and definitely getting a lot of hats to the ball. If we can do that, hopefully we can slow down this offense.
Guys are popping gaps and trying to do too much. It's hurting when they're popping gaps and able to gash us for a run. If everybody can focus their job and play their technique, everything will come together. We're doing too much right now. We're trying to make things happen that's not happening. So hopefully everybody just needs to do their job and everything will work out for the best. -DT Kerry Hyder talks about the defense

Hyder also addresses what he thinks needs to be changed.

Q. Jace said he felt like there were times that the quarterback and maybe others on offense were trying to do too much and pressing. Do you get that sense that it's the same way for the defensive unit?
KERRY HYDER: Yeah, we're not letting the plays come to us. Guys are popping gaps and trying to do too much. It's hurting when they're popping gaps and able to gash us for a run. If everybody can focus their job and play their technique, everything will come together. We're doing too much right now. We're trying to make things happen that's not happening. So hopefully everybody just needs to do their job and everything will work out for the best.

And Hyder talks about how this team needs to focus to make plays as the difference between the first half of the year and the second half of the year.

Q. That's different from what's going on earlier in the year. Can you figure out what might have changed?
KERRY HYDER: It just goes back to guys just losing focus a little bit. Just trying to help out another guy. We're fighting for our brothers out there and we're trying to help him out a little bit and stuff like that. We end up giving up something. It goes back to focus. If we can really focus what we need to do, play in and play out, things will work for us. You see in the second half we played much better on defense. What is the difference between the second half and the first half? We've got to carry that same focus we had in the second half over to the first half of the game.

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