Pullquotes | HC Kliff Kingsbury, DT Kerry Hyder and WR Eric Ward Discuss SMU and SFA

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

In Texas Tech's weekly press conference head coach Kliff Kingsbury, DT Kerry Hyder and WR Eric Ward discuss the game against SMU as well as the upcoming opponent, the SFA Lumberkacks.

Head coach Kliff Kingsbury, DT Kerry Hyder and WR Eric Ward all spoke at Monday's press conference. The full quotes can be found here (PDF).

There are a few links to get to this morning. First, congrats to Baker Mayfield for being named the offensive Big 12 Player of the Week. The LAJ has a couple of articles, the first being about how the team doesn't want to take SFA lightly (you can read the quotes for that as well) and the WreckEm 24/7 site has stats from the current Texas Tech commits.  VTM best friend, David Ubben at his new digs at FoxSports has his week 1 superlatives as well as week 1 Big 12 power rankings.

Also make sure and check out OL coach Lee Hays and LB Will Smith after yesterday's practice. Hays says that if RG Beau Carpenter is out, he can go with James Polk or Trey Keenon at right tackle (not sure who fills in at guard) and is dependent on what the defense is going to do.

No, however we can score the most points is what we're going to do, and that's what we do. I said, I would have liked to have been able to run it more and get it to those backs, but if it's not working, we're [not] going to bang our heads against the wall. -HC Kliff Kingsbury

Later in the press conference, Kingsbury is asked about trying to run the ball more against SFA as the Lumberjacks gave up over 300 yards rushing against Weber St. and it doesn't sound like Kingsbury has a quota in mind:

Q. This week are you going to try to put more into the game plan running the ball next week?
COACH KINGSBURY: No, however we can score the most points is what we're going to do, and that's what we do. I said, I would have liked to have been able to run it more and get it to those backs, but if it's not working, we're [not] going to bang our heads against the wall.

One of the topics of discussion are the players that were going down due to cramping or injury during a game and here's Kingsbury:

How do you comment on that with your program?
COACH KINGSBURY: We just say don't get caught up in it. We take a lot of pride in our conditioning, and in the fourth quarter when guys are laying on the ground and faking injuries and doing all that, we don't get caught up in it. We just keep playing our game.

And:

Q. What is your take on the perceived or real faking of injuries?
COACH KINGSBURY: I've had a lot of discussions with officials on that. There is nothing they can do. You'll see coaches yelling at the refs, but it does no good. So I've tried to stay away from that.

I would say that Kingsbury definitely had his team's attention as soon as an opposing player went down and he had called the team over and was talking with them, trying to get their attention away from the cramp. I think that Kingsbury really does want them to just focus what is next. I also found this little bit interesting as the officials were confused as to the personnel that Texas Tech was running and thought that Texas Tech was subbing in players:

Q. We noticed early on you had a discussion or two with the officials. They seemed to be slowing the game down and not letting him keep the tempo up. Kind of what did they tell you?
COACH KINGSBURY: We were doing some things personnel-wise where it looked like we were in two backs and then we go into ten personnel, and they were just confused. We weren't subbing, and it appeared to them we were. So they kept holding it, and I had to explain to them we're not subbing personnel, you can't hold the ball. We got it straightened out by the second half.
There is lots of room for improvement. But when big plays were there, he made them. That was exciting to see. -HC Kliff Kingsbury on QB Baker Mayfield

The big topic, of course, is the quarterback situation, where Kingsbury was a bit coy, saying that we'll see QB Baker Mayfield on Saturday, but was non-committal about who would start. I'm fine with that. I liked Kingsbury's comments on what Mayfield could do better:

Q. When you were looking at tape of the quarterbacks, what coaching points did you see that could be better?
COACH KINGSBURY: Yeah, he was reckless with the ball. The ball touched the ground a bunch and had some balls that could have been picked off and he stared things in, and foot work is a constant battle with the young kids. When they get in the game, it kind of reverts back to what they've always done, so the foot work that fits our system. There is lots of room for improvement. But when big plays were there, he made them. That was exciting to see.

Kingsbury was also asked about the defense and he very much liked the energy:

Q. What did you like from the defense?
COACH KINGSBURY: The energy. You'd like to have some more turnovers, but the ball was on the ground a few times and took some bad bounces and we didn't get it. Obviously, lots of sacks, could have had a lot more. But really the energy. They're excited for each other, making plays. It's a good group of seniors that have played a lot, and it was good to see them have success.

Up next are Hyder and Ward. Here's Hyder on the performance of the defense:

Q. How was the defense on Friday?
KERRY HYDER: I felt like we played good. But we still have some things to clean up. It's just week one; I feel like we have a lot of growing to do as a defense.

There wasn't a lot there from Hyder, but Ward had quite a bit more quotes:

Q. It sure looked like there was a lot of enthusiasm on the sideline throughout the game, which seems a marked departure from last year sometimes. Did you guys notice that? Did players notice that?
ERIC WARD: Yeah, I think we have a lot of players that like to play for coach. They're excited about playing football. It's actually having fun and playing loose, where in the past it was just being out there playing for the coach. So I mean, we just have a whole different perspective on going out there and playing in the football games. It's all about having fun, being loose and being excited every play.

And Ward also talked about the team's mentality on a sideline screen and that anything over 4 yards is considered an explosive play:

Q. Can you talk about the slip screen or ball screen you got three or four times in a row? Can you talk about the receivers that were out there like Hines Ward bench pressing the DBs? Can you talk about you guys taking pride in catching the ball and blocking?
ERIC WARD: With those type of plays they tell us all the time it's specifically like for four yards, a four-yard gain. So anything over four yards is considered an explosive play. So that's like a run play that's hitting to the second level. So if you get past four yards on those type of plays, that's a really good plus on the offense, because that's basically a first down every time you touch the ball.
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