Pretty good little presser yesterday. Yesterday, Head coach Kliff Kingsbury started things off with a joke, so that was interesting, and the players that spoke were TE Jace Amaro and DT Kerry Hyder. All of your transcripts and things like that are here.
The other big news from yesterday, other than what was addressed at the presser, is that the game in Morgantown against West Virginia is an 11:00 am kickoff, which will make the third straight game of an 11:00 am kickoff.
Jokes are over.
Kingsbury was asked about the knee injury to QB Baker Mayfield, and how about that question, the reporter wants the answer "in as great of detail as possible". Ha! The reporters are already tired of Kingsbury not giving long enough answers. I love it. Maybe I'm reading too much into that, but that seemed funny to me. Here's Kingsbury on Mayfield.
Q. As a follow-up to that, can you tell us about Baker's knee, and in as great of detail as possible?
COACH KINGSBURY: Yeah, as it appears and what I've heard from the Doc so far is that there is no structural damage, so we've got to get him over here today and see what all he can do on it, but that's about where we're at. It doesn't appear to be a season-ending type injury. So timetable-wise, I'm not sure yet, but that was good news.
Fears averted and I can't tell you how happy I am that there was no structural damage. Just terrific news. I'm not real confident that he'll be "okay" for this week, but it's good to know that he should be back in the mix.
Kingsbury is then asked about Iowa St. coach Paul Rhoads and I think that Kingsbury has a healthy amount of respect for Rhoads, he mentions that in another quote, but Rhoads commented about how calm Texas Tech seems as a team. I've mentioned that this is a tricky balance, being excited to win, but being calm enough to be focused on your job. That's not easy.
Q. Coach, we had Coach Rhoads on our show this morning, and I asked him about watching your game and what he thought. He said that he saw a calmness to your team. When you hear something like that from another coach, does that please you when you know how the game started to kind of where you had to go from and work from?
COACH KINGSBURY: I think it's more just a credit to some of our senior leaders, especially defense. Those guys didn't panic at all. They made their adjustments and really pitched a shutout after we got down 10-0. So that is more a compliment to those guys. They played a bunch of football and knew, hey, this is the first quarter, and we can make this happen.
Kingsbury talked about the defense and how the defense has carried this team.
Q. How comforting is it for you that you guys can be down 10-0, but the defense, like you said, pitched the shutout the rest of the way? How comforting is that that you guys can still do what you want to do, run the ball, and throw the ball and do the things that you want to do knowing that our defense is pretty stout this year?
COACH KINGSBURY: It's very comforting, especially with a younger offense that's still trying to develop and find its rhythm. They've carried us. I've said it all along they've carried us so far. Even in spring, they had the senior leadership that really showed up. So hopefully that will continue, and hopefully our offense will catch up and who knows what will happen.
For some reason the question of student attendance has come up. I know that student attendance is down across the country and it is up here at Texas Tech. Anyway, here's Kingsbury on the students and the attendance.
Q. Could you talk about the student attendance? They say it was like 13,900 and poised to break an a attendance record at home.
COACH KINGSBURY: Yeah, it's been incredible. That student section, I've never seen one like it. So hopefully they'll keep coming. I know our players feel that to have their peers in the stands cheering for them goes a long way for them. It really shows what Texas Tech is all about to have that kind of school spirit.
I don't think that anyone will ever question the effort for Iowa St. when Rhoads is the coach and neither does Kingsbury.
Q. Have you watched tape on Iowa State? What are your concerns about them?
COACH KINGSBURY: Very sound. They don't give up anything, and the effort jumps out at you. You have to match their intensity. They're going to show up ready to go, and they're not going to make mistakes. You have to play a clean ballgame to have a chance against them.
Kingsbury is also asked about the special teams and it's been something that I think we notice how there haven't been any glaring mistakes on special teams. Sure, there have been some missed field goals, but no missed blocks, terrific coverage, etc.
COACH KINGSBURY: Yeah, I've been really happy with the special teams overall. We had some issues on coverage this past week, but just you turn on the tape and it's clean. Guys are going in the right spot, they know what they're doing, and there is good effort special teams wise. Obviously the defense everybody knows they played well. Offensively we haven't scored like we should be able to with all plate makers we have. That's just coming together, getting used to new quarterbacks, new guys up front, and hopefully that continues to progress. But it's exciting that we haven't peeked. We haven't played our best game and our guys know that.
Really enjoyed the quote from Kingsbury on DT Jackson Richards.
Q. Jackson Richards leads the team in turnovers (No microphone)?
COACH KINGSBURY: Just right place, right time. He told us all he does is make plays. So we need to find ways to get him in more. He's an excitable kid. He does everything right the way he works, the way he handles himself in school. The way he practices. He's got a great energy. So you're excited to see him have that type of success.
Up next, we get Amaro and Hyder, with Amaro up first where he is asked about being the guy on third down or the last option to get a completion.
Q. It seems like you're kind of the safety blanket, the go-to guy when things get out of hand a little bit. Do you take pride in that being open for those guys and being there for them when they need you?
JACE AMARO: Definitely. Coach Kingsbury has always had a big part in me in the passing game and running game. Baker has done a great job of getting me the ball. I'm open. I know sometimes it looks forced upon, but some of those plays are designed to go to me, and I was his first read and he felt like I could catch the ball. Regardless of whether there's a couple guys on me, I'm expecting to make the play. If the ball's thrown to me, I'm expecting to catch the ball. So I take a lot of pride in that. They're throwing me the ball no matter what, regardless of the coverage, regardless of the situation.
That's a lot of regardless. Good question here about how Amaro is adjusting his game to the coverage and it's good to see him take what the defense gives him.
Q. A lot of teams are trying to take you away as the focal point of the offense. What have you noticed about how teams cover you differently this year?
JACE AMARO: This past game they kind of tried playing me, not actually letting me go inside or outside. They double teamed me with two safeties, especially two-by-two. They're really trying to take the long ball away from me. That's kind of why I've just been able to catch five-yard balls and seeing what I can do after that. They're really not allowing me to go too deep on them. They're trying to keep everything in front of them. They're throwing a lot of bracket coverage at me. It really opened up Eric last game. Eric and Jakeem, and they did a great job of adjusting to the man-to-man side on the left side. If that's what it takes, I'm just going to -- especially since we're running the ball a little bit better now, that's going to help me with the coverages that they throw at me. Hopefully they'll start falling away from that.
Again on the student attendance (expect a story about this later this week, then you'll know who asked the questions).
Q. The student section is on pace to break (No microphone). What do you think the difference has been compared to the first two years?
JACE AMARO: I just think there's a lot more excitement. You have to tip your hat off to those guys because we were up there in Kansas and maybe Kansas student section had maybe a little less than my high school student section had. It was pretty incredible how many people come out there even before we're warming up. I know it gets us fired up and it really helps us get ready for the game. It psyches the other team out. It's incredible to see how many people are out there every game.
And finally, we get to Hyder and he is impressed with this team's resiliency:
Q. Looking at the tape, what impressed you most about the guys on Saturday?
KERRY HYDER: Just really our resiliency. We gave up a touchdown on the second drive. We were down ten points and we just went to the sideline and nobody was worried. Just the look on everyone's faces, we came right back out and put some good drives together.
Hyder is also asked about getting blown out by Iowa St. a few years ago, and beating them last year.
Q. Along those same lines, last time they were here obviously a tough game after you guys had just beaten them. What do you remember most about that game?
KERRY HYDER: I just remember them getting up on us and us not being able to do anything about it, just kept scoring and we weren't able to stop them on defense. Last year was a big thing for us to beat them, because they had beaten us the past two years, so we were trying to keep the winning going.
And Hyder is asked about how the linebackers and defensive line has upped their game.
Q. The defense has nine sacks and two conference games. 14 sacks overall. Is there an extra energy that you get at each conference game?
KERRY HYDER: You know, you've always got to up your level when you get into Big 12 play. As a defensive line and linebackers, we're competing with each other. We want to see who gets the most sacks at the end of the year. I believe right now the linebackers are leading us. So the D-line, we've got some work to do.
Kingsbury, two of the co-coordinators, Matt Wallerstedt and Sonny Cumbie, and Amaro and Hyder. Again, if you have the chance, make sure and watch the co-coordinators, they're good listens.
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