Good morning. I was on the road for a good part of the day on Saturday and then hanging out doing family things.
Official Site Preview. The official site has their game notes for Saturday's game against UTEP. Much like last year, Texas Tech and head coach Kliff Kingsbury didn't update the two-deep depth chart (PDF page 10) as it is exactly the same as Central Arkansas. We also haven't found out about the status of DT Rika Levi and if we find anything out, it will most likely be today during Kingsbury's press conference (I am assuming that there will be a press conference even though it is a holiday). I'm expecting Kingsbury not to give out a lot of information (as this is pretty standard for him) and if I had to guess, Levi would be out for at least a few games, unfortunately.
Kingsbury's Extension. I've had a few comments and read a few articles (not linked here because they just don't add a lot) that have said that Texas Tech and Kliff Kingsbury's extension was ill-timed because of the close win against Central Arkansas. No one is more disappointed about how Texas Tech played more than Kingsbury, but an extension is only ill-timed if you don't think that Kingsbury is the right coach to lead this team for the next 7 years, not because of a win or a loss or a close win or anything else. I've been writing since Tuberville would be extended for a year, that the reason coaches are extended are for recruiting purposes. Coaches need to be able to sell to recruits that the head coach will be there for the long-haul. It is part of the recruiting game and there's really nothing you or I can do about it other than hope that the athletic director makes the right choice about whether or not to extend a coach. Hocutt has made those choices with Tuberville and Curry.
I'd also add that an extension is about a body of work and not about one game. It seems short-sided to even make the distinction that because a team struggles in one game then a coach should or should not be extended. Granted, it was a terrible first effort, but with an extension, an athletic program is betting on Kingsbury for the long-term. That's still a bet I'm willing to take.
More of the Same. Don Williams writes that the issues from 2013 appeared again on Saturday night, with the penalties and the turnovers:
The team that piled up the second-most penalty yards in the FBS last year lit it up in that category again with a handful of Tech's 15 penalties for 114 yards really fouling things up. The team that posted the third-worst turnover margin in the nation last season started this season with a minus-two in that department. No takeaways from the defense and two interceptions from Davis Webb.
And the team that was nervous every time opponents punted last season muffed a punt. New return man Cameron Batson, twice praised recently by Kingsbury for looking "natural" as he settles under and catches punts, flubbed one of his first chances around his 10-yard line. Luckily, Batson scrambled back on it. Throw in a missed short field goal and, well, Tech's obviously had worse nights on special teams but this one was ho-hum.
Marquez Stepped Up. Also from the LAJ (no byline as of 5:20 am) is that IR Bradley Marquez helped save the day on Saturday with two game-breaking touchdown catches:
"Me with my experience, I've been through ups and downs throughout my career here, so I felt it was my time, and I needed to go out there and do the best I could possibly do," Marquez said. "Didn't start the way I wanted to personally, as well as a team, we didn't. But we've got to learn from it and get better."
Despite his strong play, Marquez said the game was a wake-up call for the team.
"It wasn't pretty, but like I said, we've got to learn from it," he said. "We had a lot of young guys out there maybe getting their first college games in and just getting their feet under them. So I guess it was to be expected a little bit that we may struggle in the beginning, but we're more mature than that as a team.
Marquez Player of the Game. I didn't get a chance to post this on Sunday morning, but here's Bradley Marquez talking about how things need to improve.
The Campaign for Fearless Champions. I also didn't get a chance to post this on Friday as I was on the road. I thought this was a really good video, the emotion from Jaelene Hinkle is pretty amazing.