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Texas Tech Monday Press Conference

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Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Kliff Kingsbury

Q: Last year, Arkansas had one of its best running games of its entire season. They are struggling a little bit this year, with their running game, what do you think about that?

KK: Yeah, I'm not sure. Obviously, Toledo, gotta give them a lot of credit. It's a great rushing team still. They have a great running back, one of the best players in the country, their offensive line is one of the most physical in the country, so I expect to see a heavy does of that and I think they'll be just as good as they were last year. We just need to improve and be better.

Q: What do you think about Collins talent?

KK: He's phenomenal. Watching him up close and in person last year. He is one of the better running backs I've seen since I started coaching college football. Has the speed to run away from you, big physical and can make you miss in space, so he's the complete package.

Q: Do you sense a confidence, in your team, this year after two weeks that's maybe different than a year ago?

KK: I'm not sure, last year, the first couple of weeks, we didn't feel very good about ourselves I know that. We didn't play very well. Lots of penalties, lots of turnovers, lots of mental mistakes. Through the first two weeks it's been a cleaner couple of games which helps our confidence.

Q: When you hear media people talk about the SEC, a lot of times its them being a superior conference to the other Power 5's. During your time in the SEC, did you see a talent gap between that conference and the rest of the Power 5's?

KK: I think all those Power 5's are very good. There are great players in every conference. In the SEC some of the pageantry, some of the traditions are pretty special, but I think there are great players in all those conferences.

Q: With the running attack Arkansas had last year was it surprising to see them throw as much as they did last week?

KK: They have a great tight end, they have great receivers, so Toledo must have been doing something they felt they could take advantage of. A lot of the throws were attached to running plays, bubble screens things of that nature. But their quarterback is one of the most underrated players in the country, I think. I think if he played in a system like ours, he'd have gaudy numbers, they just ask him to do different things. But he's a very good player.

Q: When you look at the Arkansas defense, at the end of last year was phenomenal, and this year is putting up big numbers, does that worry you at all?

KK: Anytime you play a defense like they have, I think they are giving up 12 points a game in their last 10 games. In this day and age in college football that's phenomenal. So yes. Across the board they are very physical, they don't make mistakes, you can tell they are well coached, they tackle you in space, so it's going to be a great challenge for out offense.

Q: What's different about Arkansas this year as opposed to last year?

KK: They look like the same very good team to me on tape. So we'll find out.

Q: Pat (Mahomes) in the first two games have found 11 different receivers. How much does that help your passing game?

KK: It's good to get everyone involved. Pat does a good job of going through his reads, going through his progressions, not honing in on one guy. I talked about it in camp, where I felt like we had enough depth to rotate more bodies through and take some plays off  guys. Where last year they would play 60, 70, 80 plays, I think the most those receivers played was 45 last week. That's what we want. We want to keep those guys fresh. We want to rotate more bodies in and that's been a testament to that.

Q: First road test of the season. What has been your message to the guys this week, especially going into an environment like Fayetteville?

KK: Just enjoy the process. It's going to be an incredible atmophere. Any time you get the chance to play in a great venue, historic stadium like that, you gotta enjoy it and we'll be ready to go.

Q: Arkansas' loss proves their are a beatable team. But they are coming into this week extremely angry. Do you have any concerns that loss, helps or hurts your chances?

KK: I never look at it that way. I hope our guys are extremely angry as well. But they are a great team. That loss doesn't change who I thought they were prior to the season. They are a top 20 team. Everybody has a bad day. You got take your hat off to Toledo, they had a year to prepare for that team and Arkansas hadn't seen them on film in 2015 and they came out and played a great game.

Q: You had 7 different players able to get into the endzone. Talk about spreading the wealth out.

KK: That's what we talk about. We talk about playing for each other and everybody getting a piece of the action if we do that. So it was good to see that come to fruition and hopefully that continues on Saturday.

Q: Are you coaching any different in handling success or is it business as usual?

KK: No, it's business as usual. We are a long way from handling success. So we need to continue to get better and I liked the step we took from week 1 to week 2 and we need to continue to see that each week.

Q: Will it be important for you to get out with the lead early so that Arkansas has to pass more than run?

KK: I hope we can start fast. I think the first couple of weeks we did offensively, defensively, probably not as fast. But like I said earlier, I think that quarterback can play for anybody so whether they gotta run it or throw it they'll be in good shape.

Q: Defensively, you'll be facing the biggest offensive line in football. What are you doing to prepare for those guys?

KK: Yeah, just continue to try and get better. We faced them last year and didn't have much success. So, hopefully we've gotten a year bigger, stronger, faster and better because it's going to take that.

Q: Do you mention last year at home?

KK: I don't have to. They know what that was. You don't forget a beating like that. So, there isn't a lot of Ra-Ra's about last year. They know what that was.

Q: Talk about their two Tight End's. They're big, athletic, they can do it all.

KK: They are. They look like basketball players, running down the field. Great blockers. That was jumps out to me. They are great blockers who use their leverage well and they'll both be playing on Sundays.

Q: You've talked about it before, but right now you're tied for 3rd in the country in turnover margin. How has that helped you be successful in what you've been trying to do this season?

KK: That's really everything. That's the difference in winning and losing at this level. There is a lot of parity in college football and if you're at the top of that stat, you're going to have some success, so we're going try to keep that rolling.

Q: Do you have any status updates on Nigel Bethel or inaudiable?

KK: I don't. Same thing. Day to day.

Q: Does it sometimes work against keeping the defense on the field because of how quickly the offense scores?

KK: Yeah, I think at times that's why you have to understand that Big 12 defensive numbers aren't what you'd like it to be, but it all comes down to wins and losses. Because teams are playing that fast. You get a stop, you score in 3 plays and they are right back out there. That's obviously going to effect them. It comes all comes down to how you view games.

Q: Out of your 18 scoring drives that have resulted in touchdowns have been in less than a minute in a half. Do you ever want that to be higher? I know you want to score fast, but for your own defense, does it cross your mind to control the clock a little more?

KK: No. Just get in. Just get in the endzone. Whatever it takes, however long it takes, just as long as we get in the endzone.

Q: Talk about the effeciency in the run game this week?

KK: It was better this past Saturday. The previous Saturday, I think I didn't get enough runs called. I should have forced some more to DeAndre, but we can still get a lot  better in the running game. There were still a lot of plays left on the field and against a much better defensive line this week, we're going to have to get better.

Q: Is Michael Barden your kicker going foward?

KK: It's still really week to week. We think Hatfield can do it as well so we aren't set on one guy. We are going to have them continue to compete.

Q: Do you ever get caught up in the perception between the Big 12 and SEC and where people see them in the power rankings?

KK: I don't. Having been in both. I think there are great players in both and if you played each other it'd probably be 50/50. That's how it usually shakes out. So both conferences are very good and have great players.

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