The Red Raiders are suddenly reeling after dropping their second straight game over the weekend, 52-34 to Oklahoma State.
The same symptoms that cost them a win against the Sooners reared its ugly head again against the Cowboys: turnovers on offense and a porous defense that's been gashed by the oppositions run game. Those two areas have crippled the Red Raiders in back-to-back losses. Texas Tech has turned the ball over six times in the last two weeks while allowing an average of 279 rushing yards to Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.
Those two areas dominated the conversation during Kliff Kingsbury's weekly press conference as Texas Tech prepares for a Kansas State team playing its best football of the season. You can read excerpts from Kingsbury's presser or watch in the attached video.
What did you see after you watched film that you felt good about and you didn't feel so good about?
Yeah, once again, after it was there, way too many mental mistakes, but that's a good team. After watching film, they are a good team, and we needed to play a good game to win it. We didn't play our best game, but you've got to give them credit.
What about specifically with Davis?
He probably had three throws you can't make in that game, and he knows that. When you throw it 70 times with a true freshman, you're going to get some of those. I thought once again, he had some adverse situations and stuff in his face and hung in there and he made a lot of plays. He'll learn from it.
Have you noticed any common threads in these last couple games?
Yeah, just got to start faster against good teams like that. Especially in this conference they'll get out and run away from you. I was proud of our effort battling back in that first half, but, you can't get yourself in that type of hole against a team like that.
When you came out flat in the second half is that because they spent so much to catch up in the first half?
I'm not sure. We were rolling in there good, and came back out after halftime and we were flat again. Defense got a big stop, and offensively we were out there and went three and out and had an opportunity to take the lead. Just couldn't keep a steady flow the entire game.
After seeing the game film, do you plan on making any changes to the rush defense?
We'll see. It's a completely different offense we're facing this week with a great running attack, a quarterback that can run, and really good running backs. So we'll have to shore up the run defense somehow.
What do you see as your main issue to the run defense?
You know, I feel like there are some missed tackles. And I was telling the defensive staff they had some calls on that weren't made, missed assignments, people trying to do too much. So we've got to get back to fundamentals and doing your job. Not trying to hit a home run every play.
What is the state of mind of the locker room? Are they sort of down?
Yeah, I don't think we're down. I think you learn from each loss. I've said all along, we haven't played our best game, and I think that's what keep this is group excited. When we do put it together, we can be pretty good. Senior Day coming up helps, because we want to send those guys out on the right foot, and it will be a motivated group come Saturday.
With Coach Snyder and the Wildcats coming in and liking to run the ball, do you issue the challenge on defense that you've seen this on tape now and you have to go out and prove that you can stop it?
Yeah, they know. If you're watching that, they're going to hand it off every time until they stop it, so they're going to know what's coming. We talked about other, K State does a great job with their play action game, so you still have to be disciplined. I expect them to come in and try to enforce their will and run it all day.
What is the toughest part about playing against Bill Snyder?
Just so you know all three phases are going to be well coached and they're not going to give you anything. It's going to be one of those games where you have to make the play and take it, because there won't be any cheap ones.
Is there conversation with you and players and coaches about how, yes, it's a far tougher battle to possibly win the Big 12 title, but you're still in it? How are you framing that?
Yeah, like I said, it helps this week having the Senior Day and last home game. We've talked about playing better at home over the past few years they've had here. So that is a big goal. Just small goals each and every week. We're trying to get better and trying to win that week.
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