Kliff Kingsbury — If Texas Tech Doesn’t Play Well, Oklahoma Game ‘Won’t Be Close’
In Monday's (Oct. 19) press conference, Kliff Kingsbury fielded a lot of questions about the lack of effort by his team (which he took the blame for) after a 30-20 win against Kansas.
On Patrick Mahomes' rough start
After quarterback Patrick Mahomes' "worst start" of the year, Kingsbury was asked if Mahomes was pressing too much.
"I think receivers are struggling to get open, dropping a lot of balls up front," he said.
There were also a lot of problems with the protection; Mahomes was sacked five times.
"When Le'Raven [Clark] went out, protection was spotty," Kingsbury admitted. "[Mahomes] tried to take it on himself, which is what he does. That's what you want him to do."
"Everything kind of fell apart," Kingsbury said. "I was proud that [Mahomes] kept battling. He was banged up pretty good and kept battling, but that's something. It's only the 11th, 12th start. We'll learn from it. And still found a way to win. You've got to applaud him for that."
Looking toward the future
Coach Kingsbury was optimistic that the team's flat play won't repeat itself again this season.
"I think we can learn a lot from last week. Particularly offensively, how we didn't show up, how we didn't play hard, how we didn't play the way we needed to play to get that win," Kingsbury said. "So they will be highly motivated this week going into a great environment at OU and a great team."
Kingsbury noted that a pre-game warm-up session showed cracks.
"I just didn't like the vibe during warm-ups. Didn't like how we started the game. Offensively, never got it going." Kingsbury said. "If we play that way this week, it won't be close."
Learning from the Past
Texas Tech has had a tough time closing out seasons in the recent past. The Red Raiders have not finished above .500 in the last six games of the season since 2010, and have not finished better than 4-2 since 2008.
Coach Kingsbury knows how special it is to only have five games left after a rough win in the beginning of the second half of the season.
"You've got five guaranteed opportunities left. You've got to take each one one at a time, prepare the best you can prepare and play your best." Kingsbury said, "That's why I was so upset last week because we didn't play our best and prepare the way we needed to prepare."