The power of Staking the Plains has been manifested! There seems to be less hesitation in the media in their questioning of Kingsbury and they were more direct, less feeding of answers. They asked substantive questions and I am taking credit. Also, i found it kind of hilarious that Patrick Mahomes was out there breaking FBS records and was only named Big 12 a Co-Offensive Player of the Week. The other offensive player was Joe Mixon, who was OUTSTANDING for the Sooners (shhh, don’t tell him I said that).
First up, Kingsbury is asked about the crowd on Saturday and some of the chants that were going on, directed mostly at Mayfield (and I include this because us on the staff spent part of the weekend responding to commenters on our Facebook page regarding student conduct).
I would like to stay above that (the foul language in chants directed at a player). Emotions come into play and we love the charged atmosphere, but obviously that’s not what you want to portray for our university, that stadium and our program, so we have to stay above it next time.
I understand the charged atmosphere and I can get behind a little hostility towards a player that left the program in the way he did and how he received the personal foul/taunting penalty, but maybe it’s time we as a fanbase rise up above some of these antics.
Kingsbury and staff sound as frustrated as we the fans are regarding the lack of turnovers. He’s asked what they’re doing and he essentially is saying they’re looking at it from every angle, but that they don’t have an answer right now.
They’re back there right now working on every angle we can. If I had an answer for the struggles, I would let you know. If I could answer why we haven’t gotten any turnovers, I would fix it but they’re working diligently to try to put people in the right places to be successful, and the players have to make plays.
It’s been a rough couple of weeks, and we’ll work hard this week trying to get it fixed.
Another key point that we’ve probably all heard at some point is that perhaps this style of offense is detrimental to the defensive performance. And while I will argue there are differences between the TCU and Tech offenses, I don’t think they’re big enough to make a difference and negate the point Kingsbury is trying to make here.
I mean, I think you look at the team we’re playing this week, right? TCU, runs that offense, and I believe they won a Big XII Championship two years ago and were 11-2 the year after. They play good defense, got a bunch of turnovers, so I don’t think there is any correlation.
Kingsbury is expecting Mahomes to practice even more this week, perhaps even the full week, as he’s been working back from his shoulder injury. In other injury news, Kris Williams missed last week after he sustained some sort of head injury during the week at practice and he’s being evaluated to see when he can return.
Then there were three questions in a row concerning the play of RB/FB Mason Reed, who was phenomenal in his first meaningful playing time I can recall.
Q. Mason Reed played a lot of “F” back for you Saturday night. What do you think about him and what’s led to his emergence?
KLIFF KINGSBURY: His toughness, his physicality, he brings it every day. He’s not afraid to stick his nose in there. He’s got good ball skills. He’s still learning our scheme, learning that position, but I think his teammates respond to the way he plays. He’s always is physical, did a great job with special teams and just earned those reps.
Q. (No microphone.)
KLIFF KINGSBURY: I think we just felt like having a little bigger back last week was going to be important for us. I think some of those third and shorts we were able to hand the ball off. We failed on those early in the season, and kind of learned our lesson that we needed a bigger, more powerful back in those situations, and that was probably the key reason that he got more touches.
Q. So he plays bigger than his listed size?
KLIFF KINGSBURY: Yeah, he’s kind of one of those heavy-headed running backs that leans toward and always seems to fall toward and packs a punch, doesn’t stutter in the hole, just hits it and gets what he can get, and that’s what we needed.
Mahomes is asked about how he feels about his shoulder, and he says it’s feeling the best it has since he injured it, but acknowledges that it isn’t what it was at the beginning of the year.
I felt like the whole game I didn’t have the zip I had at the beginning of the year, but it was definitely the best so far, since I had the injury, and, I mean, it’s something that will just keep betting better the more I rehab, the more I get out there and throw and let it heal.
Mahomes is then asked about his take on the morale in the locker room.
I mean, three losses in a row does hurt, but at the same time you know how football goes. You lose games, you have to respond, you have to bounce back, and it’s something we need to be better at, and I feel like the team is excited about this, getting to go to Ft. Worth and play.
Nelson is asked about what he thinks the defense is doing and if there just isn’t anything else that can be done at this point.
No, I mean, we know what we did wrong. Guys are not relaying on their technique, kinda just freaking out in the moment and not fitting up, you know, the run.
So we definitely — we know what we have to do. It’s just going out there and executing.
And then the million dollar question (actually three) about the mental toughness of this team.
Q. Why do you think that keeps happening? We hear that a lot. In your opinion, you’ve been around here, played so much, why do you think that continues to happen?
JUSTIS NELSON: I think it comes down to mental toughness, being able to handle the adversity, the pressure. You can try and practice that all you want but there is nothing like a game situation. So guys have to be mentally tougher and we have to try and simulate that as best we can out here.
Q. Do you feel like there is a reason that that mental toughness is lacking?
JUSTIS NELSON: I wouldn’t say there’s a specific reason. I think Coach Whitt and them, they’re instilling that in us day in, day out, regardless of what’s going on. They’re still harping on it, still doing what they’re supposed to be doing, and it’s going to pay off. I’m very hopeful, very positive in that regard.
Guys just have to go out there and do it. I mean, there’s no rhyme or reason, there’s no quick solution to it, you just have to go out there and play like you’re capable of playing and execute and practice hard.
Q. Mental toughness, if you’re really physically in the best shape you can be in, makes it easier to be mentally tough. Do you think there’s a problem with fitness?
JUSTIS NELSON: Absolutely not. I’m positive we’re able to run and physically we’re able to run and play with the best of them. I’m very, very confident in that, and the coaching staff and the strength coaches have done a great job with us.
This one is obviously a little abbreviated, but you can check out the entire transcript here if you’d like to see what was discussed in terms of preparation for TCU, especially considering the last two games against the Horn Frogs.