Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury, safety Jah’Shawn Johnson and running back Demarcus Felton met with the media yesterday. As far as injuries are concerned, running back Tre King is hopefully going to get going this week. Fullback Connor Killian will not go this week, Kingsbury was pretty definitive about that. Fullback Mason Reed is in the mix to play more this week. Linebacker Dakota Allen is I think questionable at best. Nothing definitive in the press conference notes so I’m guessing about Allen. Let’s get to it.
Kliff Kingsbury on the Texas defense:
Q. What about that defense do you think, that Texas defense, could really pose problems for your offense?
HEAD COACH KLIFF KINGSBURY: Yeah, I mean, all of it. They are a senior-laden group. They have played a lot of football and people have a hard time running the football against them. Will Grier, it took a monster performance and he was on the money last week to do what they did and pull that victory out. It’s a really good group. Great playmakers. Coach Orlando has done a great job. They all fly to the football schematically. He keeps you on your heels doing different things and we’ll have our hands full.
Kingsbury was also asked about linebacker Brayden Stringer and Kingsbury acknowledged that they want to maintain the redshirt on Stringer this year, so he can play one more game, which would give Stringer 2 years to play rather than just one year.
Q. With Dakota’s uncertain status, are y’all facing a decision on Brayden Stringer about — you have wanted to redshirt him, and I think he has one game left to play.
HEAD COACH KLIFF KINGSBURY: Yeah, I think we’re going to do what’s best for Brayden, and if, you know, we’ve got to use that one game this week, then we’ll find a way for him to keep his redshirt and mix in — Christian should be back soon and Pough will have some games to use. We’re going to find a way to do right by Brayden.
Kingsbury was also asked about having to switch quarterbacks halfway through the game and that’s difficult, but that he should have done a better job of calling plays for Jett Duffey:
Q. Going back to the quarterback switch play calling, how different as a play caller is it when you’re calling a play for Bowman versus when you’re calling one for Jett?
HEAD COACH KLIFF KINGSBURY: You have to understand the reps that each guy gets, and Bowman, we try to get everybody a ton of reps at that position, but Bowman is going to get the majority. I just needed to call things to get him into more of a rhythm, and better communication — what do you like, what are we doing, but it was kind of one of those things right before we kicked off, Alan is not going to go.
So I should have found a way to have better plays ready, but it changes simply because you know all week what your starter loves and wants because he’s getting the majority of the reps and you really don’t know to an extent what Jett loves or wants. I mean, we have him circle his plays every week, okay, what do you like but the lines of communication aren’t as much as you have with your starter.
Q. Just on that note, how difficult is it as a play-caller trying to deal with three starting quarterbacks and at half-time not knowing if you’re going to have someone come in?
HEAD COACH KLIFF KINGSBURY: All those guys can operate. Like I said, I’m big on getting in those guys heads throughout the week and picking their brain and trying to get on the same page. You don’t do that. You only have time to really do that with one guy and put your focus on him and when the other guy comes in, you try to find of get it going on the sideline. But that’s the only difficulty is not really knowing to what extent they are comfortable with this play or that day and just trying to get him in a rhythm and trying to call things that they really do like.
And Kingsbury was asked about what Jett Duffey does well:
Q. Sorry if this was already asked. What’s Jett improved the most in so far?
HEAD COACH KLIFF KINGSBURY: Yeah, I think just the operation. You know, I want to get Jett to a point where he’s so comfortable, he’s playing like he played in high school, where he’s free and he’s making plays and running around. At times and he know this is, you know, he’s too robotic in our system, one, two, three, four, five — that’s not his game. Get back to being a feel player. If you’ve got it, you got it and if you don’t, work your magic and I think you’ve seen some of that at times. If we can get him so comfortable with the season to where he’s playing and not thinking so much, that’s when he’s going to take that next step.
Q. What would you consider his greatest strength to be?
HEAD COACH KLIFF KINGSBURY: He’s a dynamic thrower. He can push the ball 75, 80 yards down the field. Very accurate, quick release, doesn’t have to get from a great platform to throw and throw it a long ways. I think he has dynamic arm talent, as well.