Football

Texas Tech Football Scratch Pad | Handling Success

It’s Baylor week.

Head coach Matt Wells met with the media today and the transcript actually cut out quite a bit of the words, but the video contains all of what he said with the media. Wells opened by having a very lengthy and really nice things to say about Matt Rhule and the Baylor program.

Let’s start with Texas Tech, where someone was asked about how the offensive line will roll out with the injury to Jack Anderson who is out for the year.

Q. Would you say Jack will be out the rest of the season. How comfortable are you with (indiscernible) progress and him having a bigger role or Casey?
MATT WELLS: I think Weston and Casey, you know, now is the time for them to step up. They’re going to get a lot more opportunities done. They’re going to get more snaps. It’s a time for Terence to up his game as well. I think that’s something that doesn’t ever get mentioned enough. But it’s similar to Jett’s performance on offense. Jett had a good performance because the guys around him played well. Dawson Deaton needs to up his fame and play well. I thought Dawson played well Saturday. Terence played well.

But the guys around those two guys need to produce and to play well as well, not just those two.

Q. What is it about Terence. He started 39 games. Every one of them had been a tackle. What was it about him that you’ll look at him and say (indiscernible).
MATT WELLS: It wasn’t anything. It had nothing to do with the last 39 games. Nothing. I mean, we moved him to left in training camp, and then he got hurt this summer so we moved Bruffy back. Then he came in, Bruffy’s playing pretty good. Comes back the Arizona game so he goes to right because he’s played both. Then Jack goes down and we need him at right guard because we didn’t think Casey was ready for the entire game at right tackle and we didn’t think Weston was ready for the entire game at right guard.

There’s a lot more fluidity to the offensive line and I think that’s probably a good thing. Play the best five, regardless of position (except for maybe center).

Wells was also asked who will play in place of Riko Jeffers and says that it could be Brayden Stringer, Xavier Benson, and Evan Rambo, who has been injured the last couple of games.

Wells was asked about how his team handles success:

Q. Coach, last week (indiscernible). How do you teach this team to handle success?
MATT WELLS: Well, we’ll see if we handle it well this week. We’ll see how we do it. I think the biggest thing is you’ve got to learn to rinse and repeat. You’ve got to create a sense of urgency. You have to have really good practice habits.

Organizing your lifestyle, all the things you try to teach and try to change this culture here, that goes into it quite a bit.

But it’s the players’ mindset. The likes and the retweets and all that stuff needs to be over now. And the longer it lingers, the softer you get, to be honest with you.

And this may be my favorite thign that Wells said yesterday, where Wells was asked about all of the potential recruits that traveled to Lubbock for the weekend and acknowledged that this was something that the parents are making sure that they’re at the game at 10:00 a.m. and seemed really appreciative of that:

Q. Coach, (indiscernible) big weekend, huge win in front of the big crowd. Overall, what was the reaction?
MATT WELLS: Yeah, it was awesome. The kids that are willing to come to Lubbock, contrary to popular belief, we had a lot of kids here on the sideline. That energizes me in recruiting.

An 11 a.m. kickoff, which means warmups are at 10:00. So everybody can just do the math on how long it takes to drive to Lubbock, but there were a lot of kids driving and a lot of families driving because there were a lot of kids coming off Friday night games, and they weren’t the ones doing the driving. It was moms or dads or a high school coach. So to get here before 10:00, let’s just say they weren’t all west Texas kids.

So that energizes me. I appreciate you noticing. But, yeah, wins like that do help recruiting. I think it shows progress. It’s a step in the right direction. Certainly not there yet by no means. I know that. But recruiting’s gone good. The reception’s been good. And, you know, we got more work to do. We know that.

Wells was asked about the grad transfers and how successful the team has been with utilizing the grad transfers, which Wells and the staff will do this year as well (and probably be able to have a better pick of them with him being here a full year):

Q. Where do you feel like you are now, and what do you feel like heading forward, (indiscernible)?
MATT WELLS: Good question. We’re going to continue to play in that space, continue to play in the grad transfer market. We’re going to have to stay old, I believe, here at Texas Tech. And we’re going to — you know, we’ll keep scholarships for grad transfers.

We’ve been successful with them this year. I believe this logo’s been successful with them in other sports. Notably, basketball. And just in the last place I was at, we had success with grad transfers. It’s part of the world we live in right now. And those guys, if they’re the right character, the right makeup with the right work ethic and they can fill a need, I believe they’re going to add to our character and our culture here, and we’ll look at them, we’ll bring them in, and I think you’ll see us kind of play in that space, if you will, the next — for certain the next year.

And Wells was finally asked about the seniors and how important it is to invest in those seniors and chase the Big 12 Championship each year:

MATT WELLS: No, I think it’s probably me, my philosophy, Texas Tech. I think, you know, the thing that is, I think, a pretty cool story, somebody ought to write it — I’m talking to a bunch of writers — is the limited amount of seniors that we have right now and the play that you’re getting out of those guys right now.

I mean, I’d have to kind of look, but there’s a couple of them out for the year with injuries. But, I mean, we got like eight guys suiting up, maybe seven or eight, playing quite a bit, and they’re playing some really good football right now, and they’re playing some of the best football in their career.

Seniors are special. I’ve always said I think the seniors that we came in on December the 1st, I always said they’re going to get everything we have, everything the coordinators have, Coach Scholz. We’re going to pour everything because I believe they deserve to win, they deserve to have a great season.

We’re building this program. We’re not building this 2019 team. But it’s this year, this season, this team, and the investment that we’re going to put into it for those guys to go out a winner and to, I think, create a championship foundation and a culture here and chase a championship.

We’re going to get in the fight. We’re right in the middle of the fight right now. It’s game 3 of the fight and we’re excited. But those seniors, you can start to see, you know, the clock ticking, if you will. They know they got seven, hopefully eight, maybe nine. We’ll see. We don’t put a limit on it.

All we’re worried about is this week. But, you know, I think you add grad transfers, and they’re coming in for the right reasons and they’re the right guys, then our program will open our arms up, wrap our arms around them, teach them how we do things, but then I think they’ll also add to who we are, not only on the field but in the locker room.

A-J Media’s Don Williams reported that inside receiver Xavier White (via the Wells presser) that his season is over with an upper-body injury. Describing things as upper-body or lower-body injuries reminds me of hockey. As Williams notes, this is still within the 4-game window, so White should be able to redshirt this year.

RedRaiderSports’ Billy Watson recaps what defensive coordinator Keith Patterson thought about the team did this past week and looking forward to Baylor:

“I think it begins with the quarterback (Charlie Brewer),” Patterson said, “then the Mims kid (Denzel Mims) at wide receiver. He’s as talented as anything we’ve seen to this point. Big body, athletic, throwing him a lot of 50/50-balls, let him go up and get it. It’s almost the same-type game plan as what we’ve had the last three weeks. We got a quarterback that can make plays with his feet. We got to keep him contained, which I think we’re getting much better at that. I thought (Jordyn Brooks) did a really, really good job of adding in and even had a couple of opportunities to have 21 tackles and a couple more TFLs in that game on the quarterback alone. They’re like any other offense that you’re going to see every week in this league. They’re explosive, we just got to limit those explosive plays, run and pass.”

Also part of the media session was Nelson Mbanasor and Damarcus Fields.

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