Head coach Matt Wells spoke to the media yesterday and confirmed that Henry Columbi would be starting against West Virginia next Saturday. I’ve done my best attempt to summarize the talking points, but as I mentioned in the basketball post, I went through three press conferences last night and just didn’t have a ton of extra time. Should still get the gist of what Wells talked about.
Head Coach Matt Wells
* Last couple of days, have been self-reflecting and how people look at, normal for a bye week for us. Just a fundamental practice yesterday, look at individuals personnel decisions, and on-field and move into categories of what has done well and what has not done well. Defensive perspective is amount of explosives has not been high. Not letting balls go over the top of our heads. Giving up too many rushing yards.
* Next few days start looking ahead to West Virginia, and then look solely to recruiting.
* Injuries. Donovan Smith and J.J. Sparkman have had shoulder surgeries and are out for the season. Nelson Mbanasor had a bicep repaired, he had our best training camp. KeSean Carter is making progress and Zach Adams is a few more weeks away and making progress, McLane Mannix had a minor setback next week and doing a lot of things on his own and doing a great job and hopefully get him back soon.
* Henry Columbi will start against West Virginia, he’s played well. He was aggressive and jump started the offense, and guys around him responded. Alan has played okay, had not played bad, not the reason we are 1-3, not blaming, but when you are 1-3, Henry is getting the reps with the 1’s and Alan is getting the reps with the 2’s.
* Dalton Rigdon is in concussion protocol, the bye week will help that.
* Alan has the arm talent, he has to go through his progressions, he was quick and soon to get to the back, and need to make sure we go to the right quick game. Just went too quick with some stuff.
* I don’t think it was an injury concern, Bowman is tough and tough-minded and physically tough. When things aren’t going well, don’t want to be wrong, but trying to stay aggressive.
* When I think of dual-threat, I think of Lamar Jackson, a guy that can legitimately run, like Chuckie Keaton, can run and throw legitimately. I think our quarterbacks need to have the ability to escape. Have the ability to move in the pocket, move on the run, and pull down and scramble, and QB run game in, if we want to call that dual-threat, that’s great, but can have a pocket passer who has limited mobility but it limits what you can do.
* The youngster scrimmage, the guys who have played less than 100 snaps, just guys getting some reps. Cam White, the JC safety made some plays, Tahj Brooks, Caleb Rogers, Landon Peterson, those are some of the guys that flashed. Derrick Lewis, and Philip Blidi is going to be a good player and is really soaking up Randolph’s teaching, LB Moore has a bright future.
* We are always evaluating scheme and personnel, I believe in our guys. Guys on Sunday are trying to get better, and players pulling coaches out of meetings. Nobody wants to win more than these players. We didn’t play good against Iowa State and we owned it, but these guys want to get back out there. These guys are grinding and sticking together and fighting for each other. Always looking at scheme and seeing what we are doing well and not doing well and throwing the bad stuff out. Trying to get special teams right.
* Harder not being back on the road, believe in evaluation, we do straight line recruiting and love getting in front of coaches and coordinators. Would rather do press conferences live, because it is more personal. Our staff is great and proven that with the commitments we have, this won’t be a big class, but we want to be in front of players and coaches. We are doing virtual tours. I miss recruiting and really enjoy it.
* When we sat down and went through the line of succession was weird (in July), we have that plan in place, for weight room, trainers, equipment, video, and GA guys. We role played all of that. Will still do normal game prep by Zoom, Keith Patterson would assume head coach duties since he is already on the field. If Yost had to miss a game, David would call plays. We’ve gotten the players comfortable with all of it.
* I’m not on social media much during season other than to promote guys. negative at them is personal, we all understand it is a privilege to work and coach at Texas Tech, I know it comes at me and is part of the territory and hope it wouldn’t go to players. We need to go out and win and the tide will turn. Nobody working harder than these guys in the locker room and we respect the fans being disappointed.
* Mannix is a back issue.
* Had more committed last year at this point, but we also think this will be a smaller class than last year. Guys on this team this year, will not sign 25, so the high school players will be number and will take some JC and rad transfer guys coming up. Will continue to sign those guys.
* I think that you ought to evaluate recruiting classes 3 or 4 years from now, and should be evaluating the 2016 and 2017 class and how many are starters, or contributors or never made it. That’s how you evaluate it. We had a huge weekend in June and had 7 or 8 commitments, but need to evaluate them in 2022 and that the first full recruiting class.