Texas Tech Football Notebook: Kliff Kingsbury Talks West Virginia and Injury Updates

Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury updates on the injuries to Baylen Brown, Taylor Symmank and Paul Banks III, plus Branden Jackson returns home.

Post Practice Availability.

I’m going to quickly type out this out quickly, these aren’t exact quotes, just notes: Talks about the WVU offense, their strong points are running game and the defense and the reason they are running the ball more . . . the defense needs to continue to work hard and improve . . . with a new defensive scheme, it takes time to adapt to personnel . . . WVU has a similar schedule to Texas Tech and they are a good team . . . both teams after the top four teams . . . Devin Lauderdale and Jah’Shawn Johnson don’t face any further suspensions . . . the defense has practiced well, but they keep fighting, the lulls inbetween have to be better . . . Baylen Brown is repping and should be ready for the game . . . Emeka Okafor, he battled and wasn’t afraid of the moment . . . Paul Banks III is out for the year for a neck injury, but will be ready for the spring . . .

Back to Earth. LAJ’s Don Williams writes about how both Texas Tech and West Virginia are both trying to figure out their seasons after losing to the same four opponents:

Texas Tech and West Virginia had high hopes in late September after 3-0 starts to the football season.

A little more than a month later, neither’s among the top four teams in the Big 12 and some resetting goals is in order. The Red Raiders and the Mountaineers, who face each other Saturday, have both had their dreams dashed by the upper crust of the Big 12.

Both teams went 0-4 against No. 2 Baylor, No. 5 TCU, No. 12 Oklahoma State and No. 14 Oklahoma.

Notebook: Jackson Returns Home. LAJ’s Don Williams and Nicholas Talbot write about how Texas Tech DE Branden Jackson is returning home for the game against West Virginia and he’s not at all downplaying the Mountaineers:

“They are a tough team,” he said. “People down here talk about Texas football, but I tell them it is a different breed up north. They are a little bit nastier and built different. We might be slower, but we come out aggressive.

“West Virginia is going to hit you in the mouth.”

Also mentioned are notes on Michael Barden getting the call to run the ball out of the punt formation, plus the aforementioned injury updates on Baylen Brown and Paul Banks III.

It Takes Time. KAMC’s Brian Holland talked to defensive line coach Mike Smith (there’s about 2 minutes of video there at the link), who says that it takes time with the defense, continue to work hard. Says that he wants to see results right now too, and it’s been a handful of plays that have cost the team (which was especially true against Oklahoma State):

“Everyone says there’s been nine different defensive coordinators, but this thing isn’t going to be built overnight,” Smith told Red Raider Nation on Monday night after practice. “Guys tend to get frustrated, and I’m the same way, they want to see [results] right now, and what it comes down to is it just takes time.”

College Football Playoff. Clemson, LSU, Ohio State and Alabama are your initial four playoff teams in the first release of the year. I don’t have much of an opinion on that other than the Big 12 isn’t going to have a team in the mix until the end of the month when Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Baylor and TCU all play each other. I always enjoy Sports On Earth’s Matt Brown and if you want something a bit different, FiveThirtyEight has their own computer model.

Grant Named Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Week. Congrats to IR Jakeem Grant for being named the Big 12 special teams player of the week:

Jakeem Grant, Texas Tech, WR/KR, Sr, Mesquite Texas
Jakeem Grant totaled a career-high 323 all-purpose yards in Texas Tech’s 70-53 loss to No. 12 Oklahoma State. He recorded his program-best fourth-career kickoff return for a touchdown with a career-long and school-record tying 100-yarder and also had a career-long 90-yard TD reception. Grant’s all-purpose yards rank fourth all-time in TTU single-game history. He finished the game with 146 kickoff return yards and 178 yards receiving on a career-high 13 receptions. The performance moved Grant into fifth place with 2,973 career receiving yards and into sixth place with 5,010 all-purpose yards. According to, the senior’s 210 first quarter all-purpose yards are the most in a single quarter in the nation this year.

Game Time for Kansas State:

Grantland Stuff. I’m somewhat obsessed with the everything that’s happened to Grantland, namely that lots of really talented people lost their jobs, but alternatively, there have been some things written about Grantland that I thought I’d share. MGoBlog’s Brian Cook had some really good thoughts and I think I agree with almost all of them. The one thing that I initially thought I was going to link, only because it was getting a lot of play yesterday, was the piece by Clay Travis about what he did to blog and somewhat do his own thing with FOX. On a personal level, I’m not a fan of Travis, which is why I don’t really want to link to his post. A lot of what C. Travis does is lowest common denominator stuff, which is great for him, but I just can’t do that sort of thing and I can’t support it. There are some salient points, the main one being that I don’t live on Twitter and I really don’t tweet all that much. The reason is because I’m spending pretty much every moment writing and if I have to choose between the two, I need to produce content rather than be on Twitter. I think at the end of it, is that Cook’s ending message is really about how you really need to own your own thing and pandering to a certain crowd will certainly gain you more page views, but you have to be happy too.

Travis and I are going to have more on Grantland for our weekly conversation.

Be Patient. Football Scoop’s Doug Samuels’ has some quotes from Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher about how athletic directors have to be patient when it comes to football coaches.

“Our world is such a quick change world, we want ot change, but we don’t have think about what that change causes, and who you’re going to hire and who you’re going to bring in. There’s just so many moving parts to so many things today.”

“When you get good people, be patient.”

I suppose that this also applies to fans and the $64,000 question is one where hindsight can really only answer. I think Texas Tech has good people

Preparing for Success. ESPN’s Max Olson writes about IR Jakeem Grant, who I posted the video yesterday and him not lacking any confidence. HC Kliff Kingsbury said that Grant has been great on and off the field:

Grant has always been this explosive, but something is a little different about his consistency this year as he closes in on his first 1,000-yard season.

“I think this year is by far the most mature he’s been on and off the field,” Kingsbury said. “The way he practices and handles himself in the classroom, he’s just grown up each year we’ve been here.”

Via CFBStats, Grant is currently 4th in the nation in all pupose yards, behind Christian McCaffrey of Stanford, Tyler Ervin of San Jose State and Leondard Fournette of LSU. Grant’s averaging 189.6 all purpose yards per game.

Five Things. DMN’s Michael DuPont has five things you should know about West Virginia:

West Virginia is still likely to utilize the passing game against the Red Raiders, but look for the Mountaineers to use a steady dose of junior Wendell Smallwood. The running back is averaging 113 yards per game and nearly 7 yards each time he touches the ball on the ground. West Virginia’s ground game has averaged 208 yards through seven games – good enough for third-best in the Big 12.

Miscellaneous. Land Grant Gauntlet’s Matt Turney with his weekly ranking of Big 12 quarterbacks . . . from the DMN’s Avi Zaleon is a really nice feature on Irving running back James Miles, III. You may not recognize that name, but James is the son of Boobie Miles from Friday Night Lights fame . . . via College Football Talk QB Patrick Mahomes is on the semifinalist list for the Davey O’Brien Award, which goes to the natino’s best quarterback . . . if you’d like to read a story that might make you tear up, IndyStar’s Greg Doyel writes about a woman suffering from breast cancer just long enough to watch her daughter play goalie in the state championship. The mother passed away 40 hours after watching the match . . .


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