Football

Quote Board: Kingsbury Discusses Oklahoma State

Head coach Kliff Kingsbury spoke to the media yesterday and let’s go. As far as the injury concerns, Jah’Shawn Johnson is a game-time decision as is Da’Leon Ward, while Madison Akamnonu and Travis Bruffy went through drills today, so Kingsbury just said “we’ll see.”

Let’s focus on the questions about Oklahoma State to start, including what Kingsbury thinks about the Oklahoma State offense as well as running back Justice Hill:

Q. Watching the tape on this Oklahoma State offense, what has stuck out to you about them?
KLIFF KINGSBURY: Just how they’ve adapted to their personnel. I think Coach Yurcich, since he’s been there, has been very creative. One of the best offensive minds in the country. The quarterback is a little more off schedule than Mason was last year. He was a great pocket passer. Everything is in rhythm, on time. This guy makes a lot of plays off schedule, can hurt you with his feet. They’ve adapted their offense to that.

They’re still rolling. They execute at a high level, play at a fast tempo. As effective as they’ve ever been.

Q. What is the scouting report on Justice Hill?
KLIFF KINGSBURY: He’s as good as anybody in the country, I think, as far as a total back. Can catch the ball, finish runs, fast. Has gotten better and better as we’ve seen him.

Yeah, he’s going to be as good of a back as we’ll play all year.

The next Oklahoma State question is what’s been Texas Tech’s issue with beating Oklahoma State for the past 9 years.

Q. What is it about playing in Stillwater that’s been a bugaboo for the Texas Tech program since 2001? Is it the environment?
KLIFF KINGSBURY: Yeah, I mean, they’re a very good program. It’s obviously a tough place to play. I think you ask anybody in the conference, those fans are right on top of you, have a great fan base, a great program. Coach Gundy has built a powerhouse. They have great players, recruit at a high level, great facilities. It’s a combination of things.

But that’s the only answer I have. They beat a lot of people there.

One of the things that we noticed after the Houston game was the fact that the defense didn’t force a turnover, which broke a pretty long streak and Kingsbury discussed needing to get that aspect of the defense going:

Q. Obviously creating turnovers was such a big part of the team’s identity last season. One against Ole Miss, none last week. What can you do to get that ball rolling?
KLIFF KINGSBURY: That’s a great question. We’ve harped on it. We need that to happen as we move into conference. Having that many snaps last week, to not turn the ball over, either offense was an impressive feat. We have to find a way to create turnovers, be disruptive on defense.

And Kingsbury is also asked about starting quarterback Taylor Cornelius, who is originally from Bushland:

Q. The Cornelius kid from Oklahoma State, with him being a West Texas guy, how aware of him were y’all in high school? Did he come down here to camp?
KLIFF KINGSBURY: Yeah, I remember looking at him. Very good athlete. Thought he could play multiple positions. He’s done a nice job at quarterback for them. Big, tough, hangs in the pocket, sheds tackles, keeps things alive with his feet. Very impressed by him. Have a ton of respect for him to be there five years and wait his time. That doesn’t happen very often this day and age in college football.

One of the main topics of discussion was quarterback Alan Bowman, who Kingsbury says that he doesn’t think that Bowman would be here without that spring semester:

Q. With the way Alan has developed so far, do you feel like that first semester he was here early, how much did that help him? How much has that allowed him to immerse himself in the game plan?
KLIFF KINGSBURY: Yeah, that’s huge. He wouldn’t have a chance to play at the level he’s played at the last couple weeks without having that semester to learn the offense, go through some growing pains, get around his teammates, prove to the coaching staff what you can do. If you don’t come in the summer, you wouldn’t get those reps.

He took advantage of them. He works really hard at his craft. We got to keep him developing each week.

And it would seem if some of the reporters are maybe trying a bit too hard with this questions because I’m not sure what “take this thing and run with it” really means.

Q. Having played the position and working with so many quarterbacks, now you have Alan Bowman. After these first three games, do you think he has the intangibles to take this thing and run with it?
KLIFF KINGSBURY: I hope so. Only time will tell. The work ethic, the mental toughness, he doesn’t blink if he makes a mistake. I’m traditionally hard on the young quarterbacks. This is how we coach that position in our room. You earn your stripes. He handles it well.

Hopefully that continues. If he’ll put in the work, continue to approach it the right way, he has some natural ability that we can work with.

And Texas Tech will need to be very careful about the special teams part of the game as Oklahoma State had some success against Boise State:

Q. The fact they blocked those couple of punts Saturday, something like that help because of the immediate ‘this just happened last week’?
KLIFF KINGSBURY: No doubt. It’s a wakeup call for those units. Really turned the game in a big way there, those two plays, against Boise State. You can’t have two blocked punts in a game, expect to win on the road against a quality team. No doubt, puts you on high alert to protect that unit.

Q. Dom, part of his game is waiting to let the coverage get down there, does he have to speed up operations this week?
KLIFF KINGSBURY: Yeah, it’s a feel thing. We run a different protection to Boise State. We’ll see. First and foremost, we want to protect the punter, make sure we get it off. We can’t have something disastrous happen in that kicking game.

Kingsbury was asked about Antoine Wesley’s ability to break tackles:

Q. Antoine Wesley, have y’all seen that ability to break tackles? Did you think he had that big-play potential?
KLIFF KINGSBURY: He’s really slippery ran faster than you think. He’s long. His gait doesn’t always appear like he’s moving that fast. He has good acceleration from starting to stop. He’s made a few plays that surprised me. He works really hard at it. I think he is more athletic than he probably appears.

One last thing is that Oklahoma State has been showing this photo of Gary Busey on their new videoboard.

Q. Talking a little bit about the atmosphere going into Oklahoma State, 10-foot-by-50 board. A giant orange picture of Gary Busey. Do you expect that might have any impact on an inexperienced quarterback? Are you personally afraid of Gary Busey?
KLIFF KINGSBURY: I’d like to spend one evening with Gary Busey, that’s about it, just to pick his brain on some life questions.

It looks wild, there’s no doubt. I saw the picture. I don’t think that will affect us. I think it’s a nice touch for them. Whoever picked it, kudos for that crazy picture. The atmosphere is awesome. Fans are right on top of you.

I remember as a player, then coaching at Houston, then obviously here, they do it right. It will be a lot of fun for our players to experience that, those guys that haven’t been there yet.

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