Texas Tech Football Notebook: Coaches Discuss West Virginia

On to the Mountaineers.

So many press conferences! We’ve got this one and then I’ll have the basketball press conference to follow up this one. Obviously the situation with Marquis “Muddy” Waters being out for the year is significant, that was the biggest injury news at the end of Wells’ press conference.

Head Coach Matt Wells:

  • Malik Dunlap is day-to-day.
  • TJ Storment needed to sit down and watch for a bit. Didn’t lose his job over that, he lost it at that time, but that’s fine.
  • Got to be able to run the football and play good on defense, especially with a back-up quarterback. Have to play good on defense.
  • Doege and Green have two different skillsets, Neal does a good job of swapping them in and out, still some carryover, Green can run. Neal has done a nice job with both of those guys and doesn’t interrupt the flow of the offense. It does present challenges because they are a bit different.
  • Always learning, sometimes from not having success you learn more. the overall mood has changed, for Sunday, there are guys who are hurt, embarrassed and anxious to get back on the field. You are only as good as your last game. The offense should have scored more points, Sonny believes that.
  • It gives Henry Colombi some confidence playing WVU last year. They’ve had a good defense last year. They are sound fundamentally. All players gain confidence from past performances, Henry is excited about the challenge.
  • Henry is smart and had to learn a new offense and his dad has a very good high school program. Henry has grown in his knowledge of the offense since the spring, he is patient, but he’ll pull it down and run it and will take a sack and throw it away for him being more mature.
  • For Henry he has guys in front of him, Koontz, Rigdon, Price, SaRodorick (reporter mentioned Ezukanma). Success gives you confidence, but you are a byproduct as to how you practice. The young skill guys have been very good practice players.
  • They try to make you run it in and max drop coverage, most offensive coordinators aren’t patient enough to do it. Tyler Shough is a team player and will be there for Henry, Behren, or Donovan. It is an ultra competitive room and they are all friends and great team players.
  • Strength is the line on defense. That is their strength, they’ve got safeties with experience. Hopefully we can protect Henry in obvious passing situations.
  • You don’t change the boat out, but there are things to fix on it. there are things to do in practice and meetings to avoid what happened, a lot of it is asking why and what, just didn’t play good. Have a lot of guys with good expernience, they have to own that performance and have to improve. Guys that didn’t play as well may not play as much.
  • Each player has responsibility, they all get a signal, sometimes a safety or linebacker or d-lineman make an adjustment.
  • Marquis Waters is out for the year, had a pectoral injury and will have surgery tomorrow and will be on the rehab circuit. Don’t have any information, Frye, Rabbit, and depending on what we do with Reggie. Rabbit is not different than anyone else on defense, flashes of good, and flashes of not good defense. Muddy has been a tremendous leader, very unfortunate for him, he has another year if he chooses so and we’d support that. It is unfortunate for our team.

Offensive Coordinator Sonny Cumbie:

  • Henry Colombi played really well and was ready, he’s a veteran and savvy player. He competed in the spring and have a lot of confidence in Henry. Doesn’t get rattled. Pleased with how he played and will have to be smart with the football.
  • Don’t give up anything easy or cheap. Their front is very disruptive, can do a lot on the backend.
  • Try to keep most of the offense the same, still do the quarterback run game. He has sneaky speed. Can make quick decisions and be accurate. Most of the offense will be there. Just need to be smart with the football.
  • Should have scored one more point and didn’t score enough points.
  • Donovan Smith has reps, he runs with the 2’s as does Morton. Donovan is a talented kid. He and Behren are getting reps with the 2’s.
  • The first guy would be Donovan if Henry went out. He earned it in fall camp, Behren has to be more consistent. On a day-to-day basis, that’s where Donovan has separated himself, Behren is still doing a great job and both guys are doing a great job.
  • Have to get the tight ends more involves, have to continue to find them over the top.
  • The throw he made to Miles was an unbelievable throw, the throw to KG was great as well. Henry knows who he is as a player with the timing and accuracy. He has confidence and swagger and belief in himself, I’ve never seen him flinch.
  • Their front, they are so active, interior linemen are slanting, their linebackers have played a lot of football and the secondary has been their forever. Very unpredictable on defense, they are well coached.
  • Any player that gets injured, have to make sure they are still a part of what we’re doing, he’s continuing to prepare. He loves football and being around his teammates.
  • Started practice fast today, the guys rallied and there’s 8 games left and we lost to a team that’s pretty good, we never played good early on to give our guys momentum, it is all in the response.

Defensive Coordinator Keith Patterson:

  • It was unexplainable. Our kids are very disappointed. Had trouble communicating, can’t explain it, so many missed alignments. So many critical issues, leave a guy uncovered on 3rd and 4 and busted assignments, I’m 100% accountable for everything that you see. There’s no one more disappointed than me. They had a good week of practice. I don’t even think they can tell you what went wrong, have to hold our guys accountable from a communication standpoint. It raised it’s ugly head in game 4.
  • Have to continue to believe that the scheme works when we do it correctly. Have to be a more mature and consistent defense.
  • Have to use a next man up mentality. Feel horrible for Muddy because he’s such a good presence, but we’ll make some adjustments and move on.
  • Combination of moves, not real sure yet until I evaluate practice on Tuesday or Wednesday, those roles will be defined on those days and let them know on Thursday.
  • Has a lot to do with the opponent personnel, it is a chess match all of the time.
  • I think Doege has a good understanding of the system, obviously #6 has great speed and zone read. He’s still a quarterback and have to honor him as a thrower. They have good receivers, really like what they have and the challenge that they present.
  • Buddy Brown has great hands, is dependable a workhorse, and rotate him at running back and doesn’t come off the field, is a north-south runner, tough and durable.
  • Just get back to doing what we do. So disappointing, just didn’t give ourselves a chance, that was the frustrating part. We’ll get it fixed and corrected.
  • The guys who put in all the work feel horrible, we all do, but can’t keep dwelling on it, to move forward have to let certain things go. Can’t let it beat you twice.
  • Just have to finish plays, saw more one-on-one guys tackling, the speed and athleticism is different and have to create population to the ball-carrier. Once it snowballs, it snowballs.
  • A lot of times just getting out-flanked with our initial alignment. It was frustrating. Can only put so many on the line of scrimmage before breaking your coverage. If you go to a 4-man front, have to recruit, we haven’t been out evaluating since 2019, we’re not a 4-man front team, that is what we were before I got here, I look at the big picture, from game 1 to 13, the way we try to build it, we committed to it. If we execute

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