Kingsbury and staff meet with the media on Monday


On Monday, members of the Texas Tech coaching staff met with the media to discuss the Oklahoma loss and this weekend’s matchup with No. 12 Oklahoma State.

Head coach Kliff Kingbury was asked why he thought quarterback Pat Mahomes has struggled the past two weeks.

"“Last week (vs. Oklahoma) that’s a good defense, more than anything I think.” He said. “I gotta do a better job of getting him going early… but a lot of those drives were thwarted on those interceptions so we couldn’t really get much of a rhythm … any time you turn it over four times, you’re not going to have the day you want.” Link"

The head coach acknowledged that one of the weaknesses that plagued the 2014 offense has begun to rear its head again in Big 12 action, Texas Tech’s inconsistent receiver play.

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Kingsbury said, that Reginald Davis and Jakeem Grant played well but overall, the team needs more out of that position group. He also revealed that prior to this week’s game, Texas Tech will honor the victims of last week’s Oklahoma State homecoming parade tragedy.

Offensive coordinator Eric Morris was next to give his thoughts about Texas Tech’s struggling offense.

When discussing the turnovers his offense gave up, Morris said that the first two interceptions Pat Mahomes threw were the correct read but that Oklahoma made plays each time. He then pointed to Mahomes’ third interception, the fade route intercepted in the endzone just before halftime, as the one that really turned the game.

"“The one ball at the end of the half was a huge play in the game…we had some momentum, it was a great drive, we were moving it…and that one, we gotta throw a better ball, run a better route, and make a better play on the football…” Link"

Morris then spoke about his team’s slow start to the game and how it hurt the team.

"“We started the game as slow as we’ve started a game. Ian (Sadler) dropped that ball on third down which is huge on the first drive. And the second drive, I think we had three penalties on that drive…And the third drive, I think we threw the interception. That’s something we can’t afford to do. You know, we gotta do a better job when the defense gets it to us, of making plays.” Link"

Finally, Morris addressed one of the main reasons his offense has struggled the past two weeks.

"“Some of it is just self-inflicted. The first three drives we just kind of gave it to them… Self-inflicted stuff is what I think; we gotta eliminate that and as tough as it sounds we gotta play pretty perfect to keep everything moving.” Link"

As for defensive coordinator David Gibbs, he was asked right off the bat whether the challenge of his job was more overwhelming than he thought it would be.

"“No.” he said. “It’s about what I thought. Disappointed, not discouraged.” Link"

Then, Gibbs said something that most Texas Tech fans don’t want to hear.

"“There’s no other way out of this. There’s no other way to fix it other than working and grinding and teaching them and doing a better job coaching them, and them doing a better job playing on game day.” Link"

Gibbs went on to explain that the problem with his defense is discipline, not scheme.

"“I’ve never had a problem with run defense in my history. The crazy thing is, we are playing run defenses…[but] you have to gap out, you have to be sound, you’re gonna have to do things, if you are going to improve…I’m trying to build something. It’s going to take time.” Link"

Interestingly, Gibbs commented on the need for more talent on defense.

"He bluntly said, “We’ve played some really good teams… you watch them come out onto the field and you watch us, it’s not the same. So we gotta do a better job recruiting, gotta do a better job coaching and the players gotta do a better job playing.” LInk"

While the lack of defensive talent is obvious and has been for years, it is interesting to hear a defensive coordinator admit during the season that his players aren’t talented enough.

Maybe this is a motivational tool Gibbs is using to snap his players into reality but that doesn’t seem to be his style. It is more likely that he is simply telling the media what everyone already knows and not trying to act like other coaches in Texas Tech’s past and make excuses.

Finally, Gibbs said that he was pleased with the first half turnovers his team forced because at the level where his defense is right now, turnovers are about all they can do to stop other teams.

Texas Tech faces Oklahoma State this Saturday at 2:30 pm CST at Jones Stadium.

Next: Texas Tech and West Virginia to kickoff at 11 am CST