For the weekly press conference, head coach David Wells, receiver RJ Turner, and safety Evan Rambo met with the media. The link is there if you want to read the player comments. I don’t ever do that, but you be you.
Wells is asked about the struggles on defense at halftime (I think that’s what he is asked):
MATT WELLS: That’s a good question. Because if I knew exactly that answer, we would try and replicate it at halftime.
We have struggled a little bit coming out of halftime. We’re in talks about that. I mean, we’re trying to figure that out. That’s a concern.
Man, we have started out very, very good. We have been dialed in, we have been ready to play. I believe our coaches have had them ready to play and a credit to our players, I believe they got themselves ready to play, whether it is the last 48 hours prior to kick-off, it is their mental, emotional state that morning, you know, whatever leading up to the game. I think that’s been spot on. We have to try to replicate that coming out of halftime.
Wells is asked about SaRodorick Thompson:
MATT WELLS: The biggest thing he does, he gives you a little bit of extra energy and a little bit extra juice I think. I think he fires the whole lineup when he runs through arm tackles. I mean, for him to carry the ball 28 times is a testament to him and his durability.
I’m proud of Sarodorick. I think he played well. He caught the ball well. He protected well. You know, I thought he had a breakout game. Very proud of him.
MATT WELLS: I think his practice habits have been very consistent. And leading into the game, you know, in the meetings, his practice Tuesday and Wednesdays, it just has been Sarodorick is always there and he’s done a nice job. And I think he reaped some of those awards Saturday, and he played pretty well.
Wells was also asked about the decision to just go for the fieold goal in the second OT:
MATT WELLS: I think it was probably the latter. Trying to add to that field goal.
You know, we talked a little bit briefly coming out of the game. That was the decision I was going to try to kick it at that point just because of my other factors.
We had, you know, played on defense, you know, at that point I thought fairly well in terms of decent in the red zone. We had given up a bunch of chunk yards but we had been decent.
You know, right before halftime, in the second quarter we held them to a field goal. They had scored, we had a pick, then they had another touchdown and then the two-minute drive, they drove it all the way down and they got all the way down, a 99-yard drive.
But when we were in the tight red, inside the 10, I thought we really bowed up and caused the field goal — forced a field goal I should say — dang near blocked it to cause overtime.
You know, we had not converted the 4th and 2 earlier, got the pass batted down, had the 4th and 2. We had to go. We got it.
I thought we were at 50/50 on offense as we were on defense. That’s what led into all of that at that point.
Wells is asked about finishing:
Q. Coach, you mentioned you thought the team needs to learn how to finish, but were you happy with what you saw as far as what you just mentioned with the defense, even scoring a touchdown with under 4 minutes to go to take the lead.
MATT WELLS: Yeah. You know, what won’t show up or won’t be real — you know, a question asked, it is, you know, we have a must-win field goal unit with a minute and 40 seconds to go. I have five guys on that unit that have played 90 snaps or will have played when the game is over 90 some snaps. At that point it was 80-some snaps. They ran down like the freaking game depended on it and their life depended — not their life — but they ran down like their hair was on fire.
It was Damarcus Fields, Adrian Frye, Doug Coleman, Jordyn Brooks. Riko, we had two offensive players, T.J. Vasher made the tackle inside of the 15. Riko came across the field to get the assist on the tackle. Zeck McPhearson played 90 some snaps. He was the 10 on that.
You know, unfortunately, Eli gets the sack, we get them to the minus 1 and then, you know, there goes the rest.
Proud, heck yeah, I’m proud. They bowed their neck in the red zone and forced a field goal and you live to play another down and that other down was overtime 1 and overtime 2.
Wells is also asked about penalties and his philosophy:
We do. We do absolutely in terms of being aggressive.
If there’s a penalty call, there is a penalty called. We’re going to be aggressive.
There is smart penalties, there’s, you know, the penalties we’re trying to eliminate in this program. They’re pretty snap post whistle, and then we’re trying to live with penalties within the play. What’s not smart, you know, 1st and 10 holding the run game by an offensive tackle, not very smart. 3rd and 10 against a go daddy like Lockhart, it will happen sometimes, a good player. A defensive holding or a PI down the red zone, it’s going to happen sometimes. Live to play another down.
So what was the other down? The field goal. We almost blocked it. Little bit of a low kick and Eli almost blocked it, and that’s what we would have been talking about.
Wells discusses turnovers and the Baylor game:
MATT WELLS: I told you. I said it in here, didn’t I! Why are you laughing, man! I said they’re going to. Could, and they’ll come in bunches.
Dang it. I think we still left one more out there. I thought we left two out there against Oklahoma State. We’re going to continue to coach it, and strain the ever-living far out of these players in terms of how to protect the ball. We do so much good on good in terms of ball security, as well as our takeaway circuit. Our guys I think have really bought into that, and they can see where that can help this program. And you know, that’s part of the plan to win, is taking care of the ball.
This week, it was zero, right? It was 3-3. You saw what happened in the game. It means it is — you know, game went to overtime. You know, I think if we had created another one or we would have given up one less.
We certainly had two of those that came in bad times, right, red zone, had a pick and a fumble in the red zone. Those two I think balls started on the plus 21. Those cost us.
Just take one of them away. That’s a field goal. Take two — I don’t want to get into that game. You see where taking care of the football is a big part of the plan to win.
And I’ll end with Wells’ comments on Thomas Leggett:
MATT WELLS: Yeah. Thomas Leggett is big time. I love that kid. He’s one of our captains. He’s played very consistent. He’s a consistent special team player. He was out Saturday, and he was into it as much as anybody on the sidelines with his energy and his juice, and I respect that and I’m very thankful for that. He’s a tremendous teammate.
Injuries. RedRaiderSports’ Brandon Soliz summarizes the injury situation, basically no new injuries and McLane Mannix is okay, Thomas Leggett and Des Smith are day-to-day, and Seth Collins will be x-rayed on the collarbone injury. Check the link for a lot more detail.
Penalties. LubbockOnline’s Don Williams details the penalties and some of the game shenanigans going on at McLane Stadium. This was something that I totally missed because, I guess I’m not paying attention, but Baylor was called for a blindside block, but walked it off AGAINST Texas Tech:
Another point of contention arose in the first quarter when a blind-side block infraction committed by a Baylor lineman was marked off against Tech, a swing of 30 yards in field position. Wells protested to officials in the moment, but play proceeded.
The blind-side block took place on a change of possession after Tech linebacker Evan Rambo intercepted Brewer. Referee Brad Van Vark announced the infracton on No. 79 from Tech, though that player, offensive tackle Travis Bruffy, wasn’t on the field. Baylor’s No. 79, offensive tackle Casey Phillips, appeared to throw the illegal block.
Not only that, but in addition to the other issues that have been previously discussed, the in-game entertainment was playing music after the center has addressed the ball and that’s apparently not supposed to happen.
Turnover Link. Yep, that’s right, Keith Patterson doesn’t do the turnover chain, but a turnover link. A literal link in the chain. All pulling together.
In world full of every piece of turnover memorabilia imaginable, Keith Patterson and his unit have a minimalist version of a turnover chain.
Each defensive member has a necklace with a single chain link on the end to remind them that they are all “just one link in the chain.” pic.twitter.com/YfcGDdoU68
— Eric Kelly (@EricKellyTV) October 14, 2019