On if he thought they didn't take advantage of opportunities to score early against K-State:
"No we had so many opportunities to put numbers on the board. That fumble by me I thought was huge. That missed field goal, we had an opportunity to stretch the chains out. I don't know if it would have changed the game because that's hard to say, but I think it would have definitely kept us in the game because we would have been ahead a lot more going into half time than what it was."
On when he thought the momentum was taken away for good:
"I think once they scored after we scored in that second half, I think we kind of had a drop off there. It's not something you want to see. As a team leader, I kind of put it on myself. But as a leader, as seniors, we need to continue to encourage guys to fight during those games. "
On if Texas Tech can still win the Big 12 title:
"I think anything can happen. We don't count out the main goal. We take it game by game. This is the first one. If we went out and we're in a position where maybe something happens, maybe OU gets beat or Kansas State gets beat a couple times, whatever the case may be, we still have an opportunity at it. Another goal is each game we win we get ranked higher on the Bowl schedule, so that is another goal for us. I think we feel like we have these next four games are winnable, but we've got to take them one at a time and Texas is the next one."
On what he expects to see from the Texas defense:
"I think Texas' defense is very talented. I think they've had some injuries, but they still have the talent there to stop and produce the way they want to produce. So it's going to be a big week for us to execute and then work on winning man-to-man routes and protecting and running the football, like you said, working in the run game. But I think there are times where Texas looks like worldly on defense, and there are times that they're not so good on defense. But I expect them to come in here, get geared up and ready to roll since it's a rivalry game. They'll be excited to play, we'll be excited to play. So I expect their best on Saturday."
On how he expects the team to bounce back after a tough loss:
"It's something we've talked about as a football team. I think there is a little fire burning inside of us after what happened on Saturday because that was such a great opportunity for us. We were so prepared. I think we had a really good week of practice. I don't think anybody saw that coming. It was just a couple of turnovers that at the time kind of put us in a bind. We don't feel like they're that much better than us at all. They just played better, and we turned the ball over. So we feel like we still need to play with the edge, and feel like we need -- every weekend, we need to prove ourselves that we're a top-notch program and a top-notch football team, and that's the way we want to play this Saturday."
On the importance of staying focused and bouncing back after a loss:
"The one thing we try to stress is never too high, never too low. What we want to do is continue to be confident. We're still confident in our abilities and we'll continue to be confident. We had a little rough patch this last game. We'll eventually come out and correct those things and trust in the coaching staff to have us prepared and focused. What we have to do as players is make sure we're excited on the sideline, excited on the field, and excited in practice. It's a long stretch. We still have four more games to go, and that's going to be huge making sure we have that excitement. You start to get fatigued; your body starts to wear down. You don't have as much energy as you have in the beginning of the season. We have to find a way to figure out how to keep that energy and that momentum and enthusiasm up throughout the week and throughout the rest of these games."
On how they will approach playing Texas this season:
"That's huge, man. We felt like last year we weren't very aggressive playing against that team. We're going to come out and be a lot more aggressive. Like I said, enthusiasm has to be there, that's the only way we can win this game is having enthusiasm on the field and off the field. Then at the same time, creating turnovers. I have to really stress that throughout this week's practice. Going out there and making sure we're tugging at the ball, we hit, we wrap up. Making sure we get that ball out every opportunity we get making plays on the ball."
On what the Texas rivalry means to him:
"I'm from Austin. It's huge for me. We haven't beaten them since I've been here. I take this a little personal. So we just have to go out there and continue to play. I'm going to continue to do my job as a senior leader and player on this team to make sure that I'm assignment sound, and I'm keeping us motivated and being inspirational in every way that I can."
On Kansas State loss:
"Last week's game was a disappointment. We can't turn the ball over against a team that doesn't turn the ball over and have a chance to win. First half, we got off to a good start. Again, we turned the ball over, had a chance to possibly go up to a two-score lead. Put the pressure on them and make them throw the ball a little bit more and kind of went the other way on us.
Defensively, we played well. We played hard in the first half. We tackled well. Second half they changed some things around formation-wise, ran the ball up the middle, and ran flags and pass on third down and they converted it. Third-down conversions were big in the second half. Had a couple that just gave them an opportunity to keep possession and moving the ball down the field. So we have a lot of room for improvement. But there was some highlights that I thought that we improved on. Overall it was tough for us to go in and think that we're going to beat that team unless we absolutely played well on both sides for four quarters and not for two. We've got to find some way, somehow to come out and play a second half football game against a good football team. "
On the importance of a rivalry game for the fans:
"Rivalry games are for the fans. It's important when you have rival games that everybody get involved. It's good. The atmosphere at Kansas State had something to do with them winning that game last week, those students. It was loud and we made some mistakes because of the crowd noise and how they were into it. We need that same home-field advantage this weekend and next week in our last two games."
On if Texas Tech will run the ball more versus Texas:
"It depends on what they do. How they lineup, if they lineup against our passing game. We spread things out. If they give us an opportunity to run the ball, we feel like we can run it. We ran it pretty good last week against a team that doesn't give up that much running yards in Kansas State. But we want to be balanced as much as we can. The best thing we do is play fast and throw it and try to score quick and keep the other team on their heels."
On if he's worried about a letdown after losing to K-State:
"No, not really. We're a better team (than we showed). This is the fifth top 25 team that we've played. First time that's ever happened here at Tech. This is a brutal schedule and we are beat to heck on both sides of the line, and not just guys that are out, the guys that are playing. It's been a med-evac unit in that training room. But I'm sure a lot of other people are. It's just been a much harder schedule this year, but we've held our own a lot better, and hopefully we can pick ourselves up each Saturday for the next four weeks and give ourselves a chance. We just can't play like we did in the second half last week and expect to beat a good football team. "
Other news & notes:
Jace Amaro "ran around a little bit and looked pretty good" last night, but hasn't yet been cleared to practice.
Eugene Neboh is fine and will play this week.
Cornelius Douglas is back and ready to play this week.
Tre Porter should play this week.
This is the 5th straight week Texas Tech has played a ranked opponent, a school record.