Texas Tech has 98 problems but a lack of confidence is not one of them.
The Red Raiders (7-1, 4-1 in Big 12) suffered their first setback of the season last week against Oklahoma in Norman. But at Monday's weekly press conference all the talk was how the team shook off the loss and are looking forward to Saturday's 6 p.m. kickoff against No. 18 Oklahoma State at Jones AT&T Stadium.
"Well, with this loss, we gave it our all, we had chances to win the game early and late; We just fell short. I mean, they beat us. It was a well-coached team. They played more efficient than us. So losing to them, I mean, hat's off to them. They did great work," Texas Tech defensive end Branden Jackson said. "But the difference between the two staffs is back in the day when we had Coach Tuberville, it was kind of like oh my gosh. We lost, we're panicking. We're in full frantic mode, but now we know what we did wrong and what we have to improve on and just get ready to move forward."
Coach Kliff Kingsbury hung posters with the number 98 in the locker room as reminders Oklahoma State has throttled the Red Raiders by a combined 98 points the past two seasons.
"Yeah, that's close to a hundred. That's what they beat us by the last two years," Kingsbury said. "So I wanted to make sure they knew that. And hopefully they have some pride in themselves when they see that."
Psychological ploys aside, many of the veterans know the challenge ahead of them this week as Oklahoma State has won the past four matchups by an average score of 45-17.
"I think that Oklahoma State is a great team. I just think that they've had our number the last couple of seasons," tight end Jace Amaro said. "But this is a new year, a new season, and we're not playing as last year. I know we lost, and the year before that we lost pretty big too. We have no other mindset. Just we're going to prepare the same way. It's just as another team."
There is no more room for error. If the Red Raiders want to accomplish their goals of winning the Big 12 and going to a BCS bowl, they have to win out.
"You're coming back home to play against a team that's really embarrassed you the last two years, to put it bluntly," Kingsbury said. "I don't think there should be any problem with getting them motivated to play this game, and everything's out in front of them. If you want to win the Big 12, you're going to have to win the rest of the games anyways, and I think they see that."
Webb named the starter
Kliff Kingsbury didn't hesitate to name freshman quarterback Davis Webb as the starter for this week's contest against Oklahoma State when asked by the media Monday.
"Davis will start this week. Yes, he's earned that with his play these last few weeks. So he'll get the nod this week," Kingsbury said Monday.
Webb is 2-1 and has passed for 1,262 yards and seven touchdowns as a starter since taking over for an injured Baker Mayfield. Both Mayfield and redshirt sophomore Michael Brewer have suffered injuries this season but are practicing and available.
"I think he [Webb] really hung in there. He showed a lot of poise [against Oklahoma], he showed a lot of competitiveness and some toughness too, he took a lot of hits, took some big shots and just kept getting back up," Texas Tech assistant coach Sonny Cumbie said. "Really as the game went on I think he was more comfortable being out there, being in control in that environment. I'm really pleased how he grew up on a Saturday from the start of the game to the finish and how he handled himself and handled the team in that environment."
This week's contest against Oklahoma State will be the first Saturday night game of the season and Coach Kliff Kingsbury urged the fans to come dressed for Halloween on Twitter, saying "Let's get weird."
After consecutive road games in tough environments, the players said Monday they are glad to be back home playing in front of the home crowd at Jones AT&T Stadium this week.
"I think it motivates us more than anything. Personally, I think we have the greatest student section in the nation," Tight end Jace Amaro said. "I've been to four other road games and none of them compare to the way that our students act and the way they cheer and stuff like that. Before pregame, it's probably one of the biggest things, OU has a big stadium, but their student section didn't compare to anything like ours did."
Tech drops in the polls after loss
The Red Raiders dropped from No. 10 in the AP poll to No. 15 following the 38-30 loss to Oklahoma on Saturday.
Texas Tech is also No. 15 in both the USA TODAY college poll and the BCS Standings.