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August 30, 2014

Steve Campbell


COACH STEVE CAMPBELL:  I was very proud of the effort that our guys came in and played with.  I thought, from the first snap all the way through to the very last snap, our guys played tremendously hard, gave great effort, and gave themselves a chance to win against a great football team.
Our hats go off, and all the congratulations goes to Texas Tech.  Coach Kingsbury and his staff, they did a tremendous job, and they've got a great program.
We had some opportunities in the red zone, where we took field goals, three points, and we needed to get seven.  Did that twice.  Ultimately, that was the difference in the ball game.

Q.  Coach, what did you‑‑ Tech lost some key players on defense, has had some stability, though, in the defensive coordinator.  What did you think you could attack tonight, and what seemed to work?  Because you obviously moved the ball fairly well on them.
COACH STEVE CAMPBELL:  Yeah, we know Coach Wallerstedt, I've known Matt since back his days at north Alabama when he worked for Mark Hudspeth at UNA.  So I've known him a lot of years.
He does a tremendous job defensively, always puts together a great game plan and does a terrific job of utilizing his personnel.  We knew they lost that inside linebacker, No.7.  We knew that No.91, the big D‑tackle was gone.
But they had signed a really big kid from community college.  So they've got great defensive talent.
We've got some guys that came in and made some plays.  We've got some outstanding offensive players.  Dezmin Lewis is a great player.  Willie Matthews is a senior and made some great runs.  We've got older guys up front.
Really, they've got a great scheme defensively, and they've got great talent, but we had some guys that made some plays.  So I'm really proud that‑‑ you know, there are a couple of times that‑‑ there's no defense for that throw and catch, the one that Dezmin Lewis made on the sideline when it was thrown about a yard or two out of bounds and he reaches.  I think that was our first scoring drive.
Then Taylor Reed pulls it down and makes a great run on a quarterback draw.  I mean, that was a great individual play.  Willie Matthews scored on a great‑‑ just willed himself into the end zone on a play.
We didn't see any weaknesses or anything.  They've got a great scheme and outstanding talent.  I was just proud of ‑‑ you know, our guys stepped up and made some plays.

Q.  Did something happen to Reed late in the game, or did you have another reason to make the change at quarterback?
COACH STEVE CAMPBELL:  We wanted to give Ryan a shot, and he did a great job.

Q.  Coach, can you talk about how your team never let up, even after being behind.
COACH STEVE CAMPBELL:  That's the thing that I'm most proud of is the effort that our guys gave.  We told our guys, let's don't pay any attention to what the score is.  If we're up by ten or down by ten or whatever.  Let's just go out, and let's play as hard as we possibly can for as long as we possibly can, and let's give a great effort for four quarters.
And our guys did that.  I think what set the stone was on the‑‑ that gave our guys a lot of confidence, defensively, when we were able to get a stop on that first series, I think that gave everybody a jolt of confidence, and then everybody played tremendously hard from there.
But defensively, we came out and got‑‑ I think it was a three and out, and I was very pleased with the way everybody responded.

Q.  What did you think about Davis Webb's touchdown passes and the receptions?
COACH STEVE CAMPBELL:  Davis Webb is a great quarterback.  He's a future NFL player.  And it's a matter of a guy like him, you can hope to slow down because he's very, very hard to contain for four quarters.  But we did a good job of slowing him down there for a while.  We made him take the long haul on every possession except for, I think it was two.
I know they hit one over the middle for a little seam route for 50 or 60, and then they hit another one late, but we made him take the long haul and earn‑‑ it was four, six, eight, ten, ten, four, four.  We made him‑‑ you know, we didn't give him the explosives.
We gave up two explosives‑‑ more than that if you go with the definition of an explosive play, but we gave up two explosive touchdowns, and that was the key for us being able to give ourselves‑‑ to keep it within striking distance.

Q.  And were you surprised by how close your team was able to keep it?
COACH STEVE CAMPBELL:  No.  You always come in wanting to win the football game and thinking and believing that you have every opportunity to win the football game.  So we thought we had a great chance to win the football game.
You don't play that hard if you don't think you've got a chance to win.  Our guys‑‑ I mean, Iknow they felt like they came in here thinking they were going to win that football game.  We had them.  We were within‑‑ well, the game was over, and wasn't it seven points?  Seven‑point game.  What was it at the half, five?  It was a five‑point game at the half.
And we didn't‑‑ I'm very‑‑ I don't know how much more effort we could have gave, but we made some mistakes, and we left some points out there in the red zone.  We hurt ourself a time or two on a third down, on some third downs.
We had some penalties in the kicking game that gave them field position.  We definitely had every opportunity to‑‑ and I want to give them all the credit in the world because they've got a great program, and hats off to Kliff and his staff, all the respect in the world for them.  But we had some opportunities.

Q.  You were up 16‑7 at half‑‑ I mean, you were up 16‑7 in the first half.  You were down 21‑16 at halftime.  What did you go in and tell your team at that point?
COACH STEVE CAMPBELL:  Just keep fighting.  Guys, we're within five points of a team that is nationally ranked, and a team the last time they took the football field beat the Pac‑12 South champions by 13 or 14 in a Bowl game.  So last time this team suited up, they were beating a team that was Pac‑12 South champions, and, guys, you're one play away from being able to have a chance to beat them if we tidy up a couple of things.
Guys came out and played tremendously hard.  Can't say enough about their effort.

Q.  So you talk about things just being so close with your team.  You came in thinking you're going to win, and you played them really close.  What kind of things are you going to tell your team after tonight?  Keep their confidence up because I know coaches aren't fans of moral victories or whatever, but what are you going to tell them to make sure you keep their spirits high?
COACH STEVE CAMPBELL:  I'm more concerned with the effort and the will to win than‑‑ you know, the results, you don't always‑‑ it's the process.  And the process is to go out and play as hard as you possibly can one play, and then when that play's over, go try and do it again on the very next play, and our guys did that.
We're not happy that we lost.  We lost the football game tonight, but the guys played‑‑ they couldn't have‑‑ I don't know if they could have given any more effort.  They played tremendously hard and gave great effort.
That's what you can‑‑ against a great football team, these guys are going to play‑‑ we don't‑‑ we've got a tremendously tough schedule within the Southland Conference.  There's some great football teams in the Southland Conference, some outstanding teams, but the team we played tonight is a great‑‑ that's a great football team.
We were close.  We were close.  Not happy, but I'm pleased with the effort.
Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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