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September 8, 2014

Kliff Kingsbury

Q.  You've got another big running team coming in this week, any plans to do something different?
COACH KINGSBURY:  Yeah, hopefully we can slow them down a little bit more.  They're a talented team on that side of the ball up front.  They have two good running backs, both average over 90 yards, a good quarterback, physical receivers, so it will be by far the biggest challenge we've faced.

Q.  How do you plan to combat the offensive line?
COACH KINGSBURY:  Hopefully, we'll play hard, and that's all you can really answer to that.  They've been moving bodies.  You watch them up front against Auburn, against Nicholls State and they're tough.  Those running backs do a great job finishing runs.  So we'll have to play hard, be physical, and be very gap sound.

Q.  Coach, go back to the Justin Stockton touchdown.  Just talk about it from snap to when he made it to the end zone.  Kind of talk about what you saw on the play?
COACH KINGSBURY:  Just sheer speed, that's what he brings.  I thought our O‑line did a great job of getting it started and he finished it.  We had two guys in Reggie Davis and Devin leading the way about 80 yards down the field.  So that was a great effort by the entire team and great job finishing by Justin.

Q.  Kliff, obviously everybody knows he's capable and has the speed everyone's talking about.  (Indiscernible)?
COACH KINGSBURY:  I just continue the pass protections, obviously, with the teams that throw as much as we do, he's got to be very sound in that ball security and continue to learn the run schemes, but he's heading that way.  He's worked hard at it, and it's hard to keep his talent off the field.

Q.  Can you talk about the penalty situation?  I mean, you had seven through the first play of the second quarter, but after that it was pretty minimal.
COACH KINGSBURY:  Yeah, it was improved from 15, and one of those was sideline, one was on the number, one was on our quarterback, one was on a kicker when he's saving, game saving tackles.  A couple of those you can live with and things that are easily fixable, so we're getting better.  It was a big emphasis last week.  If we can cut that number in half again, you're right where you want to be.  But if we want to win these games coming up, we have to cut that number down significantly.

Q.  Talk about coming back from El Paso Saturday night?
COACH KINGSBURY:  The plane wasn't ready to fly out, so we spent the night or spent the morning, I guess it would be, six hours of the morning in a hotel and then came back.  So that was about par for the night, I guess.

Q.  Was it preparation?
COACH KINGSBURY:  No, we had been looking at this game for a while through the spring.  We knew we wouldn't have many games on them, so we had done a lot of prep through the spring and summer in anticipation of this game.  So it didn't set us back at all.

Q.  The duplicate, one of those players (Indiscernible)?
COACH KINGSBURY:  It was a miscommunication on our coaching staff, that was it.  I mean, we should have had the right personnel in and handled that and we didn't get it done.

Q.  Those several number changes, is that what you're talking about?
COACH KINGSBURY:  That is.  It just makes it easier.

Q.  Is there anything special planned for the coaches, kind of what's good for the goose is good for the gander or has that been addressed and taken care of?
COACH KINGSBURY:  It's been addressed, yeah, and taken care of.

Q.  After watching the field, what did you think about the offense's performance with Davis, too?
COACH KINGSBURY:  Not where we need to be.  Four three‑and‑outs, I don't think we had that many in probably a three‑game stretch last year.  So that's a key to our offense is staying on the field and making first downs.  It's all fixable.  It's all easy plays there to be made.  Either we miss a throw, don't catch it, don't block, we get a hold, so the same things keep popping up.
It's early, and we're not supposed to be at our best yet, and I know it's coming.  They're working hard.  The effort is one thing that's standing out on film.  They're playing hard.  We're just not making the right decisions all the time, and we have to get better.

Q.  Talk about Davis' decision making?
COACH KINGSBURY:  Took care of the football, and that's good.  That's what we asked him to do, but I know he's going to continue to get better and everything was close.  It was close to having some really big numbers and a lot of points; we just didn't make the plays.

Q.  Do you feel like the receivers gave you better effort blocking down the field?
COACH KINGSBURY:  Definitely.  They knew we had put that emphasis on them throughout the week, and they showed up.  The effort was night and day from week one.  So we've just got to keep coming with those guys.  They haven't play a lot, and they've got to get used to the speed of the game and the physicality, and this week will be another step up for them.

Q.  It wasn't a pregame, obviously, but the defense and offense to have drives there at the end of the game to win it, do you think that can galvanize them moving forward here?
COACH KINGSBURY:  I hope so.  That's what it's about.  You're trying to win the games and we're 2‑0.  They had everything going against them, into the wind, crowd is rocking.  Some tough calls from the officiating crew and they still found a way to get it done.  So proud of them for that, and we should be able to build off that.

Q.  Do you think there is anything tangible that you can do to get a faster start?
COACH KINGSBURY:  Last year we were great at it.  So we've just got to keep plugging away and find a way, but we'll try some different things.  But that's just some of the players had to decide let's come out and get it rolling.

Q.  Davis is a confident guy, but it doesn't seem like when he's out there playing, he's either looking rushed or not as confident.  Is it something that‑‑ can you show him the Holiday Bowl film again?
COACH KINGSBURY:  Yeah, I think he hasn't played a lot.  It's only his 8th start and he's getting more and more comfortable as we go.  Some of those throws are big‑time throws and as good as anybody in the country.  We've just got to be more consistent and find a groove early.

Q.  Do you expect Rika and Jackson Richards to be able to play this weekend?
COACH KINGSBURY:  Not sure yet.  We'll get them out there and jog around and see how they do.

Q.  How about Jordan Davis?
COACH KINGSBURY:  Same.  We'll get him out there and see how he does and responds out there in practice today.

Q.  Coach, two games has Justin Stockton taken to the college game quicker than you might have expected?
COACH KINGSBURY:  I don't think so.  He got here, and he was recruited to play.  He knew that.  He got here and attacked it through summer workouts and fall camp, he's looked the part.  It was just a matter of getting him on the field and everybody feeling comfortable and making sure he was comfortable and using him at the right times.

Q.  Does he bring an extra level of versatility for you guys on offense?
COACH KINGSBURY:  I just think a different gear.  We have good backs and DeAndre have done a good job running the ball.  But when he gets out, he can outrun most people, so that makes it dangerous for a defense.

Q.  He was off the field for 39 minutes last Saturday night.  Do you feel they gave you opportunities to put that game out of reach early and you guys didn't take advantage of it on offense?
COACH KINGSBURY:  Definitely.  We had four three‑and‑outs and fumbled one time going in on the 15, and had a fourth down we didn't convert.  So short drives that put them right back out there, and they had a good plan.  They let the clock run down to 3 seconds each snap and did exactly what they wanted, and we didn't.  Like I said, we finished up the game and found a way to win it.

Q.  Do you think on the field maybe the numbers may not show it, but improvement just watching the game film?
COACH KINGSBURY:  Not really, no.

Q.  Did the defense get pretty tired from some of those long drives and how do you prepare for that against another team that's probably going to do the same?
COACH KINGSBURY:  Yeah, I think it's part of getting in game shape, and that was probably good for them preparing for this game.  We'd like to get off the field in certain situations, had a couple balls we could have intercepted.  Had some missed assignments there on third downs that we could have gotten off the field, and we've just got to keep working at it.

Q.  Playing in the box like you guys have to do to try to stop the run puts a lot of pressure on those young corners.  How do you think they handled it the other night going forward against Arkansas?
COACH KINGSBURY:  They've been battling.  They're competitors, those young guys.  They have a great look in their eye and they love being in the spotlight, so we'll keep throwing them out there.  And they're going to make mistakes and grow up, but I've been proud of the way they've competed.

Q.  Is that the same for the defensive line?  You guys stepped up this week?
COACH KINGSBURY:  Yeah, I think they've got to keep coming as well and get in game shape.  It's still new to all of them.  This will be a big step up in competition like I mentioned earlier.  They're going to be ready and they'll have to grow up fast on Saturday.

Q.  What did you see from Robertson at this right guard that you didn't see in Central Arkansas?
COACH KINGSBURY:  Just knowledge of the system.  That's it.  We've got to keep him coming.  He's a big body.  We're willing to give him some reps.  Him and Baylen have been rotating.  We just want to find the best five, that combination.  We're still sorting through that.

Q.  Will you rotate like that again this weekend?
COACH KINGSBURY:  We'll see.  We'll see how practice goes.  But all those guys are capable.  We just want to find the right five that are playing the best together.

Q.  What is your biggest concern about Arkansas?
COACH KINGSBURY:  The physicality up front on both offense and defensive lines.  They bring it each and every snap and we've got to be ready for that.

Q.  Are you surprised at the sideline penalty given that's really not something that's called very often?
COACH KINGSBURY:  Yes, I've never seen that before.  It wasn't a matter of like a personal foul where something was said, and especially on 4th and 2.  That's unheard of and pretty absurd.  So I've never seen anything like it and probably will never see anything like it again.

Q.  How do you prepare for a team that's going to come in as physical as Arkansas?  How do you simulate that in practice?  How do you get your team ready for that?
COACH KINGSBURY:  You don't.  You get as many good looks as you can.  Like I said, we've had some good prep work through spring and fall camp through some of their sets.  Try to go good on good when you can.  You want a fresh, healthy team that has to play hard and get after it.

Q.  The issues that you all have had on the sidelines in the first two games, I guess some issues with each game, is that something that your coaching staff is pretty much (Indiscernible)?
COACH KINGSBURY:  No, I think we had the one with jersey which is a special teams deal and we're sorting through some of that with our new guys, and lots of young guys playing.  I'd say that's the main thing.  But it's something we've got to clean up.

Q.  What have you thought about the coverage so far this year, and the way things are on special teams so far?
COACH KINGSBURY:  Fairly well with the exception of that last one which was big.  But I think they've been running down and giving great effort.

Q.  Can you talk about Jakeem's performance?  He still had a good chance.
COACH KINGSBURY:  He did.  He's tough to handle.  They want to play a lot of manned coverage so we have good match‑ups on him.  Like you said, could have had an even bigger night.  Wish we would have hit him on a few more.  But he's coming a long way, and we expect him to keep getting the ball.

Q.  Can you talk about participating in the Cotton game and spotlight against Texas?
COACH KINGSBURY:  Yeah, I think that's always a great deal.  We've done it, I don't know how long they've done it here, but I think it's a big part of this culture, and to have Texas Tech be part of it is a huge honor for us.

Q.  Going against such a physical offensive line, are there things that you can do as far as speedwise to take advantage of that?  Or do you see your speed on defense being an asset for them?
COACH KINGSBURY:  It better be because they're big and physical.  So we've got to find a way to use our quickness to our advantage because we're going to be overmatched when it comes to size.

Q.  Are you teaching the players (Indiscernible)?
COACH KINGSBURY:  No, I'm not familiar with that.  Not at all.

Q.  The last year, the styles coming into the SEC, coach is kind of on the forefront of pushing for some legislation (Indiscernible).
COACH KINGSBURY:  I don't think so.  I think for us and our university, it's a great match‑up between two teams that used to be in the same conference.  I think that's where all the excitement comes from.  It's the most talented opponent we've played so far, our kids will be fired up for it.

Q.  Could you talk about that a little more?  Just Gabe Rivera going in this weekend and the new uniforms?  It's kind of exciting surrounding this conference match up.
COACH KINGSBURY:  It will be great.  People have circled this one on the calendar for a while, our fans.  To have Gabe going in the Ring of Honor is huge.  He's one of the greatest players to ever play here and one of the greatest college players to ever play, so we're very proud of that.  Anytime you play an old Southwest Conference foe, it's a unique experience for the fan base.
I expect it to be a great atmosphere.  We need them loud and rocking, and I'm sure they will be.

Q.  Could you talk about how Bradley Marquez and how he has stepped up in these first two games?
COACH KINGSBURY:  Yeah, he's a senior leader of that group.  He's played the most of any of them and continues to make big plays.  I talked about it all summer.  His development is so much further ahead because he was here this summer and not playing baseball, and it's shown in the first two games and he'll continue to improve.

Q.  Could you talk about Flowers and how you prepare for a defensive end like that?
COACH KINGSBURY:  You just try to hold on, I guess.  He's a great player.  He shows up on film and flashes as good as any defensive player we'll face all year.  So we'll have to know where he's at on every snap.

Q.  Point of emphasis getting the ball out quick?
COACH KINGSBURY:  We do that generally in our offense, so we'll find ways to try to work around him, if we can.

Q.  The last time you played Arkansas, do you have much memory of that game against Arkansas?
COACH KINGSBURY:  I don't.  I just knew they were in the Southwest Conference, but I don't remember any of those games.

Q.  Coach, last game with UTEP, is that something you'll get more of as the season goes on?
COACH KINGSBURY:  We'll see.  He's a talented kid.  If Brad and Jakeem can play, we'll let them go as much as they can go.  We've got to keep bringing those guys along, but we have faith when we put him in the game that he can handle it.

Q.  Do you feel frustrated by how you've played or do you feel you've made overall 30,000 foot view progress from where you were before the season to where you are today given all that's taken place?
COACH KINGSBURY:  Yeah, I look at it, and I'm kind of a glass half‑full guy that we can only get better.  To be 2‑0 and play as poorly as we have at times and have all the mistakes and penalties and still be 2‑0, we'll build off that.  It's got to go up from here.

Q.  Did you feel good about how the defense played given that they bent but didn't break with the stops in the first half and then the stop at the end of the game?  Even in the middle of the game, there were some big stops.
COACH KINGSBURY:  I did.  I knew the type of pressure we put on them as an offense.  Going three‑and‑out four times, that hurts a defense.  They hung tough.  The one touchdown drive, we're off the field as a coaching staff if they don't screw that up.  So, yeah, they're playing hard, getting after it, and offense has got to come along.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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