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TEXAS TECH UNIVERSITY MEDIA CONFERENCE
September 29, 2014
Q.Â What is the mood around the locker room?Â Certainly wasn't your best showing, but what is the feeling?
BRADLEY MARQUEZ:Â We're fine.Â Definitely disappointed in the loss, like any loss would be.Â We know what kind of team we have, and we know throughout the course of a game we knew we could have done some things differently that could have changed the outcome of the game.Â But overall we know it starts with ourselves.Â You know, we've been hurting ourselves a lot, and if we can just get those things corrected, we know we can have a great rest of the season.
Q.Â Have you talked to Davis?
BRADLEY MARQUEZ:Â Yes, I have.Â As far as his status, I'm not going to give any injury.Â Coach does that.Â But he's a competitor.Â He wants to be out there.Â But as far as his status, I'm not going to give you that.
Q.Â What is the impact of not having him?
BRADLEY MARQUEZ:Â He's a leader of our team.Â Somebody we've rallied behind since the job has been his.Â But as far as the mood, it didn't change.Â We just knew we had to step up the rest of the players that had been playing in that game to do our best for Patrick and make his job as easy as possible.Â But that being his first real game action, I mean, it's to be expected that things may not run as smoothly as maybe they would with Davis, off why usually.Â But he did a great job.Â Just maybe some nerves here and there, but he's prepared for that position.
Q.Â (Indiscernible) does that give you the impression that he would be better in a situation if he were prepared?
BRADLEY MARQUEZ:Â Yeah, I think it's just one of those things.Â He's a back‑up.Â He knows it's Davis' job.Â It's something that's new to him.Â He's been a starter his entire life and his entire career, so it's just something that he's got to learn.Â This was our fourth game of the year, so it's the fourth time he's been a back‑up.Â So he prepared a little differently in the future.
But as far as him just being a competitor, he wanted to go out there and win.Â I felt like he was comfortable in that.Â I don't think he was too nervous.Â There are obviously going to be nerves, but from the perspective as a teammate, I felt like he wanted to go out there and do his absolute best.Â Just maybe didn't turn out the way that it could.
Q.Â You talk about the mistakes, but a team like Kansas State that doesn't make very many is that extra pressure for you guys to clean up the mistakes?
BRADLEY MARQUEZ:Â Yeah, I think in general we need to cut down penalties from the beginning.Â Obviously, Kansas State is a team that's not going to hurt themselves and they've done that over the years.Â They've had great discipline.Â They don't do anything that's going to surprise teams.Â Everybody knows what they're going to do.Â They execute, and they have great technique, and they don't have those penalties.Â So definitely we'll have to go out there and play as mistake free as possible to give ourselves a chance.
Q.Â You're a captain, right?
BRADLEY MARQUEZ:Â Yes.
Q.Â Did you bring the group together and say this has to stop?Â These penalties are over the top?Â Have you done that?
BRADLEY MARQUEZ:Â Yeah, we've done that.Â As the rest of the captains, we've done that.Â Coaches have done that.Â But it all comes down to an individual going out there and playing his technique and not making those mistakes.Â As a team, there's not anything you can do special to change this.Â It's got to be the individual person because he's the one that has to go out there and focus with whatever, with the holding, or blocking it back, whatever it may be, it's that individual.
It's just everybody being on the same page and being able to depend on the next guy to focus even harder when things may get tough so we don't make these mistakes.Â We definitely want to change that.Â Maybe improve on it in the future and use it as a learning lesson, but that's something that's going to be big for us the rest of the year.
Q.Â What is the difference between Kansas State?Â Is it the coaching, the players?Â What is it?
BRADLEY MARQUEZ:Â I don't know.Â I've never played for a coach like for Kansas State where they have a mistake‑free.Â Penalties are going to happen in the game of football, but the way we've been having them around here in bunches and 15‑yarders is unacceptable.Â We've put emphasis on this from the off‑season.Â We've tried everything.Â We've done a lot of different things for it.
But like I said, it just comes down to the individual and being able to go out there and not commit these mistakes.Â I don't know what can be done about it.Â We're still trying to figure it out, but it definitely needs to change.
Q.Â Does this game present an opportunity to grow up as a team.Â Talk about the challenges of that going into this week?
BRADLEY MARQUEZ:Â Yeah, like I said, Kansas State's a great team.Â They're not going to surprise us.Â We need to prepare to go out there and compete with that team.Â We're going to have to play our best game because they are a great ballclub, especially going to be on the road, so it's going to be big for us as well.
But it's definitely ‑‑ it's our fifth game now, you know?Â Freshmen are no longer freshmen, and sophomores are no longer sophomores.Â Pretty much the middle of the season.Â Guys need to grow up and just realize.Â We have four games already.Â We're 2‑2 now.Â We know we can be a lot better than 2‑2 at this point of the season.
So collectively the mood around here is great.Â There is nobody down and be like, oh, this is going to be a terrible season or anything like that.Â We know we can go out there and compete in this league, and conference, we can still go out there and win it.Â That's our plan.Â We have one loss in the Big 12, and so we've got to move on and worry about the rest of them now.
Q.Â Can you talk about Lockett what you see in him as a receiver from your perspective?
BRADLEY MARQUEZ:Â He's an explosive player.Â He's fast.Â He's a guy that can change the game really quick from punting, kickoff return as well as a receiver.Â Definitely somebody that we'll be focused on.Â He's been a great player ever since he stepped foot on campus.Â So I got to see him on film and everything.Â He's an explosive player that can change the game.Â So just do our best to hold him in check.
BRADLEY MARQUEZ:Â He's been huge.Â All three of those running backs, DeAndre, Stockton and Quinton, they've done a great job and made our jobs as receivers a lot easier.Â The O‑line has been playing great as well.Â Minus the penalties, but that comes from everybody.Â But as far as our running game, it's been something that's really gotten a whole lot better than where it was a year ago.Â It's something we can lean on heavily in different situations.
It's definitely been a big plus for us that just opens everything up.Â Those guys are going to continue to do a great job for us, just from last year to this year, it's been a big help in how good we've gotten with the run game.
Q.Â As a senior leader, are you going to spend any extra time this week helping him with plays or anything?
BRADLEY MARQUEZ:Â Yeah, yeah.Â Usually we do, honestly, in general from receivers and quarterbacks, we usually do at practice, and there are different guys that want to work on different things after practice to get better at.Â But definitely we'll take a little extra time with Patrick.Â Like I said, he's a great player, an athlete.Â We'll rally behind him, but he'll be prepared.
Q.Â What did you see (Indiscernible) last Thursday night?
BRADLEY MARQUEZ:Â Yeah, Dylan's a great receiver.Â He's still young, but he's been shown to make some great plays for us.Â Now that he's just kind of getting into the swing of things and knowing how to work different routes.Â I mean, his catching ability is amazing.Â What we're seeing on Thursday night is something that we see every day at practice from him.Â He's a great player.
He's our biggest receiver we pretty much have on our roster, so he's a guy that definitely we'd like to lean on and use his size to our advantage in the future.Â But definitely it's getting there.
Q.Â Does it help knowing that Texas Tech can win?
BRADLEY MARQUEZ:Â Oh, yeah, it helps a lot.Â We prepare every game to win, essentially.Â We're not going into any game thinking we're going to lose or let's keep it close or have a good game.Â No, we're going into every game winning.Â So we know we can go up there and play a ballgame.Â It's an away game, but it's still the same football field.Â 100 yards and it's the same deal.
The atmosphere may be a little bit different, but it's something that we can bounce back from, but it's something that we're definitely excited about.
Q.Â If Patrick does start on Saturday, there's obviously got to be a bit of a dropoff from the chemistry of receivers since you've worked a lot longer with Davis.Â Does that make you feel like the pass attack won't be as prominent as the running game?
BRADLEY MARQUEZ:Â No, you've seen in the past we've had a lot of quarterbacks come through here and especially last year when we had basically used two quarterbacks and they both had a great year.Â So it's just one of those things where I feel like any quarterback that steps into this offense is very well‑prepared.
Coach Kingsbury prepares them.Â He had great success with quarterbacks, so it will not be any surprise for him to go out there and execute this offense to the best of his ability.Â Yeah, maybe some chemistry may not be there, but there are going to be a lot of opportunities.Â And he's had a ton of reps since he's gotten here to be able to know this offense and know each receiver.Â He still gets reps in practice each week.
It's not something that we're really that worried about.Â Whoever is going to step in there on Saturday, we'll rally behind.Â We have done it in the past.Â We'll continue to operate this offense.
Q.Â (Indiscernible) meeting your expectations you had a month ago?
BRADLEY MARQUEZ:Â I'm not worried about the personal statistics.Â I don't know any of that.Â I just know we're 2‑2 right now, and me being a senior, this is my last year.Â My games are numbered.Â So this 2‑2 record right now is what I'm more worried about, and I know that we can be a greater team than what we're showing right now.Â So that is the main focus that me as a captain, and this team, we're going to focus on winning ballgames around here, and personal statistics will take care of themselves at the end of the year.
Q.Â How important is communication going into Kansas City being the second year?
ReplaceName2:Â Communication is always important.
JUSTIS NELSON:Â Communication is always important.Â Being on the same level as your safeties, corners, just communication is something we always try to practice, and building trust.Â We can tell that's a big part just knowing that you're going to have somebody behind you whenever you mess up.Â So communication is always important, so that will carry over into Kansas.
Q.Â You guys got a couple turnovers on defense last week.Â How would you grade the defensive performance against Oklahoma State?
JUSTIS NELSON:Â Overall, I feel like our defense was flying around and they did a good job getting to the ball.Â Oklahoma State made more plays when the ball was in the air than we did, so I feel like that's something that we have to practice just finishing every play.Â But as far as being in position and everybody being where they're supposed to be, I feel like we did a great job of that.
Q.Â How much difference was the defense with Coach Smith running it?Â Could you tell there was a difference out on the field?
JUSTIS NELSON:Â Yes, I could.Â Personally, I felt like we weren't getting coached, but like he was actually part of the team.Â He was right out there with us.Â He just kept being positive and encouraging us, so that was important to me.
Q.Â What kind of lesson do you take away from that game?
JUSTIS NELSON:Â Just keep on working.Â Get better every week.Â Obviously, we need to finish plays, so that's something that we'll be working on this week.Â Being in that right position, you have to go from making a play whenever it's called upon and comes into the game, you have to be ready.Â So finishing is definitely something that we're going to work on this week.
Q.Â If you guys struggling with turnovers lately, but you had two on Thursday night.Â Do you feel that maybe gave you some confidence that we can do it on Thursday night and moving forward?
JUSTIS NELSON:Â Yeah, definitely.Â We know we can turn the ball over.Â In practice we have goals every practice to get at least four turnovers.Â So we know we can get those turnovers, it's just a matter of making those plays whenever they come.Â Now that we see we can make those plays anytime we want, we just have to capitalize on that.
Q.Â What did you see from Nigel in practice and in the game?
JUSTIS NELSON:Â Nigel's a great athlete.Â Once he starts getting more reps and learning where he's supposed to be at, he's going to be a great player.Â He's fast.Â He's always on top of things.Â So I see nothing but positive things coming from him.
Q.Â Will you be covering Lockett?
JUSTIS NELSON:Â I'm not sure.Â I'm sure at some point in the game, I will.Â But we haven't discussed anything in the game plan yet.
JUSTIS NELSON:Â Oh, yeah, he's a great receiver.Â He's fast, too.Â So we're going to have to bring our A‑game.
Q.Â What is the mood about Davis' injury?
JUSTIS NELSON:Â I mean, no different than we approach any other week.
Q.Â It's football.Â People get hurt every week, so you just got to keep on working (No microphone).
JUSTIS NELSON:Â Like his shoulder or whatever, whatever's going on there, you know, we'll let the training staff take care of that, and all we can do is work on getting better every week.
Q.Â Seemed like tackling has been an issue as of late.Â When you guys go to make a play, there is no tackling.Â Talk about what you guys have to do to pump it up this week?
JUSTIS NELSON:Â Yeah, Coach Smith did a lot more tackling drills in practice, so we're taking advantage of those.Â More realistic tackling, so that's something that we do before and during practice.Â So just getting constant reps with that will make us feel more comfortable during game time.
Q.Â You thought the defense was able to contain Oklahoma State pretty well?Â Have you noticed any specific common denominators?
JUSTIS NELSON:Â Yeah, like you said, they were making plays.Â Whenever they started making plays, they continued to make plays.Â Like I said, we've just got to step up and do our part as the defense.Â Whenever the ball is in the air, we've got to go get it.Â Whenever the ball is on the ground, we've got to dive after it.Â So just like they made plays, we can make plays.Â It's just a matter of finishing.
Q.Â Secondary is pretty young.Â (Indiscernible)?
JUSTIS NELSON:Â We have a ton of room.Â We have a ton of talent, all the corners, the safeties, the sky is the limit.Â We just have to, like I said, communicate, trust in each other, and continue to work every day to be the best that we can be.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports