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November 1, 2014

Charlie Strong

Texas – 34
Texas Tech - 13

COACH STRONG:  It's a great team victory and just to watch us bounce back after getting shut out last week and looking at us offensively, able to move the ball down the field and Tyrone made some really good throws.  We had some drops there early that could have really put the game away but it's great to see us bounce back.  Defensively knowing that we ended up going against Mahomes and end up knocking him out of the game on a really good hit by Diggs, and then you get Testaverde in, but just to watch us compete.  I said ‑‑ told them before the game, what team is it that shows up today, is it going to be a team that plays with a lot of passion, a lot of confidence, a team that has a lot of pride and just understands what we gotta go get done.  We talk about there's four games left, one down, three more to go, have West Virginia at home next week, and it's great to get this win and now we get on back home and get ready to play West Virginia.

Q.  Talk about Quandre and that hit.
COACH STRONG:  Quandre with that hit, I think that got us going because you know, to see him make that hit, it was really a good, clean hit.  You don't ever want to see anything like that happen.  I don't like to see an injury to any player, whether it's mine or someone else's, but it was just a good, clean hit, and he did kind of get everyone going.

Q.  Total offense in the first quarter 26 yards, then it opened up.  What did you see that you were able to exploit?
COACH STRONG:  It's all about executing.  We weren't executing in the first quarter, you watch us, then we get the drive.  We always hurt ourselves.  It's nothing anyone else do does it's what we do to ourselves.  There is a drop, we don't convert on third down, or Tyrone just don't make the right check.  But just to watch our offense bounce and to continue‑‑ we wanted this to be a physical game, and Malcolm Brown ran well, as well as Johnathan Gray.

Q.  Talk about the line, the running game, the "I" formation.
COACH STRONG:  Well, you look at the formation and everything that they gave to us on our offense; we wanted to be physical today.  We knew that we needed to add another blocker in the game by adding a full back.  We put Becker in the backfield, two tight ends, one tight end, but we wanted to give them a lot of different looks.

Q.  Tyrone goes from having the ball fall out of his hands to throwing the most beautiful pass maybe in his career.  Is that the spectrum that you just don't know what you are going to get from him?
COACH STRONG:  No, he scrambles out of there and he was looking right.  If he had looked left right away he would have let it go because he had Harris, he beat his guy on a double move and he was open, and then he looked at him too late, and he was trying to get rid of the ball, and it happens the ball slips out of his hand.  Then he made a great throw down there and the one that 9 made, Harris just goes up and takes the ball from his defender, and then Marcus has to come down and make that play.  He had Daje open, too, on the sideline but he gotta keep the ball open on the orange line.
And just to watch him, you could see the confidence building within him, I said just keep playing good things are going to happen for you.

Q.  What was your strategy on dealing with Testaverde?
COACH STRONG:  There was so much we had to do, with what they were doing to us, we knew it would turn into a run game and a screen game, and that's what they did to us, and we just didn't do a good job.  We gotta fit better, and we didn't fit better you know where they kept running a split zone job, the ball creased us a few times, then they threw the ball to the outside, and we didn't get enough guys to the ball.

Q.  A lot of dropped balls, fumbles, almost‑interceptions, close things like that, do you hammer that home with the guys or just focus on the good things they did tonight?
COACH STRONG:  No, we need to make some of those interceptions.  We had our hands on the ball and we didn't get the interception.  You look at the one ‑‑ I told Dylan Haines you are going to get hit anyway, might as well catch the ball, just come down with it, the one he didn't come down with.  Then Mykkele makes a big one on the sideline, Duke had one that he dropped.  Turnovers, we need to get the turnovers just to change the field position for our offense.

Q.  (No microphone.)
COACH STRONG:  We played really well, could have played a lot cleaner.  There is some things that we need to clean up but it was good to see us bounce back.

Q.  That the main thing you take away from this, regardless of who your opponent was, it was a win for you guys?
COACH STRONG:  It's a win.  I don't know so much we can say regardless of your opponent, but you just like how we completed.

Q.  (No microphone.)
COACH STRONG:  You know what?  We got three games left and we just gotta keep playing.

Q.  (No microphone.)
COACH STRONG:  We came with Echols, we were in our nickel package so we needed another defensive back in the game so we played Echols, and he played very well for us.

Q.  (No microphone.)
COACH STRONG:  Well, you know, it's week by week, and that's why I said before the game, what team are we going to get today?  It's all about finishing.  We had to finish.  I said, hey, it's 30 minutes of football left.  We need to take the ball on the offense and go drive it, and I think we ended up getting a field goal out of it, but we would love to get seven there.  It's about us and continuing to play hard and competing.

Q.  Do you really feel like you don't know what group does going to show up?
COACH STRONG:  That's why I say, what team am I going to get today?  You look at last week, what did I get?  I got a shutout, but you don't like that at all (Laughter.)
No, it's about‑‑ what I say to the guys it's about our preparation and focus it's about out emotion.  We are on the road, this was an unbelievable crowd here tonight and just to come to this environment.  It was going to be a hostile environment, and they saw that in pregame warm‑up.  The tone was set for this game, but defensively I said we're going to have to play great defense to take this crowd out of the game.  We're going to have to play great defense, and we stepped up and was playing well.  Offensively, it's going to take us a while to get going, which it did, it's going to take two or three drives to get us going but we need to make sure defensively we keep them out of the end zone and we play well.

Q.  Having Daje make some plays, having him back, how was that?  Did you get anyone injured tonight?
COACH STRONG:  Don't know if I have anyone seriously injured, may have a bruise here or there, but having Daje back, he's got outstanding speed, you put the ball in his hands, he's one guy that can make people miss and can get outside.  You see the one reverse that we gave to him, and we threw the long pass down the boundary, and Tyrone just led him to the outside.  If he kept that ball in, he would probably have been off and running.

Q.  Does it feel like Johnathan Gray and Malcolm Brown are picking up speed and running well?
COACH STRONG:  The thing about it, our offensive line played well.  They can get on people, get in the way, and let those backs take the ball and just run behind their pack.  It may not always be clean.  I think on the fourth down play, again, we go for it on fourth, there is a guy open, a guy unblocked in the hole, and J. Gray this time lowers his pass and runs over the guy and gets the 3 or 4 we needed.

Q.  Do you feel like there was any pass that ‑‑ can't come down with?
COACH STRONG:  That ball goes up and he finds a way to come down with it.  He's so strong and physical and he plays like that but it's great to see him having a year he's having.

Q.  You still had breakdowns on third and long.  What do you gotta do to fight that off against West Virginia?
COACH STRONG:  We can't give up those plays, and you're right on third and long, we need to get off the field.  One time they run a draw play, the next time they run a screen; we gotta get to the football.  We're not getting to the ball, and one guy may get blocked, but we are not pursuing the way we need to.  Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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