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November 24, 2014

Kliff Kingsbury

Q.  Coach, talk about the feeling coming off that game, not only for you as a coach but for your team as players?
COACH KINGSBURY:  Yeah, excited for our seniors to get a road win in their last real road game.  It was exciting.  They kept fighting.  It wasn't pretty, but they kept fighting and found a way to get it done.

Q.  On the fake punt, did you get the look you wanted?
COACH KINGSBURY:  No, we had called it, basically.  If we didn't like it, we would have checked out of it.  But we had seen it earlier.  It looked like it would be there, so we went ahead and called it.

Q.  Earlier today in the Big 12 Conference call you had said that Baylor's wide receiving corps was the best you've ever seen.  Can you expand upon that?
COACH KINGSBURY:  Yeah, at the college level I've never seen that deep of a wide receiving corps.  You look at two of the really good players.  Norwood and Fuller from last year don't really play as much because they brought in cannon and some of those younger guys that stepped up.  Any of those four they start, could start for anybody in the country.

Q.  With that said, how big a concern is it facing them with your situation at safety right now?
COACH KINGSBURY:  It's definitely a concern.  We'll see which one of those guys can get back and hopefully add some depth.  But, yeah, when you go against a team with this type of fire power at that position, and you're down some bodies at safety, it's going to be a match‑up problem.

Q.  I'm assuming you would not consider playing (No microphone)?
COACH KINGSBURY:  No, not in this game when we're out of contention for anything, no.

Q.  Sticking on the safeties, (Inaudible) what did you think about the way he came in?
COACH KINGSBURY:  He was prepared.  He was fun to watch.  He didn't blink.  He was excited to get in there and he made a nice play on that ball in the end zone and got a hit on the receiver and knocked it loose.  You're always excited for him to have success.

Q.  What do you expect to see defensively from Baylor on Saturday?
COACH KINGSBURY:  They do what they do.  Coach Bennett has a scheme, and he sticks to it.  They've improved their personnel each year, a great front.  Oakman and I call those D‑linemen, they do a great job with penetration.  They make you earn everything.  Walk down your face, cover you up, and you've got to win outside.

Q.  Is Mahomes starting quarterback this week?
COACH KINGSBURY:  We'll see.  We'll see how the week goes.  He did some good things.  We'll see how Davis feels and go from there and see which one looks the best.

Q.  Where do you feel like he's improved the most with his game?
COACH KINGSBURY:  He's doing a lot of good things for that age.  You know there are going to be some spots that he's got to grow, but for a true freshman, pretty pleased with where he's at.

Q.  With Lauderdale and the way he's come off the last few weeks, how good do you feel about him going into next year now?
COACH KINGSBURY:  Very excited.  It was a little rough in the beginning.  I think him adjusting to this level of play.  But he has come on recently and really stepped up.  That's kind of the play we expected from all those guys on the outside throughout the year but really hadn't got it, and he's the one that's really stepped up and started making plays.  So moving forward we have two more years with him, and that's exciting.

Q.  Just on the deep ball, is that something where you would consider that (No microphone)?
COACH KINGSBURY:  Yeah, you'd hope so.  Like I mentioned earlier in here, a lot of things we're doing are manufactured getting the ball.  But he's proven recently that he can win on some stuff and get over the top.  So, yeah, if we can continue to get better at that, we'll start drawing up some plays for him to get open deep.

Q.  Speaking of play calling, I know you try to reserve a little bit for whoever is in there.  But do you think you can open up the playbook a little bit more if Mahomes gets the start this week?
COACH KINGSBURY:  A little bit, yeah.  We're still not where we want to be.  You want to make sure he's comfortable with what you're calling and then let him use his natural ability as you see him extend plays.  You don't want to overcomplicate it.  Just let him be the football player he is.

Q.  Coach, talk about playing in the stadium this weekend?
COACH KINGSBURY:  It's a great atmosphere.  Last year I thought both sides had great turnouts.  It's a festive, kind of bowl atmosphere, and I know our players love playing there.

Q.  The offense this year might be a little bit slower than last year's offense.  What's changed from last year to this year?
COACH KINGSBURY:  That's a good question.  I think we're averaging 12 less plays a game.  I think turnovers has a lot to do with it.  We're not as good on third down, so we're getting off the field I think with a bunch of drops this year.  So for no reason we're not moving as fast and running as many plays, which has really hurt our production and our scoring, really.

Q.  (No microphone)?
COACH KINGSBURY:  He's still getting there.  We're not pushing it too fast.  I want him to be able to see things when he's in.  Execute at a high level and make sure it's clear for him.  But he played in a no‑huddle offense in high school, so it's not like it's new to him.

Q.  Talk about Pete Robertson in the game Saturday and kind of getting on the sideline in the second half and getting some of the defensive players pumped up and what that means to your team?
COACH KINGSBURY:  Yeah, he's done a great job stepping up not only his play but his leadership.  He's a guy guys look to because he's played so well for us this year in those tough moments.  When we need somebody to step up, be a leader and make plays, he's taken that roll on the defensive side of the ball.  So I'm proud of the way he's stepped up and embraced that role.

Q.  Everybody following Baylor is already kind of circling the K‑State game as the one they have to win to set themselves up for the playoff.  Do you guys see that embracing the spoiler role or using that as a motivational tool?
COACH KINGSBURY:  I would think we have to.  It's our last game.  For some of these seniors, it's the last game they'll ever play and for some of these juniors it's the last game they'll play for eight months.  So if you're not motivated for that reason alone, you're probably in the wrong sport.

Q.  This season has not gone the way you want it to.  What is the biggest positive you're taking from it?
COACH KINGSBURY:  I haven't had time to look at that yet really.  It's been disappointing for our seniors, for our fan base.  I understand all that, but having really reflected on the positives.

Q.  Being the last game for some of those seniors like Kenny, Bradley, and Jackson, those guys came to you in your first years and are some of your team leaders?
COACH KINGSBURY:  It's meant a lot.  It's not easy.  A lot of those guys have been through two head coaches.  Anytime you go through that transition, it's easy to have a bad attitude about it.  But they embrace our staff and play their butts off for us and led for us, so you can't thank them enough.

Q.  Coach, not too much to look forward to the next season, but you have to be excited to have DeAndre back on the roster?
COACH KINGSBURY:  Yeah, he's done a great job for us.  He's been a great mentor to some of those younger backs and the way he works his leadership on and off the field.  Excited for the year he's had, and he's got a bright future ahead of him.

Q.  The slower offense, you don't get to convert as much on third down.  Is that just play calling or more bad luck?
COACH KINGSBURY:  Yeah, I'd say bad play calling.  I've got to take a lot of responsibility for that.  Not getting us on the right play on some of those third downs and not being able to execute.

Q.  (No microphone)?
COACH KINGSBURY:  Not bad.  I didn't think he played as fast as he did the week before.  I think he was a little hampered by that shoulder that got banged up, but I expect him to play well this week.  Still making some plays.  He's got a lot of room for growth, but he's done some good things.

Q.  At what point in the season do you make decisions on guys like Pete Robertson and Brandon Thorpe?
COACH KINGSBURY:  Yeah, it will be when we get back, so that next week before finals.

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