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October 17, 2015

David Beaty

Lawrence, Kansas

Texas Tech - 30 Kansas - 20

Q. I know you want to see improvement each and every week and certainly to have a one-score game late in the fourth quarter has got to be a sign of improvement.
DAVID BEATY: Yeah. I mean it's a sign of improvement, absolutely, but our expectations are to win games, and we put ourselves in position, once again, to be able to get the result we wanted, and we were not able to close it out.

But I'll tell you this: There was some great things that I saw out there today that had not shown up to this point. That teamed average 52.7 points a game, and our defense played with unbelievable heart, courage. I thought they hustled to the ball well. I thought they tackled well. I thought our coaches did a great job with the game plan.

I mean Fish, I think, was in on ten-plus tackles. We sacked him five times. We had nine TFLs. There was some things, seven hurries. I mean we knew to be able to cause some problems with this team, we had to get to that quarterback, and that's something I gotta take my hat off to our staff with.

But you know, also take your hat off to Kliff. This is his third year there, and he's got a veteran group, and they were able to play smarter than we were. I think that was the difference.

Q. You mentioned the defensive line early in the week and how you were a little bit shorthanded and you need to cause pressure, yet they come out and they were a huge disrupting force today.
DAVID BEATY: Yeah, they were. You know, that was so good to see, and you know, you never know, man. You never know. Until when guys get their shot and they get their moment, what are you going to do with it. And that's what we preach all the time, and right now we're in one of those unique positions where nobody's really stood out anywhere. So the competition is at an all-time high. So you're going to get your opportunity, what are you going to do with it?

Q. Offensively Ryan Willis made some mistakes, but still showed that ability to kind of stay in the mix, stay in the pocket. Under a lot of pressure again today, how would you look at his game today?
DAVID BEATY: Well, you know, it's going to be tough to say until I see the tape. I do know I was talking to our SID, he had 35 completions in this game, which is two short of a school record, which you know what, that's some positive stuff for a young guy like that.

Once again, he made some mistakes again today. He was able to kind of sneak out of one of them. That was a big deal. Man, I just love the kid's demeanor. I think our kids gravitate to him. I think they really appreciate the fact that he loves the game. He's got a little connection going with Jeremiah Booker right now that you gotta like.

We had a bunch of penalties early in the game, and we settled down, but those penalties killed us early in the game. And we talk about being the smartest team in the conference, and when you're not, it hurts you.

Q. I know you mentioned also earlier in the week you're big on special teams. You had some punting woes last week, which seem to be resolved, and then the kicking game was very costly in this one.
DAVID BEATY: Absolutely. You got ten points there that you have an opportunity to put on the board, and if you do, you win the game by one there. It's a situation where it's absolutely, unbelievably disappointing for our coaches, our players. And all those kids that were involved, man, those guys wanted to make those things just as much as anybody else. There was a technique flaw, and you know what, we don't get to whine and complain. We gotta go figure out how come we didn't get it done, get it fixed and make sure it doesn't happen again.

Wyman went in there, he missed a couple of opportunities kicking today, but I'll tell you this, that dude averaged 42-point-something yards a punt. Man, that was as big a part of this game as anything else. Him coming in, he hadn't punted before and he goes out there and averages 42 yards a punt.

Q. Best of luck next week.
DAVID BEATY: Listen, I know you got a bunch of questions, so let's get it started.

Q. What was the biggest difference in the second half? (Indiscernible).
DAVID BEATY: Well, you know, I think one of the things that -- I actually felt pretty good about what we were doing defensively that first half. So that was really something that was kind of giving us life a little bit. Our staff did a great job today, I thought, minimizing an offense that has created a lot of production, 776 yards last week. I think it was one of the highest in their school production.

So let me tell you something. I know how difficult that stuff is to stop. I mean I really do. And man, our guys, I am so proud of those boys, because that stuff is hard now. And I knew every play. I knew every one of them. I knew where they were going. And you can't get anything in to help it. I mean you just can't. And man, they do such a good job with what they do, but man, our guys played their tails off. They just kept playing.

Second half, I think, to answer your question, we went in at halftime, and those guys, we just talked about understanding what happened to us, lots of early penalties, which is something we've stressed from the first day we got here, how do we get better faster, be the smartest team in the country, smartest team in the conference. We were No. 1 in the conference, I believe, coming in. We still didn't have a whole lot of penalties, but we had some early that stalled our drives; that hurts the momentum.

We go in there and we talk about special teams till we're blue in the face because we know that's a hidden third that we got to win. We win that one right there, we win this football game. We didn't get it done, though. And once again, we're going to keep working, keep turning over rocks until we find the combination to get it done. And we're going to keep growing.

You know what, I love every one of them knuckleheads in there, them boys. They played their tails off for us, including the guys that didn't put it through the uprights today. Man, Matt Wyman, I love that dude, man. He had a couple of tough things going today, but man, he really stood out big for us in the punt game, which is something that had been absent.

Q. When did you decide to give him a look at it?
DAVID BEATY: We looked at him last week, and he showed some promise, but he held the ball -- I mean it didn't even look like a punt. So we showed him how to do it, and I mean he's got such a strong leg, if he can just get his foot on it. And he's come a long way in a week. If you look at the video, you'll see that ball kind of drops a little funky at times, but man, I like that kid. He's a tough dude for a kicker, and I know he's upset about today.

Q. Mahomes leads the conference in passing yards, but yet Ryan Willis had more completions on fewer attempts. Can you talk about the growth he showed from last week to this week?
DAVID BEATY: That's a great question, and really, I haven't even really gotten time to digest what happened today, but there was quite a bit of difference in this week than last week, really even more in the confidence. Last week it was more, man, he was like a kid having fun out there. This week he was having fun, but he was thinking, he was talking. He had a touchdown straight down that left sideline, and he had the same play previous and threw it to Kent and it hit B.B. in the back, and he came over and he goes, Coach, we're going to get back to that and I promise you I'm not going to miss that throw. And he didn't miss it. It was good.

I thought our offensive staff, we struggled offensively in the first half, and man, it was frustrating. It was frustrating for everybody involved, and for them to come in and compose themselves at halftime, climb back into that game, still had some missed opportunities, but climbed back into the game. We're making some progress. We're making some progress. Every one of us are incredibly disappointed right now because that game was there for the taking and we just didn't get it done, and that really comes back on me. I gotta do a better job of preparing them in all areas. All areas.

Q. (Indiscernible).
DAVID BEATY: Very impressive. I thought that there was some guys that got some opportunity today, because other guys got injured. D.J. Williams went in there. Listen, we had Devon Williams went in there. There's some guys in there that hadn't played really hardly at all in there, and I thought they created some disruption. I think D.J. was in there one time when they had a penalty on one of their players.

Those guys, they created, man, when you do that, you give yourself a chance. We had seven hurries, five sacks, nine TFLs. That hadn't been around. I thought we did a nice job really kind of throttling the running game that had been actually pretty good. They ran the ball pretty well, and our linebackers stepped up in there and made some plays on time to time. Teams like Kliff's team, I've played with him before, played his offense before; and man, you can hold them, hold them, hold them. They're going to get a couple of big run plays every now and then. They just happened to get one late. Unfortunately, we had the guy tackled; we just didn't get him down. We can't miss that tackle at that key moment.

Q. (Indiscernible)?
DAVID BEATY: Man, he's just a dear friend. He said, you guys did a hell of a job. He said, you're a hell of a coach. He said, keep going. You can see it.

Q. (Indiscernible).
DAVID BEATY: Yeah, you are. You know, the thing that I know about Ryan is he's young. He's a freshman. And I know that screaming at him and not teaching him would be a complete mistake. So when he comes off and he makes a mistake, the first thing I do is -- and myself and Coach Likens is we start teaching. We talk about that teaching moment. You know, when we threw the interception and it looked like it was a pick six, I didn't even realize that it was a situation where there were two flags there because he and I were already talking about, listen, in the future, let's talk about that situation, what could you do better; what do you know you have to do with the ball if you do throw it away. It's gotta get past the sticks.

I mean we went through the checklist of things that you do in ball games to make sure that when you get down the road, you learn from it. So it's been good. He's a guy -- and he takes that coaching -- and you know, he was frustrated, I mean very frustrated, because he felt like he had some opportunities to help us win today; and he did. He did. He helped us, but he made some mistakes, but that kid will do nothing but get better.

Q. And what do you teach him about fumbling in the end zone?
DAVID BEATY: Well, first of all, you gotta take care of the ball down there. Pocket awareness, pocket presence, pocket awareness. Understanding where you're at and then understanding kind of what they're doing. If they are shifting their safeties a little bit and they're not standing too high, most of the time you're fixing to get some kind of pressure, so you gotta know where are my quick throws at to help you kind of bail yourself out. And that's something that comes with learning.

And he told me right after that, he was like, you know, I saw the safeties; I really should have kind of got rid of that ball a little bit quicker, but I kind of stopped him right there because there was some other things that went on during that play that kind of kept us from talking about it too much.

But hey, how about our guys kept playing. What about De'Andre Mann, picks it up, gets it out there, and we get an opportunity to extend the sticks. I mean that right there was some great growth for us as a team because in the past I think we probably would have stopped and just let them suckers recover it in the end zone. And they didn't do it. Somehow they made a mistake, and we picked it up, got it out, and we got another down out of it, so that was a positive for us.

Q. (No microphone). Fourth-down decision making. And you always say you want to put our defense in a better position, that kind of thing. Is it also, hey, when we are equal talent wise and we get our numbers up and that kind of thing...
DAVID BEATY: Yeah, absolutely. You know, I mean there's a lot of factors that go into when and why you go for it on fourth down. A couple of -- not the least of which is how our defense is playing, you know, what type of momentum do they have, have they already gotten a little bit of confidence moving forward, have they done some things to stop them.

That was a high-powered offense now. So I felt like we had to score because they've averaged 52.7 points a game. I know Baylor did that, too. But I also know in that particular situation it was a 52-yard field goal. So that thing fell a little bit short which is kind of what happens sometimes when you're kicking a 52-yarder, if you don't hit it solid, it'll fall short. But at that particular position, at that particular time when as I discussed it with our defense, you know, it was a deal where they felt good, hey, yeah, go ahead, Coach; let's roll, instead of trying to pin them back down in there.

We had another one we were fourth and four down by the goal line, but we were 0 of 7 in our last three games on fourth down and short. So going into that situation you gotta be smart about when you do it, how you do it, what play do you have and what kind of room do you have to be able to spread the ball out and things like that.

We went for it a few times on fourth down towards the end because we had to, where the score was, which hurts your numbers on fourth down sometimes, but I thought we did a little better job on third and fourth and short today, which we needed to definitely improve on. I thought we did some better things in that area. We challenged those guys this week in that regard.

Q. (No microphone).
DAVID BEATY: A lot of it is. A lot of it's youth. You know, a lot of it is youth, but I've seen older guys make mistakes like that, too. I think he was in -- he'd try and make a play every now and then. And that's a big thing for him. And we talked about it on the sideline, and I told him, again, and Coach Likens told him, it's always, listen, we find the quarterback based on who can manage the game, not win it. Sometimes you're going to win it by default, but you need to do a great job of managing the game. If you manage the game, you got plenty of talent around you to get the job done.

And that's kind of one of the lessons that we learned today a little bit about that. We had a little stop route called and they rolled in to cover two, but we had a little two high beater on the other side. Had we just got off that stop route, that last interception wouldn't have happened.

So that was a young mistake, where he thought he could get it in there, and really we should have probably went over to the two high beater side. So the answer was on the other side. He just got caught in the wrong spot.

Q. (No microphone).
DAVID BEATY: He does, man. I tell you what, he can flip that thing pretty quick now. He can flip it. He can make all the throws. There's no doubt about that. And he'll get better. He'll continue to get better as he gets more chemistry with his players. We put a lot of receivers out there, man, a lot, because we're trying to go fast and trying to utilize fresh guys. So he'll get better.

Q. (No microphone).
DAVID BEATY: Yeah, he does. He does. You know, I tell you what, Book's been a nice -- he has been a really nice addition. We felt like that coming in because we've seen what he could do in the summer and things like that.

It's just a shame that he got hurt early. But he got banged up a little bit again today, but man, he's a tough dude. He went back in there -- he wasn't feeling great. He went back in there and continued to make plays for us.

It would have been nice for him to make that last one on fourth down there because I thought that was a really good throw by Ryan, really good throw. I know Book wishes he had that one book, for sure.

Q. Is that a product of Ryan's confidence, too?
DAVID BEATY: Yeah, I definitely think that helps, you know. And then the other thing, guys, is, hey, man, six weeks ago, sometimes it didn't even look like football. I mean it didn't look like football. But we just stayed the course. We just continued to believe in what we were doing and we stayed the course.

Now, hey, it doesn't look exactly like we want it, but we're getting better every day. And you know what, that was just one challenge. I mean we got another one next week down in Stillwater that's going to be a great challenge. So we ain't got no time to lick our wounds, we gotta get ready to go against a great Cowboy team down there.

Q. (No microphone)?
DAVID BEATY: That they knew they could win, and they've known that the entire year, but they knew it; they played like it. They believed in it. The morning meeting this morning was different. It was different. And I like it. There was some intensity from coaches and players today, and they weren't afraid of anything. They knew they could win. They had plenty of talent out there to win games. That's not the problem. We got plenty to do it. We just gotta play smarter, do what we've been coached to do and we'll be okay. Future looks bright.

Q. What was it like seeing Taylor back in the end zone with all the injuries he's faced this year?
DAVID BEATY: It was great, man. It was great to have him back in there. I know he was excited about that. He's another guy, like I said, that has been a big spark plug for us as we move forward.

Like I told you, I love that kid, man. He's got just such a great spirit. Those kids really gravitate to him. Did some good things today. We had running back committee today, a lot of those guys got a lot of carries. De'Andre Mann, he impressed me today. I thought that sucker ran hard, man; did some good things for us, some real good things. Defensively, man, I gotta take my hat off to those guys, those dudes, they played their tails off against a really good unit, held them to 30 points. And really, they held them not to 30 points. They weren't responsible for those. They were responsible for about 23 of them. They played their tails off. Really proud of them, really proud of them. Appreciate you guys.

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