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October 17, 2016

Luke Stice

Lubbock, Texas

Q. What's the morale in the locker room? It's not expected that your team would score just 17 points. How tough is that to get some confidence back going into playing Oklahoma?
LUKE STICE: It was disappointing Saturday. There's no two ways around that. That was one of the first things we did after the game on Saturday was really just apologize for our performance to the entire Texas Tech family. The standard of excellence is very high around here, and we take pride in that. It's something moving forward we have to do everything in our control to make sure that performance doesn't happen again. And not let that performance dictate how we perform the rest of the way through. Let it be a positive deal moving forward.

Q. Is the morale pretty good?
LUKE STICE: Morale is something that needs to continue to increase. The demand in every aspect of the game right now needs to continue to improve. That's one thing as leaders in the locker room we've got to ensure.

Q. (Indiscernible) on Saturday. When you go back and you're making adjustments this week in practice, is there anything you feel you can do (Indiscernible)?
LUKE STICE: That really just goes back to improving all aspects of the game. Controlling what we can control. Whatever play call or situation we're put in, just execute your job to help the team be successful. And that's just going back to everybody doing what they need to do to help this team win.

Q. What do you think between now and Saturday afternoon, early evening to not come out flat? Where everything went well right up until you ran out of the tunnel, what changes so that that doesn't happen?
LUKE STICE: There's got to be increased accountability with everybody in that locker room. There's no two ways around that. Everybody has to say, look, we're in this together. We've got to play for each other, and know that everything's out in front of us. We can continue to improve and get to where we need to be. We just needed to increase in every aspect of the game and continue to improve on all phases.

Q. But what specifically changes? There's got to be some dynamic of changes where somebody says something, does something or does something different?
LUKE STICE: We need to demand more of each other. I couldn't agree with you more. It's unacceptable, like I mentioned starting this deal off, it's unacceptable, the performance we had Saturday. Whatever needs to happen, we need to accelerate that process and demand more of the man next to you, and know that everybody needs to do their job to put ourselves in position to be successful in this coming week.

Q. What do you see in Oklahoma's offense that you aren't looking forward to or are looking forward to?
LUKE STICE: It's going to be a great chance to compete on Saturday. There's nothing we're not looking forward to. It will be a great test for us, and it comes back to doing what we can control. Taking care of getting ourselves in the best position to make a play. Executing the scheme, there's nothing wrong with what we've been -- coaching hasn't been the issue. It's been executing what we've been receiving, and that's what we need to really focus on this week. And stay like that mentally and physically to put ourselves in the best position Saturday to be successful.

Q. Do you know what might be able to help your preparation at all, facing a team that does a lot of similar things on offense?
LUKE STICE: That will definitely help. When it just comes down to, as I mention, doing what we can control, and that's everybody doing their job and setting up more accountability for the man beside them to do their job as well. Continue to just build an overall team chemistry and work on that morale to make sure we're mentally in the best shape to go into this game and be ready to compete.

Q. Do you feel like after two weeks against Kansas teams where you felt like you might have taken a step forward, where you guys progressed and took a step back against West Virginia?
LUKE STICE: It was disappointing. There is no excuse. There are no two ways around that. West Virginia was an inexcusable performance and we're disappointed. But all we can do now is focus on this next opponent coming up. Know that we can use that adversity to push us to a higher level. Let this continue to build the character in the locker room, and continue to push forward to become better men on and off the field that are going to help and make a better team on the field on Saturday. That's what we really need to focus on.

Q. Do you feel like defensively, execution-wise, you guys took a step back?
LUKE STICE: It was disappointing to see. I mean, West Virginia, that was a tough performance. Whether we took a step back or forward, it didn't change the fact that everything is out in front of us, and we need to do the best we can do and control what we can control moving forward. That's what we're focused on.

We're not going to let that loss create issues moving forward in the future. We've got to let that performance against West Virginia be something that's inexcusable and not allow it to happen in the future.

Q. When the team's facing adversity like last week, who do you all look at? What leaders step up to try to bounce back from that?
LUKE STICE: That's got to be a demand of everybody in the locker room, to be honest with you. It doesn't need to be one person that does that role. It needs to be increased accountability across the boards. Regardless of the preparation, mentally and physically you've put forward up to this point, that needs to increase. I feel like that was evident last Saturday.

The leadership, that starts with me. I need to do better in whatever role I have to help this team be successful as well as the other seniors in the locker room and everybody else in their role. Everybody needs to do their job to a higher level and do whatever we can to compete at a higher level come game time.

Q. Have you guys met as a team without coaches yet?
LUKE STICE: Yeah, sure.

Q. What was the purpose of that meeting?
LUKE STICE: We talked about team unity all the time. What we've been through. The bonds that we've forged and the adversity that we've been through is built for times like this. This is why you train. This is why the culture of Coach Whitt was praised so much throughout the off-season. It was where we really need to come together as a team and we're all we've got. The brother on my left, the brother on my right, that's who I can count on when it's time to go to work, and that needs to continue to improve and do what we can to control and play at a higher level.

What we did last Saturday wasn't good enough. But we've got another opportunity this Saturday to get right back after them.

Q. When was that meeting?
LUKE STICE: October 11, 5:15 in the morning.

Q. Did you see anything during practice last week that would have led you to believe that you'd come out flat, maybe complacency from the team?
LUKE STICE: You know, that complacency is a tough word to hear because that's something you can control. That's just due to just poor execution. Mentally and physically, as I mentioned, we've got to continue to raise the standard of what's accepted, however good or bad that you feel a teammate or yourself performed to get ready for that game, everything's got to increase.

Every day leading up to this next game, there needs to be a sense of urgency and increased accountability across the boards to make sure we're ready to get after them Saturday.

Q. Kind of turning it all on the team, but West Virginia is no slouch. I mean, they did some things that maybe prompted play that wasn't up to standards. What do you think will happen going up against Oklahoma in that same perspective?
LUKE STICE: Well, you say you turn it back on the team, this is the ultimate team game. That's why I love it. That's why it's such an unbelievable game in my opinion. And you've got to do what you can control.

We've put ourselves in poor situations from what we did wrong, and that's one thing you can't have competing against great teams each week. Just going at it each day, you have to continue to mentally and physically do everything you can to put this team in a situation to be successful come game time.

Q. I think Coach mentioned after the game that at the time you guys weren't (Indiscernible) keeping him out of the read option. How challenging is it to see (Indiscernible) kind of running up the middle and you kind of want to get in there and stop it. All of a sudden you have a play outside of the system, and they burn you the other way. How challenging is it when things are going that way to take a step back and know that I just have to do my job and not worry about trying to make every play?
LUKE STICE: The dual-threat quarterback without a doubt brings another element to the game, but that goes back to just doing your job. You've got to know that I'm going to do my job to the best of my ability for the man beside me. And know when he does his job, have faith in the call that's been called. Everybody executes their job, and you'll be successful. Playing with the utmost maximum effort to take care of situations that don't go as well, you help the team in the long run.

Q. You talked a little bit about the mental fortitude of the team. On Saturday on the sideline, did you feel like that was (Indiscernible)?
LUKE STICE: It was disappointing not to see us respond like I know we're capable of responding to. We've taken pride to reverting back to our training during tough times. We failed to see that. That was obviously which indicated the performance we displayed on Saturday. You know, as I keep mentioning, we've just got to, moving forward, we've got to make sure we continue to increase and demand more out of each other to get after this next opportunity.

Q. (Indiscernible) after the Saturday's loss to West Virginia, what is your message to the fan base?
LUKE STICE: First thing I did was apologize for our performance. It's unacceptable. No two ways around that. This is an unbelievable university, and it's a privilege to be a student-athlete here. It really is. All I can promise is we're going back to work with everything we can in this next opportunity to protect the Jones and get back on track and play at the level we know we're capable of playing for each other.

It's an unbelievable opportunity here to be able to compete each day with these guys in the locker room and to play for these coaches. Moving forward, we have to do everything we can to play for each other and compete at a higher level.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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