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November 7, 2017

Kliff Kingsbury

Lubbock, Texas

Q. This is your annual game against Baylor at Arlington. Do you still like the arrangement of playing Baylor at AT&T Stadium, or do you want it to go back to campus sites?
KLIFF KINGSBURY: I like it. I think our players will enjoy it. It breaks it up for them. Anytime you get to play in one of the finest arenas in the world, it gives us a boost, and they really enjoy that atmosphere. It's good for the fans in DFW. Those that can't make it out here to Lubbock, get to have one close there once a year, that's guaranteed for them.

Q. What do you see different about this Baylor team compared to years past?
KLIFF KINGSBURY: New coach, new philosophy, new schemes. The one thing that's been impressive is how they've gotten better throughout the year. I think when you have a new coach come in and he's instilling everything he wants in his program, that's going to take some time when you tear it down to build it back up. But that's the path they're on, and they played the best game of the year last week, and that's what you want as a head coach.

So you have to give their coaching staff and players a lot of credit. Each week you're seeing improvement. They're playing hard, and they've been very competitive in our league.

Q. Is some of their improvement due to the fact they have so many young players with the experience now?
KLIFF KINGSBURY: Yeah, I think so. Anytime you start as many young players as they did this season, which I'm sure was part of their plan, you see those guys growing week in and week out. They've done a nice job of bringing those guys along.

Q. How has their offense changed?
KLIFF KINGSBURY: You know, Coach Briles and his staff, they had a unique thing they did. They kind of did what they did in the run-pass option department. They had really, really good players there for a long time. They were unique to pretty much everybody else. So you can tell they're doing different things conceptually. Still have a lot of talented, skilled players out there, but it's a different style of offense than we've seen in the past from them.

Q. You have two quarterbacks, Coach. Are there any differences between them? I know you all saw Smith last year.
KLIFF KINGSBURY: Yeah, Zack I was impressed facing him last year. Big, strong kid, has a good arm, threw for a bunch of yards this year. And then Brewer is very elusive, can extend plays. For a young player, really takes care of the football well, and I think that's what they like about him. He's made some plays with his feet, and every time he's in there, he's seemed to move the ball.

Q. Did you ever know Charlie when Michael was here?
KLIFF KINGSBURY: I did not, no. I didn't know him. I knew he was very successful down there at Lake Travis, but I didn't know him.

Q. In terms of the talented wide receiver position, Denzel Mims is one of the top guys. What have you seen from him? How do you see the wide receivers shaping up?
KLIFF KINGSBURY: Yeah, very good. That's one thing that jumps out is how athletic they are outside. That's consistent from what Baylor has been is they've got those guys that can go get it and make people miss in space. He's one of the best in our league. He was very talented coming out of high school. We recruited him and knew that he had a chance to be a special player, and he's turned into that. So he makes plays all over the field, and they do a good job getting it to them.

Q. Do you sense the belief in players when it gets to the end of the game, it's close, the way they pass four or five?
KLIFF KINGSBURY: Yeah, no question. No question. They have the belief that we've just got to find a way to get it done. Like I said after the game, I felt like everything had played out well and we've done what we wanted to do and taking time off the clock. We just didn't execute at the end. The guys were in it to win it, and had that look in their eye and played to the end.

Q. Have you given any thought to giving Clay a chance to get some reps during the game or have you not been in a position to let him do that in these games?
KLIFF KINGSBURY: Really haven't been in a position. I really like how far he's come in practice, how far he's developed, the way he's handling the offense. He's getting a ton of reps in practice. But haven't been in a situation that we've felt like we could get him in and get him some good work.

Q. Evaluation-wise, how close is he to Nic in comparison?
KLIFF KINGSBURY: It's hard to say because until you see him out there with all the live bullets and all the things we put on Nic, you won't really know. But he's talented and he's come a long way from this spring. This spring I didn't know exactly what we had. I think his head was spinning a little bit and just watching him handle the installs week in and week out, he's really come a long way and excited about his future.

Q. (Inaudible)?
KLIFF KINGSBURY: He is, Yep. You know, Jett missing that time, he's still trying to catch up. But when Nic graduates it will be a deal where there's going to be open competition and the best guy will come out of it.

Q. Who has been scout team quarterback the last few weeks?
KLIFF KINGSBURY: Jett and Cole Garrett. They've been swapping. Jett's athletic enough, that if we need him at receiver, he'll play some receiver as well.

Q. When did that begin?
KLIFF KINGSBURY: Probably about a month ago. We had some guys that we had to move around receiver-wise, and bring up and work with the offense. So we felt like he gave a good option over there to be able to play some quarterback and wide receiver.

Q. Did you think he would do that actually in games in the future?
KLIFF KINGSBURY: No, I don't think so. That's just because he's quick enough and athletic enough to give us the best look possible.

Q. Is Brooks still playing this week?
KLIFF KINGSBURY: He will. He will. He'll be back, and that will be good for us, obviously. One of our better players. Starting the game with our entire defense healthy and ready to go, it's definitely going to give us a boost.

Q. So McCann going to be ready too?
KLIFF KINGSBURY: McCann should be back as well.

Q. What about Desmond Nisby?
KLIFF KINGSBURY: Dez will be back this week, and we'll see what type of role he has. But he'll be back.

Q. And DJ?

Q. Is he still on the team?
KLIFF KINGSBURY: He is not. So he's no longer with us.

Q. Why?
KLIFF KINGSBURY: Just needed to focus on his academics and try to graduate. That was kind of his decision.

Q. (Inaudible)?
KLIFF KINGSBURY: He won't be back with us this season. Just monitoring him to see where he goes from here, really.

Q. Looking back in hindsight and bringing in Clayton Hatfield, do you think that was premature? Looking at the next game, are we expecting him to play in it?
KLIFF KINGSBURY: We are. We are. I don't think it was premature. We had a good sample size throughout the week, throughout the previous three or four weeks where he kicked on a limited basis and worked his way up. I felt like our training staff did a good job bringing him along. Looked good pregame. Made some good extra points and had a tough kick there at the end.

We're confident in Clayton. He's a confident player. He's made some kicks for us, and he'll be the guy moving forward.

Q. Is it helping Clayton change how you handle being in a rhythm, and being in a field goal situations?
KLIFF KINGSBURY: Yeah, no question. You saw some previous weeks us going forward in some instances that we may not have. We feel like he's good from 50 in and that's what he's been since he's been here. So definitely our mindset has changed a little bit having confidence in him.

Q. How have you seen (Inaudible) do you feel he's doing the same thing or kind of gaining now?
KLIFF KINGSBURY: He's getting there. No question. Had some tough drops that I hadn't seen from him, and I think it shocked him as well. It was good to see him bounce back and catch that touchdown. Just really like where he's at as a player coming along. He competes well. He's gotten better with practice habits. Off the field, his academics and handling himself. So he'll continue to get better. These last three, I think he'll play his best football.

Q. I know you kind of mentioned it before, but how much has Dillon moved to the other side, maybe it spreads out the defense a little bit?
KLIFF KINGSBURY: I think so. I think the confidence level of the quarterback in both those guys to be able to get it close and they have a chance to make a play, and knowing they're going to be where they should be when they should be there, and execute the plays at a high level at all times, I think Nic's very comfortable with those two guys.

Q. With the way Trey has been training over the past two weeks, does that change the way you kind of delegate the carries to him and Justin as well?
KLIFF KINGSBURY: Yeah, I think Trey has kind of earned some more touches. Watching him play, and he's falling forward on every carry and creating some on his own and in the pass protection he's been very, very solid. So we've been impressed by him, and we'll continue to find ways to get him the football.

Q. So will he share carries with Justin or will he get more?
KLIFF KINGSBURY: Yeah, we'll see how the game is going. We usually see who has the hot hand and how the game's going. But I would expect Trey to definitely see more touches as we move on.

Q. (Inaudible) do you see him work on that much?
KLIFF KINGSBURY: He does. Dom's very talented with that. He hasn't had a ton of opportunities at that this year. Whether we're going for it on fourth down or just having ended up in that field position. But that's one of the things I see him doing in practice a lot is put those balls down near the 5, the 10, very accurately.

Q. (Inaudible)?
KLIFF KINGSBURY: Yeah, I don't know. That's a great point. You don't see a ton of that where they're actually trying to put it right there. So, I don't know.

Q. What is Nisby's status this week?
KLIFF KINGSBURY: He's active. We're going to try to get him going a little bit and see how he does this week in practice. But he's back full-go.

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