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October 26, 2019

Les Miles

Lawrence, Kansas

Kansas - 37, Texas Tech - 34

LES MILES: Well, we got done playing this game on the road and played our hearts out. Guys early till late, took them to the wire. Final drive, they won the game. And I wondered how they would respond to coming back with when they've got to play that's pretty good. You wonder about the resiliency of this team. And there's no reason to, because they came to work and busted their tail.

Now they have put themselves in a position to play the back end of the season for something very significant. Carter Stanley was -- oh, my goodness. I know he was six for seven in the last drive, and with a drop, you know, with a receiver that dropped the ball. So he was seven for seven when the chips were on the line.

Stephon Robinson, we knew he had that, okay. And 294 all-purpose yards, 186 receiving, two touchdowns. Oh, my goodness.

We've got a good team. We've just got to play consistently that way for the length of time of the game, and we will be very happy.

I want you to know something: I think I dang near got squished at the stadium. I mean, trying to go across to see Coach and congratulate him on really having a great team, I got squished. I mean, there was a pack of people out there. Great fun.

Q. Coach, have you ever been a part of a finish like that, and what were you thinking when the Tech player lateraled the ball back?
LES MILES: I thought basically they wanted to score real bad, right, and I knew that when the ball hit the ground and we got it, the time-out had to be the next thing, and it had better hurry up. So we got the time-out called. And then we found out that there's another kick available, which we hit right down the middle.

Q. You guys have had so many close calls; do you think a win like this and the way that you won, do you feel like you've gotten over that hump and you'll be on the other end of those close calls?
LES MILES: Yeah, I think you hit that one on the head. I think the experience of a team in winning games gives them a reservoir, if you will, or reserve of energy and action that they can use in the next game because they know that there's a great opportunity for them to win.

Q. That's obviously a pretty pressured kick for Liam. He's also had some kicked blocks the past couple weeks, had a couple blocked tonight, and for him to deliver in that scenario --
LES MILES: You know, I went over to him, and I said, okay, I'm not letting you kick unless you smile, and he said, "I'm going to make this one." He was right. I didn't see it go through; I had my eyes closed.

Q. Were you praying?
LES MILES: I always do. Early and late.

Q. The run game wasn't really working early on and eventually you guys opened up by throwing deep. How critical was that?
LES MILES: Well, it gets Pooka on track. A couple 10-yard gains from Pooka, and we're back getting 1st downs and having drives. So if we don't have him in the mix, it's a mistake. It's not one that we made, but it'll be interesting to see because it was a very fluid play calls. They had pressure and we had stuff that we felt like operated pretty well against that pressure.

Q. Three weeks, two games with Brent Dearmon as offensive coordinator. Can you kind of sum up what he's meant to this offense, meant to this team and how you would assess his performance?
LES MILES: Well, I would assess his performance as two 500-yard quarterback nights back to back. I think that's pretty good. 1,000-, 2,000-yard games. In other words, they had five and we had five. 22 of 28 1st downs, 22 for KU and 28 for the others. Time of possession, 27:32 to 32:28. That we've got to change. But chunk plays, four passes longer than 48 yards, wow. 415 yards for Carter Stanley. So what he's meant to us is he's kind of put an opportunity to make our most talented kids efficient and allow them to play great roles in our success.

Q. You've said a lot that this team would be set up to win and play in significant games. Where does this rank for you in terms of significant games and moments?
LES MILES: I've had two spectacular memories for life, okay, the Boston College and this game. Where it ranks for me, I don't know. Pretty high. But yeah, enjoyable moments. Great team. Great people.

Q. After the game, I saw you hugging Jeff Long afterwards; could you kind of --
LES MILES: I would never, ever have had that to be on me -- oh, Jeff, I didn't know you were even here. Geez.

Q. Can you give us some idea as to the kind of words you guys were saying amongst each other?
LES MILES: I was saying stuff -- I can't even tease that. (Laughter.)

We enjoyed it. We enjoyed the victory. We enjoyed the moments thereafter. Yeah, with a friend. Remind me to tell you the humorous piece I was going to say. I promise you that would have been a...

Q. You guys obviously lost Bryce pretty early on the night --
LES MILES: We get him back. That's for the entire game, which is wonderful news. We get the victory, we get Bryce back. It's good.

Q. But how difficult is it for the secondary and the defense to kind of operate without him, Jeremiah is out, too --
LES MILES: He closed those gaps that were wide open, okay. In other words he closed them with adjustments that he would make, signals that he would get from DJ that would affix the coverage, and we had a difficult time making that work.

Q. Coach, the jubilation reverberated all the way up here, but when you're in the mix, what is the surround sound of celebration, what was that atmosphere like that?
LES MILES: It was a jam-packed small area around me that I could not see probably any further than three feet, okay. There were people and people and people and people, and I was going across, again, the stadium to congratulate the coach. Their team played awfully hard. I took forever. I met 150 people I never knew. Hey, nice to see you, yeah. We'll see you later. And we passed.

I can tell you this: That's better than a ride at some amusement parks that I've been at. (Laughter.)

Q. The special teams protection issues, obviously you guys worked on addressing that in the last week. What was the breakdown there and how can you get that fixed moving forward?
LES MILES: We'll probably try to -- the left wing ended up being manned by a larger, longer body, and that made a difference. It'll be interesting -- you know, I want to look at that myself. I know that one came around both ends. I know that we had an extra point blocked in one piece, and then another kick blocked on the other edge. So both edges I know gave up blocks.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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