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November 23, 2019

Matt Wells

Lubbock, Texas

Kansas State - 30, Texas Tech - 27

MATT WELLS: Well, it was a tough, hard fought game. Tough ending for us. But it's a lot of heart and a lot of passion. I thought it was a good football game. Tough. Kind of a tale of two halves. First half saw defense, both sides, really just playing tough, hard nosed, sound, very fundamental defense on both sides. And then you come out in the second half and both offenses kind of get going. Unfortunately, we give up a couple shots and but we get right back in it. Kickoff return, the touch may have been the difference in the ball game. Outstanding play by that kid.

But these seniors have a special place in my heart. What they did to help us continue -- or to set this foundation, I think it reflects a passion, it reflects a toughness and a fight and a grit. I think we have all seen that. Unfortunately, we have come up short again and that will never be good enough in terms of the win and loss and we all know that. But we're going to keep knocking on that door and we're going to keep fighting and these wins are coming and they're coming soon. And when they come, they're going to come in bunches. I know that it's frustrating right now for us. It's frustrating for our players, because we're so close. But we're going to continue to fight and stick together and that's one thing that I respect about that locker room is they have not turned on each other and they have stuck it out and, through a lot of frustration, just in terms of the scoreboard and the results. But I am very proud of them. Go ahead and open it up for questions.

Q. 3:58 left and you had the touchdown kickoff from mid field. What options did you consider there? Did you consider an on-side --
MATT WELLS: Nope. 3:58, three timeouts to go, they were not giving us an on-side. Their front line was 11, 11 and a half yards all night. They were not leaving early. They're very sound and fundamental on that. So there was no, the bunt or the on-side was not there. And we had all three timeouts. So it's absolutely, it's kick it deep and play defense. We got to get stops done at that point.

Q. The fact that this is your fourth loss in conference by three points or less, is that just where you are talent-wise relative to other teams or you're not playing with quite as much poise as you need to late in games, or what do you think is the reason for that?
MATT WELLS: Well, it's a good question. I haven't stopped to think about it in terms of that. That sounds like an off season question for me. I mean, when you want, if you want to assess talent, it's the fourth loss with three points or less, we're pretty close. I mean, I don't think it's -- we are very, very thin in some spots. I think that we have got to build our depth. And our numbers are very, very, are low in some positions. We have to recruit. We have to develop. I'm not sure we have completely lost our poise, but there's been some times that you do make mistakes at the end of the game where it can be pointed at poise. I think there were a couple games that I don't think should have gotten to that too. So I do think that will be something that's addressed and looked at as we get into the off season though.

Q. There was a late third down where Skyler Thompson late in the game picked up a third and long. Seemed like a --
MATT WELLS: Was that on the scramble?

Q. Yeah, it was a scramble. It was a pretty big blitz, if I remember right. Seems like that's been a common theme, late in games, third and long, great opportunity, can't get off the field. From your perspective, why does that keep happening?
MATT WELLS: That's a good question. It's been a throw and a completion and times the coverage wasn't tight enough. At times there's been not enough pressure. That time there was enough pressure. And I'm not sure how to answer why there wasn't a guy on the quarterback on that. Somebody got caught up. I don't know on that particular call, but it's certainly, I think, been a series of several things on third downs.

Q. Five field goals, those two back-to-back. Big kick return. Did you expect it to come down to special teams play like that at that stage?
MATT WELLS: I don't know if I expected it to come down to special teams. But I think those were opportunities that were there. We wanted to be aggressive. I made the calls on both of them. We thought they were there. We executed the one to Eric, a phenomenal play, really, by Austin and Eric. Great job by both of them. Just came up just a shade short.

On Jalen's there, that was a fourth and four. It was a long four. It was right on the edge and that spot was really close. But really, it's, I talked to our team about that during the week. If I call that in that situation and we don't get it, I got to get bailed out and our defense bailed me out. And they liked it being aggressive and Tre kicked field goals. The kickoff return for a touch, that hurt. That was a big play by them.

Q. Was that fit designed for him or kind of like the injuries at running back, was that a change that was made during the week? The fake run on the punt? Was that designed for Jalen or was that --
MATT WELLS: No. You mean the run?

Q. Yeah, the run.
MATT WELLS: No, it was designed for Jalen.

Q. Is that the same call that picked up against Oklahoma?
MATT WELLS: Similar, just because it was a snap to the same guy. But the blocking schemes and the look were different.

Q. Sort of, KeSean, that was signalled a touchdown, did you have a disagreement on that?
MATT WELLS: It was hard for me to see on the jumbotron and I couldn't really see from where I was standing on the sidelines.

Q. Six points in the second half and then they explode for 24 in the second. What were some of the issues you saw in your defense in that second half?
MATT WELLS: The issues with the defense in the second half? You know, the third down, I mean, you mentioned the third down there. There was a couple nice scrambles by 10. Obviously, the play action shot when they got in the three back formation right over our safety, that hurt. That was probably two of the bigger plays. And then until you get to the scenario Don was talking about and you can't get off the field. You got to have a stop and it's got to have a stop right there and we couldn't get a stop.

Q. One more question about the kickoff decision: What about the option of a sky kickoff to pop it up, say, down to about the 20 yard line. At least make a guy fair catch it with feeling a little bit of heat.
MATT WELLS: Could. Could have. I didn't want to see the thing come all the way back like a pinball machine. I had already seen it once. That was good. That was good. We were going to try to play defense at that point. I mean, I kind of tipped my hat to the guy. I'm not going to sky it. You got another guy, you could have very easily, but we just kicked it out.

Q. What did Damarcus and Ta'Zhawn have tonight?
MATT WELLS: Ta'Zhawn actually got hurt in pregame and I didn't see it. And he kind of got, he got banged up. Hit heads in pregame. And our trainers and doctors ruled him out before the game.

Damarcus is just battling a hip injury and was kind of questionable. Probably could have gone if it was an emergency, but trying to battle it through the week. I think he'll be good for next week.

Q. How did Jordan play tonight?
MATT WELLS: Jordyn Brooks? He was all over the place. Heart and soul, that defense. Heart and soul of our team. A lot of respect for Jordyn Brooks. I love that kid. That kid plays his guts out.

Q. That play following the fake punt throw to EZ, was that play, the one that Duffey threw the interception, was that a designed play to take a shot at the end zone or was that something that Duffey might have just seen?
MATT WELLS: It was a designed shot into the end zone, a red zone play. And it was a good play by their safety.

Q. Were those receivers both supposed to be so close to each other or was that miscommunication?
MATT WELLS: That's a good question. If you're asking me, then they're probably too close. I mean, I mean that out of all respect. I mean, you're -- I didn't see it. I was actually watching the protection and watching Jett. And then my eyes went up late. So if they were that close, potentially they could have been. I'll confirm that for you on Monday, yeah.

Q. How do you think Jett played overall?
MATT WELLS: You know, can't throw two picks. I think that his scrambles were outstanding. I thought his demeanor, I thought his verbiage in terms of the things that he did, we have had very little the last couple weeks, mistakes in terms of the plays and the signals and all that. And we changed a lot of stuff this week. He handled that very well. I thought he handled the clock well, scrambling, the run game stuff, very well. And, you know, and I'm sure he would tell you he wishes he had both picks back.

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