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NATIONAL UNIVERSITY HOLIDAY BOWL MEDIA CONFERENCE


December 18, 2013


Kliff Kingsbury


COACH KINGSBURY:  On behalf of Texas Tech University I would like to thank everyone involved with the Holiday Bowl for inviting us to be part of this incredible event.  To come down to the one of the greatest cities in America with our fans and our University and get to play in a bowl with this storied history that the Holiday Bowl has against one of the top teams in the country it's a huge program and honor for our university and we're just thrilled to be here.

Q.  We talked a little bit outside.  Could you officially go over your interesting quarterback situation in the last couple of weeks?  Where are you now and when do you make the decision as to who will be your starting quarterback in this game?
COACH KINGSBURY:  It has been interesting.  Nothing that I've experienced before, the last few weeks.  Baker Mayfield decided to leave the program, he started 7 games for us, so we had Davis Webb and Michael Brewer on the roster and both of those guys are competing to see who will start in the Bowl game and we laid it out that way to them and whoever practiced the best over the month was going to start the game.

Q.  Coach, the pregame is a big part of what you guys do, the masked rider won't be here, traveling with your fans.  Why happened with that?  Why won't you be riding?
COACH KINGSBURY:  I don't know, that's news to me.  Tough question.

Q.  How big of a part is he in doing what he does to get your team pumped up and get you guys ready?
COACH KINGSBURY:¬† Yeah, that's a big source of pride for our team obviously, a well‑known symbol of Texas Tech but I'm sure‑‑ I guess that's above my pay grade for that question.

Q.  Coach, could you assess what you will be facing with this team and your strengths and weaknesses test that go against?
COACH KINGSBURY:  It's been fun to watch their film.  It's one of the most talented teams that I've seen since I've been coaching both sides of the wall.  I think he said earlier, Sutton, I have not seen a more dominant player in the years I've been coaching, on film.  He creates havoc each and ever time he comes off the ball.  Their entire "D" line for that matter.  Protecting up front is going to be a huge factor for us and offensively, Kelly, one of the best quarterbacks in the country and then you have Bries and you have Strong and Nelson who can do a ton of things so they come at you with a ton of skill and great schemes and Coach Norville is one of the best offensive minds and Coach Kingsbury is one of the best defensive minds, so it will be a huge challenge for us and I know our kids are excited to be playing such a quality opponent.

Q.  Coach, one of the reasons you got this job is because you have had incredible devotion to being part of the Texas Tech community.  What was it like being in there with Mayfield when he is telling you "I don't want to be part of this tradition anymore"?  What were those conversations like with you and your team?
COACH KINGSBURY:  It was a tough deal because you want to be here for the kids and you want to help mentor them and you want them to have an enjoyable experience and that's why you're in coaching.
He felt like he needed a fresh start somewhere else, we were disappointed.¬† I couldn't be a bigger.¬† Mayfield fan and hope he goes on, has an incredible career.¬† What was best for him was to leave at that time and I was‑‑ if that's what he wanted to do, I supported him.

Q.  Are all your guys coming in with the bowl beard?
COACH KINGSBURY:  You'll have to wait and see I guess.  Some of them had the mustache in Novemberbut it's gone, so that's about where we're at.

Q.  You guys climbed to 10th in the nation at the beginning of the season.  What happened to the team?  Can you identify what the breakdowns were?
COACH KINGSBURY:  I think we started playing really good teams and that never helps!  We had some young guys and some young quarterbacks and you look at our turnover margin, we're second to last in the country and it's hard to be consistent and be a good team doing that and penalties have plagued us all year and those two areas slowed us down.
I thought effort was good the entire year on film.  I just think we have to clean up in a lot of areas and grow up.

Q.  Coach, similar question.  You brought from the early days when you were on the other side of the ball, how does that affect you and balance out your thinking today as a coach?
COACH KINGSBURY:  I think it helps.  I think, you know, my father was a high school football coach so being around that my entire life and watching the way he developed young men and worked with kids and enjoyed watching them grow up and being contributing members of society, I think I have a passion for that and being back in a school where I played and went to school in that day, watching those kids go through the same things I did and develop and grow up, it's been special to be back at Texas Tech.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you, Coach Kliff Kingsbury.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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