Takeaways: Kingsbury feels his team is ready to play on Saturday
As we prepare for opening weekend, where Texas Tech will take on Stephen F. Austin, head coach Kliff Kingsbury met with the media on Tuesday evening to discuss where the team is at and what he thinks as they prepare for kickoff...
- The team's practice went through yet another lightning delay on Tuesday afternoon, having to head inside after the first 45 minutes of practice and had to wait it out for about 30 minutes. They did get some blitz pickup walkthroughs done during the wait, though.
- Kingsbury feels good about where the team is at right now, and he knows they're just ready to play a game: "I think we're ready to go. Won't know until the lights come on, but I like our energy, like our attitude, ready to play against somebody else, and we'll see how it goes."
- Kingsbury noted that the biggest difference for the team when transitioning from fall camp into the first game week is first that the speed of the game picks up considerably with more energy, more plays, and more complex packages and calls for both the offense and defense. Secondly it's about managing anxiety and emotions as everyone gets so eager as the opener comes up.
- The head coach also said that the first week is when you feel the most stressed as a coach, because while you likely have a good idea of what you're team is going to be, you don't exactly know until they play a real game. He does feel good about the work this team has put in and the leadership they have, though.
- As of today, Kingsbury feels that slot H KeKe Coutee is the fifth receiver on the field when the team goes into empty packages: "The guy that's kind of stepped in and handled that Jakeem Grant role is KeKe Coutee. He's stepped in and handled that. We'll move him around in that package, but he's been that kind of fifth wide receiver."
- More on Coutee from Kingsbury: "He's got a really natural way of running routes and catching the football. Things come pretty easy to him, so if we can get him the ball in his hands early, he's got a chance to make a bunch of plays for us."
- As of today, the head coach said that Coutee and Cam Batson will likely split reps evenly at that slot H spot on the inside: "They both can do a lot of different things. Cam is a very smart guy, was valedictorian of his school, good leader for us, tough in the run game and blocking, and then KeKe can fly and does everything very smoothly, so I think they kind of balance each other, and I see them getting about equal reps, regardless of who starts."
- Kingsbury said they're still trying to determine who all will be in their speed rusher package on the defensive line. They've rotated a lot of different guys in and out to try to get the best mix for when those situations arise.
- When asked about SFA's defense, Kingsbury mentioned their group of defensive ends and how they would challenge "our two young tackles," presumable meaning Terence Steele and Madison Akamnonu, something the head coach has yet to confirm as far the starting lineup on the offensive line.
- Kingsbury on his two redshirt freshman OTs facing SFA's edge rush: "I hope (it goes) well. For those tackles, it'll be the first game that they've started in college, so you kind of hold onto your butt and hope it all goes well. But, if they play like they practice, they'll be just fine, so hopefully that translates to Saturday."
- He also made sure to mention the defensive ends that Tech has, stating that he believes his young OTs have been going up against some good competition off the edge in camp.
- Kingsbury on Justin Murphy, and where he thinks the sophomore guard is as far as getting back being his old self: "I think he's getting there. He's got the attitude, the toughness, and I think he's got to get into game shape, which a bunch of us do, but I'm starting to see signs of that old, physical Justin Murphy coming back, so I think he'll be ready to go."