football Edit

Takeaways: Red Raiders review win over Baylor, upcoming TCU game and more

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Kliff Kingsbury along with DB Jah’Shawn Johnson and WR Cameron Batson spoke to the media on Sunday to discuss this weekend’s winning efforts in Arlington over Baylor and moving forward to a big TCU game.

Here are a few notes from the session.

- Kingsbury said that after reviewing tape that he saw ups and downs on the field.

- He noted that the defense came up with some opportunistic moments but the offense wasn’t as fine tuned as it should’ve been.

- “I felt like the defense made some opportunistic plays, particularly in the red zone. Offensively, did some ok things early and then after we had that fumble at the goal line I felt like we didn’t respond to that well – kind of squandered the entire fourth quarter, but it was good to get a win. So hopefully we can build off of that.”

- Kingsbury said the main thing to do with QB Nic Shimonek is to keep him consistent.

- He noted that Shimonek gets into the flow but at the same time forgets about mechanics and the little things.

- RB Tre King is going to be handed day-to-day as well as RB Justin Stockton. The goal is to have the entire backfield ready to go on Saturday. King is dealing with a lower-body injury after limping off the field the first play of the fourth quarter.

- Meanwhile, he said Mason Reed is likely out the rest of the season and will be evaluated after the final game.

- RBs Desmond Nisby and Demarcus Felton filled in late against Baylor which Kingsbury said was a positive to see.

- The Texas Tech special teams began the game with a spark provided by WR Keke Coutee who returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown.

- Batson said Coutee made his return to the special teams unit for the first time this week since suffering a knee injury. He added that Coutee had practiced with him all week at the spot.

- Batson said the unit was thrilled and covered well to make a hole for Coutee to run through.

- For the Red Raider defense, Johnson continued the create turnovers motto and said the team is hard to beat when they win the turnover battle.

- Johnson said DB Douglas Coleman always punches at the ball in practice so he wasn’t surprised to see him come up with his strip-return for a score, which is the second year in a row he’s done so.

- “Just kind of rallying to the ball,” Johnson said. “First man wraps him up and the other guys are coming in stripping and punching or vice-versa. We do a turnover circuit everyday in practice and that’s one of coach (David) Gibbs’ main things for him and his defensive scheme. That’s just what we do.”

- Johnson said the team was positive all week but the win boosted the morale of the team.

- He spoke about the atmosphere of the game too with the Red Raider faithful showing full support in Arlington.

- “The Baylor fans – they didn’t have many but they’re a great team and they just kept fighting with what they had. They took off with the momentum that they got from the fans that they had. We had a great turnout on our side. Our fans are pretty loud no matter what so we appreciate that and happy that we could get a win for them.”

- Their upcoming opponent will be TCU who is coming off of a loss to Oklahoma.

- Here’s Kingsbury’s thoughts on the Horned Frogs.

- “About as well-coached as you can possibly be. That’s one thing when you see Gary Patterson’s defense year-in and year-out those kids are as well-coached as anybody in the country. They know what you’re doing before you do it most of the time. So to watch them and how they execute his calls week-in and week-out is pretty phenomenal.”

- One weapon the Red Raiders have on offense to breakdown the TCU defense is WR Dylan Cantrell, who tied a career high in receptions this weekend with 11.

- Kingsbury said the stretch where Cantrell caught four passes in a row was something they saw on Baylor’s film.

- Here’s what he had to say about having Cantrell as a senior this year and what his future looks like.

- “It’s been awesome. As a senior we asked him to move over to the other side which isn’t easy and he didn’t blink. He’s worked hard and does everything you want. He doesn’t miss practice. Just really proud of how far he’s come. Team-player through and through and what he’s about – loves Texas Tech so you can’t say enough good things about him.”

- “He’s going to get a real shot. I’m not sure what round or things of that nature, but I know there’s a lot of interest. I think he’ll test a lot better than those guys in the know. He’s very explosive, works really hard – 220 pounds – can get bigger if he needed to and can really do it all. We use him in the slot. We use him as kind of an h-back and obviously outside. So I think somebody will be really lucky to draft him.”

- Kingsbury’s last question of the night was as follows: “Kliff, do you ever think about what your record might be if you had Clayton (Hatfield) healthy all season?” His answer:

- “I try not to. Just straight ahead – control what you can control. It was good to see him make that kick. I don’t think he hit it all the way but he’s such a good kicker that he still found a way to kick it through and he’s kicked really well in practice so hopefully that continues and that’s a big plus for us.”