From Inside the Red Raiders
Texas Tech head coach Matt Wells met with the media on Monday to recap the Red Raiders’ tough loss last weekend and preview the upcoming Big 12 road matchup against Iowa State. The Red Raiders (1-2 overall, 0-2 in the Big 12) and Cyclones (2-1, 2-0) are set to face off Saturday in a contest which will be nationally televised on ABC.
Texas Tech at Iowa State
Records: TTU: 1-2, 0-2; ISU: 2-1, 2-0
When: 2:30 p.m. (CT) Saturday
Where: Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, IA
TV: ABC (Stream: ESPN3)
Radio: Texas Tech Sports Network (Satellite Radio: Sirius 98 / XM 200)
The following is a collection of notes and quotes from Wells’ press conference Monday:
- Wells said the plan to win the game is working they’re just not finishing the game.
- The two biggest keys for them against Kansas State was to win the special teams battle and the turnover margin. They did neither and lost.
- Wells said he was surprised they had another punt blocked and that those type of mistakes make it hard to win. He added they will get it fixed.
- “I believe in our coaches, I believe in our plan and I wholeheartedly believe in our players. Our guys are bought in. Our guys are together. There were a ton of guys in the building yesterday, early this morning ready to roll and to continue keep fighting.”
- Wells said he knows this is a results oriented business and he doesn’t need to be reminded of it. He said the players and other coaches know it, too.
- “I’m proud of our players in the resiliency and the fight they continue to show. They are with us and they’re believing in the plan. I will say this, our time is coming. I know that our time is coming and this team will continue to battle. Good things are on the horizon for this team.”
- Wells respect Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell and his staff for the success and continuity they have had.
- The Cyclones have been a model of consistency in the Big 12 under Campbell due to the toughness, good defense and good play in the trenches.
- Wells said he looks at how they run their program and would like to build something similar.
- On the punt block allowed Wells said the operation was slow and the edge rusher was not blocked.
- On Trey Wolff’s missed kicks he said it’s both mechanics and regaining confidence.
- Wells said “nothing’s broken, nothing’s fractured” in regards to Alan Bowman’s injury which Wells confirmed is Bowman’s ankle. Bowman is day-to-day.
- Wells said quarterback Henry Colombi did a good job in relief of Bowman and the team did not have to change the game plan. Colombi impressed a lot of people in the program according to Wells.
- On overcoming the late game meltdowns: “There’s no magic fairy dust. There’s not a certain pregame dance or pregame song you do. You’ve got to continue to grind. You’ve got to continue to believe in the plan and the process throughout the week. How you practice, how you eat, how we go to sleep, how we lift weights… the thing that’s inspiring to me is the response by our players in the building yesterday and today. You’re not going to change the culture and flip around a program from what the last whatever years it’s been average, and inconsistent and a bowl game here, a bowl game not there and all that. That’s what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to put it to the upper half of the league and compete for a Big 12 championship in the month of November. You do not do it overnight in football. You do not have 85 initials (counters or new scholarships) every year. You can’t turn a roster over like basketball. You can’t turn the roster over every year like baseball. It’s different. The thing we have to do is continue to recruit. You have seen the first full recruiting class playing and playing well right now through three games. I’m proud of them. The development of guys… Riko Jeffers’ development in a year and a half… I can’t say enough about his leadership and the things he’s bringing into our locker room. (I’m) very, very proud of him. Jack Anderson. His leadership. His play. He’s played the best two games he’s played since he’s been a Texas Tech Red Raider. Ask him. Those are the things I continue to draw strength from. I understand the close losses and that was the deal last year. I understand the last two weeks. The thing is we’re going to coach to win and we’re going to play to win and I think you saw that.”
- “Internally, there’s a lot of belief here and I do believe we got to keep grinding. We’ve got to keep knocking on that door and at some point that door’s going to open and hopefully we don’t just stick our little toe in it and stop it, we slam the door wide open and throw it open. I do believe our time is coming.”
- The blanket waiver granted by the NCAA allows all football players, no matter the conference, whether the athlete doesn’t play all season or every snap, to regain this season of eligibility moving forward. It’s a free season in terms of eligibility. That means several seniors will be returning which will have a huge affect not only on the roster, but how Texas Tech approaches the 2021 recruiting class.
- Wells confirmed there are a couple of senior who have already said they plan on returning but he chose not to name them.
- There are “a few more who have given indications” they plan on returning for another season, but Wells added these are largely decisions and conversations that won’t truly be made and had for months.
- “Yes, in some spots it could affect numbers and not could, it will. It will affect some numbers in terms of we don’t need another blank, whatever that position is, because we have more coming back than we thought. The other thing that it may change is is that an old guy, that we’ve begun to call them around here, a JC or grad transfer or is it another freshman we develop. That also could change. Maybe not the number at which position, but what type of guy you’re looking for.”