The No. 20 Texas Tech football team doesn’t care about Kansas.
“It’s about us,” defensive coordinator Matt Wallerstedt said. “It’s not really about KU. It’s not about Texas State or TCU. Our guys know what we’re capable of doing. We’ve got to find that formula within our defensive coaching staff to make sure that at the 11 a.m. kickoff we’re juiced up and ready to play.”
After Texas Tech’s first bye week of the season, the team is both rested and prepared for the first of the eight remaining Big 12 games.
“With that week off, it definitely rejuvenated us and we have a long stretch ahead of us,” senior defensive lineman Kerry Hyder said. “But we needed that week off to get our legs back and prepare us for this long run.”
Starting today, Texas Tech plays eight straight weeks with its second bye week on the final week of the season.
With the team excited to get back out and play, it won’t be at Jones AT&T Stadium.
For the first time in a month the Red Raiders will not be playing in Lubbock, home of a record-setting student section and a rowdy fan base.
Instead, despite the 11 a.m. kickoff, Texas Tech will have to create its own energy 660 miles north in Lawrence, Kan.
“I mean, any time you go on the road you have to create your own energy,” head coach Kliff Kingsbury said. “That is part of playing on the road. But now, if you’re not excited to play eight Big 12 games, then you’re in the wrong business, I guess. I don’t know why you would have to bring any more motivation.”
Memorial Stadium in Lawrence doesn’t rock like Allen Fieldhouse does on game days, but playing in the home of a Big 12 foe is no easy task.
“It’s a tough place to play,” offensive coordinator Sonny Cumbie said. “The students sit right behind our bench and do a good job of staying on us. We’re going to have our hands full.”
The last time Texas Tech traveled to Kansas, the Jayhawks jumped out to a 20-0 lead over the Red Raiders in the second quarter.
Generating energy on the sideline for Tech will be a key factor to a win over KU, starting with the coaches.
“As a coaching staff, I think we’re all conscious of it on the sidelines,” Cumbie said. “We know that we’re responsible for some of (the energy). So yeah, we try to generate some energy, but the guys on the sidelines do a great job.”
From quarterback sacks to touchdown passes, big plays serve as catalysts for the Red Raiders.
“We’re always going to play excited,” Hyder said. “That’s celebrating on all plays – third down stops, big hits and just cheering each other on. The offense can cheer for the defense. The defense cheers for the offense. We try to create our own energy out there.”
Kansas is the first of three total road games in the month of October for Texas Tech.
Next week, the Red Raiders return home to host Iowa State but the following two weeks are on the road at West Virginia and Oklahoma.
In order to stay in contention for the Big 12 title, Texas Tech needs to win on the road.
“We have to create our own energy, you know, because we’re all we’ve got when we go into those stadiums and these fans playing in the Big 12,” junior wide receiver Bradley Marquez said. “There are great stadiums and fan bases, so we have to create our own energy, definitely, and just go out there and play the way we know how.”
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