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Kingsbury says close call against Central Arkansas was 'embarrassing'

Kingsbury gave Central Arkansas credit for nearly knocking off Texas Tech at home, 42-35.

Posted: August 31, 2014 - 10:39pm  |  Updated: September 1, 2014 - 12:01am
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Texas Tech's Kliff Kingsbury looks on during their game on Saturday in Lubbock. (Tori Eichberger/AJ Media)
Texas Tech's Kliff Kingsbury looks on during their game on Saturday in Lubbock. (Tori Eichberger/AJ Media)
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Embarrassing.

That’s how Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury summed it up.

He added in all the cliches, too. He gave Central Arkansas credit for nearly knocking off Texas Tech at home, 42-35. He said the Bears played hard and had a plan.

But in his post game interview, Kingsbury took responsibility for the “sluggish” performance.

“They just got their players ready to go and we didn’t,” Kingsbury said. “That’s on me. I’ll take that one. I thought we had good practices. It was a great atmosphere, lots of fans, we just didn’t show up.”

And yes, today, Raider Nation has cause for concern, especially after Texas Tech gave Kingsbury $22.9 million to sign a contract extension through 2020 this week.

But, the fact that Kingsbury came out and told it like it was, is a good sign. He didn’t overdo the sugar coating and he didn’t make excuses.

“To come out and have that many undisciplined penalties and turn the ball over twice and take a safety on the other one which counts as a turnover, it was pretty embarrassing to be honest,” he said.

Sophomore safety Keenon Ward had the simplest explanation for the near upset.

“(The coaches) didn’t say much (afterward). Obviously, we came out sluggish and we have a sour taste in our mouth,” he said, “and we just need to get better,” he said. “We had our techniques down. We had our game plan in. I don’t know. I guess we just underestimated the opponent.”

Good or bad?

Davis Webb had an up-and-down game. And that left many in the press box at Jones AT&T Stadium debating whether he had a good game or a terrible game.

Both arguments seemed valid. Webb did throw for 452 yards — 10 off his career high — and had four touchdown passes.

However, the sophomore, who had nine interceptions in 10 games last season, had two before halftime and both came on plays where he forced a pass into coverage. The interceptions also led to 10 Central Arkansas points.

Even Kingsbury had a schizophrenic view of his quarterback’s play Saturday.

“Shaky early, just trying to do too much, trying to make every play,” Kingsbury said. “But I thought he hung in there and bounced back well. But, not his best night.”

Webb’s first interception ended a drive at the Bears’ 11-yard line.

He rolled to left and tried to force the ball past Central Arkansas’ Prince Ene and to Devin Lauderdale. But the ball ricocheted off them and into the hands of Dawson Hadnot.

The second interception came when he tried to hit Jakeem Grant, who was cramping for a portion of the game, on the far sideline. Grant was covered and the ball was picked off by Artez Williams, who returned it to the Red Raiders 2-yard line. The Bears scored a play later and went up 16-7.

The final mistake came when he was under pressure in his own end zone and threw the ball away. Webb was called for intentional grounding and a safety. That play pulled the Bears within a touchdown, 28-21.

Central Arkansas coach Steve Campbell was clearly impressed by Webb’s second half (where he threw three touchdown passes), though.

“Davis Webb is a great quarterback,” Campbell said. “He’s a future NFL player. And it’s a matter of a guy like him, you can hope to slow down because he’s very, very hard to contain for four quarters.

“But we did a good job of slowing him down there for a while. We made him take the long haul on every possession except for, I think it was two.”

Marquez stepping up

Texas Tech senior wide receiver Bradley Marquez made two game-altering plays Saturday for Red Raiders, hauling in a 70-yard touchdown pass early in the fourth quarter and a 27-yard touchdown catch with 5:38 remaining in the game.

Both catches gave Tech 14-point cushions it needed to fend off Central Arkansas.

“He stepped up and made great plays,” Kingsbury said. “He’s had a great camp. He’s a guy we’re going to lean on. In tough times he’s one of the few seniors on that offense, so I was proud of the way he responded.”

Marquez finished with 10 receptions for 184 yards, which were the most for a Red Raider in any game since Darrin Moore had 186 yards in 2012 against Baylor. His 70-yard touchdown catch was the longest reception for a Red Raider since Jacoby Franks pulled in a 72-yarder against Kansas State in 2009.

“Me with my experience, I’ve been through ups and downs throughout my career here, so I felt it was my time, and I needed to go out there and do the best I could possibly do,” Marquez said. “Didn’t start the way I wanted to personally, as well as a team, we didn’t. But we’ve got to learn from it and get better.”

Despite his strong play, Marquez said the game was a wake-up call for the team.

“It wasn’t pretty, but like I said, we’ve got to learn from it,” he said. “We had a lot of young guys out there maybe getting their first college games in and just getting their feet under them. So I guess it was to be expected a little bit that we may struggle in the beginning, but we’re more mature than that as a team.

“We’ve practiced well enough and prepared ourselves well enough to go out there and be successful. We weren’t quite able to do that today the way we wanted to.”

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4
1

Yes

There is cause to be concerned. They say teams improve the most from game one to game two. Let's hope that applies here because I don't want to get run over by Arkansas in 2 weeks with their big o-line and good running backs. Here's my stupid comment for the day.....I'm not getting a good "feeling" for the 3-4 defense. I think we would have more success with a 4-3 defense the next two weeks against running teams. I acknowledge it's a stupid comment because no way I know as much as our coaches on what they should do with the players they have.

2
3

too many

too many ice buckets & not enough shed challenges.

6
1

Embarrassing Sums It Up

As a fan and alumni, I do not expect this coach--with all of his hype and Raider Nation good will--to allow his teams to come out "flat", under-estimating opponents, or not "preparing" the players adequately. Those performances and excuses were what we got from Tuberville, and they are not acceptable. This game was a win, but it sucked. The Red Raider nation has been hearing about the "progress", great workouts, the improvement, and the hunger of this team to win, since the Holiday Bowl. However, after nine months of anticipation and waiting, we are treated to a lackluster performance full of mistakes ,AND the team is almost beaten on national television by a Division II school. Kingsbury definitely summed it up: "it was embarrassing." Knowing Kingsbury's work ethic and pride in his alma mater, things will change very rapidly. I think that we all certainly hope so.

0
6

the right thing

C'mon Goober and do the right thing. Give these millions back until you (or if you ever do) earn them. Long term contracts and big bucks don't guarantee any sort of success and can make for lackadaisical efforts. If you people think Goober was the ONLY one that had a hand in the development of Johnny "Football" and the Houston quarterback, you don't understand major college football. This "godlike" aura that has been bestowed on Goober since the day he became coach is not only unfair to him but also to the program itself. Until he becomes successful (wins 10+ games) he's just another Tuberville that's making a whole lot more money.

4
4

I'm glad I don't care about college

football. It's nice to sit back and read other people getting upset about something I don't care about. I imagine that the feeling is mutual for at least a few.

The importance of college sports, and sports in general, is pretty ludicrous to me. What happens to all the players who devote their lives to their sport, when they end up with no place to play, and have no real education or marketable job skills?

0
1

@jeff ross

Pretty well sums it all up.

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