New week with a game at home. We're excited about it and homecoming. Going off of the postgame from last week, we were able to watch the film. Looking back at the game, TCU played their best game of the year and we didn't play our best game of the year. You guys have heard me say this over and over again, but my goal is to get us to perform at our best every week, regardless of the opponent. When you play in this conference and you play against really good teams, if they're playing at a high level and you're not matching that, you have no chance. That was the result for this game. There's still a lot of things for us to learn from to get better, and it was just disappointing that I wasn't able to get the guys to play at our best in all three phases. We're going to have to evaluate everything and see what factors we can improve on. The sense of urgency for us to get better quickly is even more now and pretty evident on some places that we can address.
On Texas Tech:
We're going against a really good Texas Tech team. They're well-coached. Joey McGuire is a legend in the state of Texas and coaching. He's done an amazing job putting together a really good staff. I know pretty much everybody on their staff and they all have great reputations as coaches and as recruiters. Talented team with a really big defense. I think they're the biggest defensive backfield I've seen in college football. They can run and they're strong and physical. Then you look at their front seven and they're well-coached and they get after the quarterback, so it's a tough task. Our offense has got to figure it out and find ways to get points on the board. They have very capable players and a strong offensive line.
On linebacker Ben Bywater's season-ending shoulder surgery:
I love Ben. I think when the injury occurred, it was more of a 'what are the options?' If you guys know Ben, he's gonna want to play and I think as we started to look into it and started getting more feedback and advice from the professionals, Ben was so focused on just getting back on the field of playing. The best thing to do was look at his options. The right decision is to get the surgery and get him healthy and not to put him in harm's way. I would do the same and I have to think of him as if he was my son. We still need his leadership... and he's done a great job with that getting Harrison [Taggart] and Siale [Esera] ready to play that position.
On other injuries:
Tanner Wall is out for the year as well. When we evaluated, he had surgery, and we're pretty safe to say that he'll be out for the year. That's unfortunate because he started playing really great football. For now, that's the season-ending ones. The guys that got banged up in the TCU game came back and played again, so I think we'll be okay there.
On running back Aidan Robbins' availability:
He practiced last week, and we gave him enough practice to try to see where he could be. We feel really good about this week in participating, but we've got to get him out there and see how he can handle practice and he's still got to compete against the guys that are currently there on the depth chart. I think there's a higher possibility of him playing this weekend than before. He's been banged up all year. There was a point in camp where he got banged up and just been playing through some injury. We're hoping to get the full, 100% Aidan back.
On takeaways from the team effort:
The effort is there. We've got to do our part and then all the other parts that factor into earning a victory. That's all the little details. If you're looking at what would really be helpful - our offense was in third and long for the majority of the game and we didn't convert third downs. On our defensive side, we had way too many third down conversions. We had opportunities to get off the field and we didn't do that.
On handling adversity this season compared to last year:
I think you have to learn from the times, and we're in a different stage now where the motivation to play is way different. I think last year, it was more about just getting to a bowl game, a bowl game we already knew what we were going to be playing. Just being really honest with you guys, with this year, there's still a lot to play for and the affiliation with the conference is huge. Every week is going to be a special moment whether you're on the road or at home. We have an opportunity to showcase our talent on national tv in front of our awesome fans at home and in front of our fans on the road. We appreciate their support and what they do for us as a program.