The Texas Tech Red Raiders Are Ready for Houston on Saturday [Videos]
Coach Kliff Kingsbury, Nic Shimonek and Jah'Shawn Johnson joined the media Tuesday morning to talk about the upcoming game against the Houston Cougars on Saturday, Sept. 23 at 11 a.m.
Coach Kingsbury said he believes that his players will be highly motivated to win and touted the improvement to the team's defense that was on display this past weekend against Arizona State.
"I felt like we got in a little lull there that they had gained all the momentum, so to see guys really take control and be leaders, and had great energy on the sideline and play like they did at the end, that was very encouraging," Kingsbury said.
He also noted that Houston's receivers are in fact really big. Luckily, he added, the Texas Tech defense is used to playing against big receivers.
"Yeah, they have big receivers, which, luckily for us, our guys get to go against them, Dylan and Derrick, in practice every day, and TJ, who are as big as anybody," said Kingsbury. "So hopefully that won't overwhelm them going against their big receivers, and last week we played against a big one at Arizona State. They're a talented group. Quarterback had a tremendous game last week, very accurate, was the No. 1 player in the country coming out, so we'll have our hands full."
After starting 2-0 this season with wins against Eastern Washington and Arizona State, defensive back Jah'Shawn Johnson said the team's confidence "is really high right now."
"We got a lot more confidence now than we had last year. In situations like that, last year guys were worried and down on each other and things like that, but on the sideline this week, you could see that everyone was encouraging each other and knowing that we were going to win," he said. "We had no doubt in our minds that we were going to win that game or lose that game. Like I said, the confidence is really high right now, and I like that about this team."
However, Johnson still sees room for improvement and understands the team didn't put Arizona State away like it should have.
"I mean, we had them on the ropes, and we kind of let off," Johnson said. "The secondary, we started to slack off. We gave up a couple deep balls and fell down on a couple plays and left receivers open. But we've been in the film room. We got it corrected, and just excited for this next opportunity."
Watch Jah'Shawn Johnson talk about Texas Tech's confidence and more below.
Quarterback Nic Shimonek was also on hand. He talked about the many blessings he has in Texas Tech's offensive arsenal -- namely, wide receivers Cam Batson, Keke Coutee, Derrick Willies and Dylan Cantrell. (Amen to that.)
"I'm having a great time, I'm having fun with these guys," Shimonek said. "It's such a blessing to have those guys -- Keke and Cam -- to be able to throw it even behind the line of scrimmage and it go for a touchdown, and then have guys like Dylan and Derrick, where if I'm in a sticky situation I can kind of put it in their area and I'm confident they're going to come down with it."
Watch the Q&A with Nic Shimonek below.
Texas Tech vs Houston begins 11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017. Tune into 1340 The Fan's pregame show starting at 9 a.m. that day.