As if the Red Raiders needed any extra motivation to snap this four-game losing streak, it's Texas Week, which means the intensity level is already ratcheted up a notch.
Both teams will come in well-rested after a bye week, and the winner will have extra to be thankful for on Thanksgiving night.
For Coach Kingsbury and company, the bye week was just what the doctor ordered. The team was able to regroup, take some extra time to fix their issues, and most importantly, get healthy before Thursday night's big game.
Kliff spoke about the bye week, his quarterback situation, the ins and outs of the Texas Longhorns, and much more in his weekly press conference, which you can read highlights from here or watch in the attached video.
Can you talk about what it means to be on that Thanksgiving stage?
It's a great opportunity for our university and our kids to show what they can do to go out there in the last game and hopefully play our best game of the year.
How was the bye week?
It was good. Got a lot of reps for the quarterbacks. Guys that have made position changes and things of that nature, got them a bunch of reps, which we desperately needed.
Are you choosing between three quarterbacks or between two?
Yeah, they're all three healthy. So it will be between one of those three and see how it goes.
Coach, does the weather affect your preparations this off week?
No, we had a tractor out there moving it off which took a little while yesterday, but we got it done. It's been fine. It is what it is. We practice outside for a long time up here.
Have you kind of chimed in on the defensive side of the ball? During the bye week, did you guys address some of that to try to get stops?
Yeah, we've been trying to get stops. We've just got to find a way to do it. We've got to put our players in position. That's when those guys have to make plays. The missed tackles was concerning and we got back to the basics of that. We'll see how it goes Thursday.
Have you noticed changes in their defense?
Yeah, schematically it's a lot different. It appears he's had kind of a calming effect. He's been around a lot of football. They're playing really good defense since he's taken over and won a bunch of games. So very talented group.
What's the difference schematically?
I would say Manny was a lot more exotic and Coach Robinson brings different looks but not as much as Manny did.
Do you anticipate that they're going to hand the ball off against you because of what they've seen in the last four games?
I would think so. They were great stable backs, and really good O line, so I would expect that to be coming often and early.
Do you think a national game like this on Thanksgiving means more than a typical game?
I do. I think it's a neat deal for our players and our staff to go down there. Any time you get to showcase your university on a national stage on a big night, that's a great deal for us. I think as many eyes as you're going to have on you in the state especially after watching that game Thanksgiving, I think it's big for our university.
Did you have any influence on the Lone Star Pride jersey this year?
Not a lot. Just okayed some things and nicked some things. But I really like the look. I think it's a good statement for our team.
Can you just talk about the opportunity that awaits you guys Thursday? If you guys can win, it can really change how everybody views the season?
Yeah, there are a lot of games that could have changed the way people viewed this season. When you lose four in a row, that's how it goes. But to us, it's an opportunity to play our best game, and we've been waiting to do that.
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