KliffNotes: Kingsbury praises defense as Red Raiders head to Houston

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - The Red Raiders improve to 2-0 after a nail-biting 52-45 win over Arizona State.

The defense showed promise in the first half, and problems in the second half, but when the Red Raiders needed a stop at the end of the game, they got it.

"Those guys are playing a lot of snaps, and they knew those two drives were for the game," Head Coach Kliff Kingsbury said. "If Arizona State scores on either one of those, they beat us. They stepped up when they had to. 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."

Towards the end of the Arizona State game, the Red Raider offense threw the ball more than they wanted to.

Coach Kingsbury said that they would like to put more emphasis on the run game this week.

"I felt like last week wasn't bad. If you take out the sacks, we were close to 150 yards rushing. We'd like to be more around 200, but the game also kind of dictated us to throw it a little bit more there at the end," Kingsbury said. "So, we're not where we want to be, but it's much improved from last year where we couldn't run it at all. We've just got to keep working, keep getting Nisby comfortable, keep getting Trey comfortable, and with Justin you've got a really good rotation there."

And how does Coach Kingsbury feel about Tommy Tuberville being the TV analyst for the Houston game?

"How did I know that was coming? They're going to do what they need to do. I just coach football," Kingsbury said.

The Red Raiders are preparing to hit the road for the first time this season, as they take on the Houston Cougars, a place where Kingsbury and many Red Raider coaches have coached before.

"I always feel indebted to that university that gave me an opportunity, my first job in quality control for two years, and then I was allowed to kind of roll right into play calling duty, which doesn't happen very often, so I had a tremendous time there," Kingsbury said. "The people, the city, the university, can't say enough good things. It'll be strange being on the other sideline, but always a big fan of Houston, always cheer for them when we're not playing them, so it'll be a fun experience."

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