Photo via Hunter Cooke,


FRISCO – After making a quick quip about the walk-up music (it was Justin Bieber), Kliff Kingsbury quickly faced a barrage of questions. One of them stuck out poignantly, in a way that many Texas Tech fans and anyone who has watched college football over the past few years have voiced over the past few years.

“Just cutting right to it, Kliff, why has the defense been so bad, and how are you going to fix it?”

At this point, the question is more than legitimate, and the adjective “bad” might be an understatement. In many statistical aspects, the Red Raiders were the worst in the nation. Last year, they gave up 554.3 yards per game. That’s good for dead last in the nation.

Kingsbury’s teams have become known for his high-flying offenses and porous defenses. Last year’s competition with the Oklahoma Sooners featured almost no defense whatsoever, the Sooners won 66-59. As of right now, Kingsbury is 13-23 in conference over the past four years. He’s also going to have to fill the cleats of Patrick Mahomes, who has been the hands-down best player that he’s had.

Kliff knows that at some level, he’s on the hot seat. “Obviously, we know what’s at stake,” he said. “We know we have to be much improved. But that’s part of the job…You’re coaching for your job every year, and we know that.”

After that quick aside, Kliff denied that he felt any additional pressure, saying, “I don’t feel any more pressure than I ever have. I always expect to win and give Texas Tech what it deserves and their fans and their alumni and that university.”

When asked if he gave new Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley any advice, Kingsbury deadpanned, “I have not given him any advice because we play them.”


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