College Sports: Texas Tech quotable: ‘Whether we lost by a point or 40, we lost the game’

Texas Tech lost its first game of the season on Saturday, falling 41-34 to No. 15 Oklahoma State in Lubbock. Here’s what head coach Kliff Kingsbury and the Red Raiders had to say about the loss. 

Kingsbury on the loss: 

“We fought, played hard. Didn’t play good enough. That’s a good football team. They’ve got a lot of talented players and they got after us and made the plays there at the end when they had to. We had the ball with a chance to go win it and didn’t get it done and they did. I thought we fought hard but we gotta play better.”

Kingsbury on having to punt with the game tied: 

“Yeah, that’s what we ask our defense to do to, just give us a chance at the end. And they hung in there because that was a barrage of offense coming at them with some really, really good players that are going to be playing on Sundays. And they kept fighting and at the end of the day we had the ball with the chance to go win it and we didn’t get it done.”

Kingsbury on the play of quarterback Nic Shimonek:

“Yeah, he fought and played hard. We couldn’t run the ball. They’re dropping a bunch of people, and even when they were rushing three they had a pretty good pass rush in his face. I thought he hung in there, made some nice throws, made some plays when he had to. And he’s a fighter, he’s a competitor. And there was some adverse situations that he kept pushing, and that’s all you can ask for in a quarterback.”

Kingsbury on the defense:

They’ve been taking the ball away first off. You get that — that big interception return was huge. And then just, they’re just fighting for four quarters, they continue to fight. Like I said, that was a very good offense coming at them and they never got their head down. They kept battling, kept battling, gave us big stops when we needed them.

Shimonek on moving forward:

“Yeah, you know, I guess if there is a positive to take from this, it was that you could tell in the locker room after the game that it really hurt everybody. Last year, it was kind of — we lost, we just lost the game. You could tell that everybody in that locker room expects to win. And obviously whenever we don’t, like tonight, you can just see the passion. So, yeah, hopefully we don’t have too many of these.”

Shimonek on the atmosphere: 

“Yeah, it was awesome. Anytime we play here, it gets rowdy down there. And it made it tough on them. Like Coach Kingsbury alluded to, it’s a great offense that just came in. And held them to, what, 41 points, and had a chance to win if I threw Cantrell a better ball in the end zone and he catches that, and I also throw Derrick a better back shoulder at the end of the first half. We had to settle for field goals. So that takes eight points off the board as opposed to two. If you get inside the five, you’ve got to score touchdowns, can’t settle for field goals. But, yeah, same thing. Like I alluded to, we’ve got to get better. We can’t hang our heads. And move on to Kansas.”

Shimonek on keeping the game close: 

“I mean, we lost. So it doesn’t feel good at all. Whether we lost by a point or 40, we lost the game. So not here to compete with people; we’re here to win football games.”

Defensive back Jah’Shawn Johnson on how this team is different than last year:

“It’s definitely different. I don’t think anyone thought we would lose that game on that sideline. We were all encouraging each other. The fans have done a great job of keeping us up as well. But we’ve got to find a way to get it done.”

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