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Neal Brown Press Conference “We’re Gonna Need Our Fanbase Saturday”

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: JUL 16 Big 12 Media Days Photo by George Walker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Didn’t get the job done in Lubbock. Didn’t play bad but didn’t play well enough to win. Games in the Big 12 come down to the 4th quarter. 3 of our games have come down to the 4th quarter and we’re 1-2. Oklahoma State was a one-score game in the 4th. Special teams were much improved. Punt team did a really nice job in coverage. Punters put two inside the 10. Fake was a big play, led to a touchdown. Still have some ways to go with punt return. Their punter had a career day with a 87-yard punt. Evan Staley had a nice day kicking off and two field goals.

Defensively, we got off to a slow start. We weren’t sharp early. Opening series set the tone. Explosive run we mis-fit. I thought we played well after they scored their last offensive touchdown. They were able to ding us in the run game.

Offensively we did some good things. The fumble was critical. The dropped passes we’ll get better at that. I thought Jarret Doege played his best game here, throwing th eball and getting it out on time. I don’t know if we got fatigued or what.

Credit Texas Tech Red Raiders, they made a play to win the game and we didn’t. Disappointing loss but we have to turn the page to a Kansas State Wildcats game. When you think of KSU, its a disciplined team. Defensively 4-down front. Top talented team at defensive end. They have some kids at the end spots that can rush the passer. They have answers for everything you do. Playing a lot of guys in the secondary. They’ve had a bunch of COVID issues but you can’t tell. They are difficult to run inside. Will Howard has a calm demeanor about it. Makes 2 or 3 difficult passes for explosive plays each game. The offensive numbers don’t blow you away but scoring offense is the name of the game. They don’t give up a bunch of negative plays. Special teams is in their culture. Lots of walkons. They play extremely hard. They’ve blocked 3 punts this year. They take the fastest line to the punter and been able to block 3 of them. Punt returner returned 2 punts for touchdowns against Kansas. Last year they returned 4 kickoffs for touchdowns.

We are going to need our fanbase on Saturday.

Drops - How to Fix?

Practice it. A lot of drops are due to hand placement. Sometimes you leave your feet, you have to be soft with your hands. We’ll continue to coach the techniques. Not gonna affect how we call plays. We’ll put guys out there in position to make plays.

Winston Wright, Jr.

He loves to play, that's what sticks out. He wants to be coached. He doesn’t get in his feeling when he is coached. I was really proud how he approached the quarantine time. He has quick feet at the break point which allows him to get open. He does a nice job getting vertical after the coach. Improving on his blocking. He’s been our best guy so far.

Drops - ESPN had 7, PPF had 3, How do you Determine/Final number

Saturday was between 5 and 6. We talk about catch percentage. We want to be at 90%. You want to catch 9 out of 10. That’s our expectation. We didn’t hit that on Saturday. We build into our kids the process not the results. Chad Scott has a saying “You’re only remembered on your worst day”. Overall our receiver group probably played their best game, blocking, route running. You only remember the bad plays. Is that fair? Its reality. We’re not gonna harp on it but we’re gonna work on it. You catch the ball you’ll get more opportunities. Doege’s played well. I’m in full belief our guys will catch the ball and we’ll make plays.

Deuce Vaughn & Leddie Brown - similarities

I don't have the stats but I suspect Leddie is our top 3 receivers. We’ve played him a lot in our empty packages, motions. We fill comfortable running our full route tree. Vaugh is similar in how KSU uses him.

Update on VanDarius Cowan

Cowan tried to practice last week but couldn’t go. We’ve been getting good production how that spot. We’ve been using it by committee anyway. Bartlett and Tonkery they were splitting time at that position.

Team seemed tired, little substitution

Where we do have some depth we have to do better subbing (defensive line). Other places it is what it is. Gmiter came back and played well. Defensive line we have to do a better job repping guys in. We have to do better getting our 2’s in. Something we have to improve. We’re gonna roll with other spots.

The last play and clock

I thought we should have 3 seconds to clock it. I never got a good answer. With 3 seconds we would have spiked it. Our guys were surprised too it was one second. It was maybe 23 executed.

Changes at Linebacker (due to injury/ejection)

We always talk about what if in the staff meeting. The way we’ve been practicing, Tony is at Mike. Jarret and Tonk are splitting time at bandit. At Mike chandler moves over. Exree is at will. They practice at those positions.

Response from Team Leaders

I think Texas Tech was more favorable matchup to us than anyone to this point. We have leadership with guys who have played. Tony Fields, Josh Chalders, Stills, Pooler, Addae. Some older guys there. Nicktroy is mature. We have some cornerstone. Those guys will bounce back. Offensively there is more youth. Jarret is playing better. He’s a guy will look to for leadership. Chase is that guy. We’re still looking for some answers there.

Alec Sinkfield

He hasn't played as well the last two weeks. That’s fair. Some of that is due to the chance as much as anything. The plays haven’t been blocked as clean. We’re gonna stress to him being a one-cut guy and being vertical. Patted his feet more. We have to get back where he is one cut and getting vertical. He had one nice run. He had a 3rd down run, we’d love to have that back. Then he had a great run on short yardage in the 4th Q.

Preparing for Extras they do

To me that’s complimentary football. We’re better but haven’t played complimentary football. Defense gets a stop and the offense goes out and scores. We haven’t done that. Same with special teams. I think they play great complimentary football. I think they create their own breaks and they do that because their disciplined, well coached. They compete. We invest a lot of time in special teams. It showed on Saturday. We’re gonna spend a lot of time on it. We have a lot of respect what they do schematically.

Coverage Type

They do a good job mixing it up. Primarily a zone team. Lot of eyes on the QB. Lot of forced interception. Great job getting pressure with four. You have to keep guys in to protect. So now you have 3 guys out instead of 5 and they’re dropping 7. Then they play games with their line.

You want to see a guy with great effort, go watch DK Metcalf run that guy down. We’ll show that to our players. You want to win games you can’t fumble the ball.

Tajh Alston

He’s progressing well with his conditioning. We’re hoping he’ll be able to practice in the next two weeks. Coming off an Achilles injury he’s ahead of schedule.


John Hughes is getting better. Brandon Yates has talent. Through 3 quarters he played well. He’ll get better the more he plays.