Texas Tech Coach Mike Leach
Texas Tech 31, Nebraska 10
Saturday, Oct. 17, 2009
Memorial Stadium - Lincoln, Neb.
On quarterback Steven Sheffield's play
“I thought he played a real good first half. I thought we had a hollow spot in the middle, not just him, but the offensive unit, and then I thought he played good at the end. I think when things start going right for you, you try to make just a little extra happen, and maybe we got ahead of ourselves a little bit. But he brings a lot to the table as far as enthusiasm for the whole team.”
On if there was any doubt about how his team would respond in the atmosphere
“Not really to me. I felt that they'd come out better in the second half. It was a wild atmosphere, this is one of the greatest places in the world to play college football, there's no question as far as the setting, as far as the people. I thought whichever team our defense played for would win the game. We have blackshirts there at Texas Tech too. Every one of our guys is wearing a black shirt underneath their pads. I'm proud to say the blackshirts won this one.”
On how important it was to score on the first possession
“I think it's really important, and I think (Sheffield) was really instrumental in that. I think he does a great job just with the whole team. He is one of our captains this week. He was really instrumental in having all of our guys excited to play. Then he went over there and kind of put his money where his mouth is or whatever. That's basically one of the worst cliches I've used in a long time, I'm usually better at making them up. But anyway, he went out there and elevated his level of play, marched down there and scored. I think it electrified the whole defense, the entire offense for sure, and I think our team. After that, I think a lot of the energy involved with the first drive offensively and defensively elevated our play in the first half. And then the second half, I didn't think our defense missed a beat. I thought we had a pretty good sized hollow spot offensively, and that's too bad. We just need to coach them better and maybe it won't happen.”
On if the defensive performance on the day ranks high in his career coaching at Texas Tech
“I think so. I think it does for a couple reasons, and I think one reason it does is because, like I said, when things weren't really going our way, we were losing yards on offense as quick as we were gaining them for a period of time out there, and our defense just stepped up over and over. We tested them in about every way we could. Bad field position, good return on the punt or the kickoff, offense gets a three and out, then another three and out, when you think of this defense when you've got to make it happen, they just kept stepping up. I thought it was a real credit to our D-line, which is a real quick unit. Really I thought both D-lines had a pretty big day."