Texas Tech’s barnstorming season under first-year head coach Kliff Kingsbury has come to a screeching halt with a four-game losing streak. But Kingsbury said the Red Raiders’ struggles are more about the opponent over the past month than any major flaws his program.
“I just think we’ve played really good teams in the month of November and they beat us,” Kingsbury said. “That’s something we have to improve on our team when we play the high-quality teams that we can have better showings.”
Texas Tech (7-4, 4-4 Big 12) plays its regular-season finale at Texas (7-3, 6-1) at 6:30 p.m. Thursday.
After starting 7-0 and 4-0 in conference, the Red Raiders have lost four consecutive games, allowing an average of 50.5 points during the stretch.
“I felt we really fizzled in the second half [Nov. 16 against Baylor],” Kingsbury said. “We didn’t play really well on either side of the ball so we made a big effort this week to lock in, get back to the basics and eliminate the penalties, eliminate the turnovers and hopefully play our best game of the year.”
Kingsbury doesn’t think his team has played its best game yet, even during the 7-0 start.
“Which we’ve been trying to get to. I don’t think we’ve played all that great in all three phases one time this year, so you’d like to put it together in this last one.”
Kingsbury said he won’t use his six-touchdown performance in a victory over Texas in 2002 as a motivational tool with his players.
“This is this staff’s first season with this squad, so I don’t look in the past and what happened here previously. I’m just worried about what this staff has done. You learn from each loss. That’s part of the process when you have a new staff. We know there’s areas we have to get better at as a team. Our team has been resilient and they’ve come back and played hard each and every week. We just haven’t executed at the level we need to.”
West Virginia quarterback Clint Trickett is available against Iowa State on Saturday, coach Dana Holgorsen said. Trickett missed the Mountaineers’ last game Nov. 16 at Kansas after suffering a concussion against Texas on Nov. 9.
Sooners RB dismissed
Oklahoma running back Damien Williams was dismissed from the team, coach Bob Stoops said.
Williams was suspended for last week’s game at Kansas State. Williams also missed a September game against Tulsa because of a suspension.
Last season, Williams rushed for 946 yards and 11 touchdowns and caught 34 passes for 320 yards and another score while starting nine games for Oklahoma.
Williams’ dismissal could mean more playing time for another senior, Roy Finch. Brennan Clay starts at tailback for the Sooners.
Stoops said wide receiver Lacolton Bester, who also was suspended for the Kansas State game, will be available to play against Oklahoma State on Dec. 7.
Texas and Baylor will kick off at 2:30 p.m. Dec. 7 in the last game to be played at Floyd Casey Stadium in Waco. The Bears will open the $250 million Baylor Stadium near campus in 2014.
An 11 a.m. kickoff time is set for the Dec. 7 Oklahoma-Oklahoma State football game in Stillwater, Okla.
It is scheduled for national broadcast by ABC from Boone Pickens Stadium.