Takeaways from Texas Tech’s Monday press conference

Red Raider Nation

Photo Courtesy of Nexstar’s Paul Tubbs.

LUBBOCK, Texas — Texas Tech has one game left in its 2019 season as its loss to Kansas State removed the possibility of bowl eligibility.

The Red Raiders’ final game will be against Texas in Austin, as the team looks to end its season on a high note with a win over its rival.

On Monday, head coach Matt Wells, offensive tackle Travis Bruffy and linebacker Riko Jeffers met with the media. Here are some key takeaways from what they had to say.

“I don’t think there was a single dry eye that a senior had in the locker room post-game.”

Senior Travis Bruffy on the team’s emotions after his final home game.

Senior Day at Jones AT&T Stadium

Saturday was the final home game for Texas Tech’s seniors, and while the Red Raiders weren’t able to win the game, playing at Jones AT&T Stadium one last time was an emotional experience.

“Soaking up that, just that, the magnitude of that moment, it’s something I’m going to have to remember for the rest of my life,” Bruffy said.

“I don’t think there was a single dry eye that a senior had in the locker room post-game,” he added.

Culture change

Matt Wells opened up his press conference by addressing the state of his program. While the wins and losses haven’t been there, he’s pleased with how his players have bought in and played with passion.

“It’s not the final result that we want,” Wells said. “But I will tell you the things behind the scenes are really changing and it’s very process-driven, and I think we have got more and more buy in.”

Matt Wells speaks on the future of Texas Tech’s football program

Texas Tech has played in close games all year, battling back from slow starts to get back into games. That effort and moxie should bode well for the future as Wells’ tenure at Texas Tech continues.

Recruiting

Another surefire way to improve results is to bring in better talent. Wells is working on that too. Four-star wide receiver Loic Fouonji committed to Texas Tech Monday and figures to be a major part of the program’s future.

Wells cannot speak about Fouonji specifically until he officially signs with Texas Tech, but he did address how recruiting is generally going in his first full year in Lubbock.

“There’s more pieces getting added, there’s some big fish that are jumping in, and I couldn’t be more excited,” he said.

The first year head coach also opened up on how he pitches recruits on coming to Texas Tech.

“I think we pride ourselves on being very transparent,” Wells said. “We try to be very real. We have a passion about what we do. We have a passion for that logo.”

The Red Raiders currently have the No. 4 recruiting class in the Big 12, according to 247 Sports.

“There’s more pieces getting added, there’s some big fish that are jumping in, and I couldn’t be more excited.”

Matt Wells on his recruiting at Texas Tech.

Texas rivalry

Texas Tech’s final game of the season will be at Texas on Friday. The Red Raiders have won their last two in Austin and desperately want to make that three in a row.

“A lot of guys wanted to go to Texas… and get overlooked by Texas,” Jeffers said. “And Texas is always the big school supposedly, but so it would mean a lot to be able to go to Austin and be able to get a road win again because we haven’t had three road wins in a row in Austin.”

Without a bowl game to play for, the Red Raiders are playing to send off their seniors with a victory and to make it three straight wins at Darrell K Royal Stadium.

Photo courtesy of Nexstar’s Paul Tubbs

Facing Sam Ehlinger

The first order of business in beating Texas is slowing down quarterback Sam Ehlinger. Ehlinger can get it done with his legs and his arm, but his toughness is the trait that Wells harped on.

“That guy is the heart and soul of that football team and that program,” Wells said. “Tremendous moxie, tremendous physical toughness. I’m sure he has mental toughness.”

Texas’ season has been a disappointment, but Ehlinger still has 27 touchdowns, nine interceptions and 507 rushing yards on the season.

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