Texas Tech Head Football Coach Spike Dykes
November 15, 1998
"Well, we had a barn-burner (last night vs. Texas). When the smoke cleared, we were fortunate enough to win the game. It was one of the most, I don't know what you'd call it... games I have ever been associated with. The adreneline, the ups and downs and arounds... It was just a heck of a football game. I thought both teams played extremely hard. I'd like to think it was just two good football teams playing and one of those slugfests. It was a little bit different that I had imagined when we started. I really thought it would be lower scoring than it was. I thought the big thing we were going to have to do is to stop Ricky Williams and keep him from his big-play potential, which we did a pretty good job of. In the process, Wane McGarity was really a thorn in our side. He did a good job. Major Applewhite is a good young guy. He is a bright, shiny star for the future. It was right down to the wire. There were a lot of big plays in the game and a lot of not giving up. I thought both teams played with a high degree of confidence and a high level of enthusiasm.
"We were due to win one late. We'd had three losses and, for wahtever reason, you are no better than your last game. All everyone wanted to talk about was that we had lost three in a row. Now we don't have to talk about that. That puts a lot of pressure on our players. They were close games that we had chances to win. We just didn't get it done. We overcame some things that were very adverse. We just hung in there and played. I thought the offense the last three series of the ballgame was great. We had long drives that we scored on that made the difference 78, 82 and 67 yards for three touchdowns. Twenty-two points in the fourth quarter is hard to do. I thought the two point plays were very important.
"The thing that kept us in the ballgame without a doubt was the kicking of Chris Birkholz. Chris kicked four field goals. We talk it all the time... field goals count three and touchdowns count six and when they stop you for a field goal it really hurts. But, also three is better than nothing. He really did do a good job. He is really sort of an unsung hero for our football team.
"We played great defense except for four plays. We gave up three long passes. The one right before the half was my fault. We should have called timeout. We were just too tight in coverage instead of loosening up. It was a classic football game. I don't know if we have had a better crowd here. It was exciting and they were here thourghout the course of the game. It was a great atmosphere and it was a nice win for us.
"I don't know if I have ever been prouder of a group of kids for hanging in there and coming back. The momentum changes were unbelievable. When you march down and score and they come back and score, if you aren't careful you can get your head down. In the same process, I don't know if we have ever played better on defense as we did last night, except for those four plays. I don't think we ever had a lack of confidence. I think it spoke well of our team to come back like they did."
Monday, November 16 Comments
"It's a great win. I guess every win is a great win but some are a little more sacred than others. It was neat win. I think the scenario for the game was great. I have been at Tech for a long time and I have never seen more electricity in the air for an hour and more of football.
We had tremendous fans and it was fitting that it was the last game for our seniors. It was against a good football team and a team that if you don't play good you aren't going to beat them. They had a lot of things going for them. You will probably laugh but I think we played one of our best defensive ballgames out there.
McGarity took it to us. We tried one person, then two and then three. He did a heck of a job. He was just unbelievable. Major Applewhite has got to have a lot of the credit. He threw two of those passes that I don't think anyone could have covered. They were absolutely right on the spot. I thought we did a good job with Ricky Williams. We did a good job not making a big issue out of that. I don't think that was even brought up last week. We never tried to stack the line and we didn't go one on one with McGarity. McGarity was never one on one throughout the course of the evening. It might have looked that way a few times but he was never one on one.
I thought the bottom line was that we won the game and were able to come back three or four times. What a great credit to those players who have been down that road before and lost those games in the fourth quarter. When you lose close games they take a lot out of you. Runaways don't take much out of you because there isn't much you can second guess yourself about but with close games there are 50 'what ifs.' Once you have gone through that a couple weeks in a row, you have to be careful because you can lose your confidence.
Our guys did a great job. Rob Peters play was unbelievable. I think he played like we hoped he would have at the start of the season. Then in the second half-he stepped it up another notch.
Chris Birkholtz was a guy that kept us in the ballgame. You know field goals are not near as good as touchdowns but they are much better that zeros. All you have to do is watch the games Saturday that we saw and there were teams that wish they had field goal kickers, because if they would have had them-things might have been different. Zeros are much worse than 3's. Chris just kept 'three'n' em' and that is like old ugly is better than nothing. 53 yards is a big Field Goal for him and the onside kick was great.
I think the fact that we had all those drives and were able to score is a testament to our guys. We had one turnover when Jeremy fell on the punt-that is a turnover even though we fell on it. That gave them 7 points. We had several penalties and penalties are things you want to stay away from but we were able to get away from them and stay in the ballgame.
Great Fanfare, it was great for a lot of reasons. It was great for the 50,000 or so people that were out there and they said it was the best game they had seen.
The deal is we were head and shoulders above anything we have ever
been with the student body participation and fan participation and I guess
that was the reason because the game was decided in the last few seconds.
You appreciate that because it isn't always that way every Saturday.||
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