Kingsbury not making excuses like Tuberville at Texas Tech

Rock bottom.

That’s where Texas
Tech football was on Nov. 12, 2011.

The once high-flying
Red Raider offense looked listless as they lined up late in the first
half against No. 2 Oklahoma State in front of their home crowd.

Trailing 49-0,
they ran a draw play.

It was clear in the minds and
eyes of the Texas Tech faithful that their team didn’t have any
fight.

Final score: 66-6.

Just a
few weeks earlier, Texas Tech stunned the college football world with a
41-38 road win over No. 3 Oklahoma, snapping the Sooners’ 39-game home
winning streak.

The Red Raiders didn’t get the win
in Norman, Okla. this season, but fans couldn’t be more excited with
where this program is headed.

The difference?

Kliff Kingsbury is not Tommy
Tuberville.

Before Tuberville ditched Lubbock, Texas
for Cincinnati last December, it was not uncommon to hear him to blame losses on lack of
depth when he was the Tech head coach from 2010-12.

He recruited well for the Red Raiders, but he often
used his players’ inexperience as an excuse why they weren’t ready to
win.

When asked at Big 12 Media Days why
Texas Tech took TCU off the 2011 schedule
,
Tuberville didn’t believe his team was ready to play a then-strong
Horned Frogs team.

“That’s really probably not type
of a team we want to play right now,” he said.

Kingsbury doesn’t think the same way.

Behind his trademark shades, there’s a cool and
confident young coach who truly believes his team can compete with the best in
the country.

Kingsbury knows he can win a
championship with the players he has.

Tuberville
didn’t.

Kingsbury is winning with two true freshmen
quarterbacks.

Tuberville would have said he needs to go recruit better talent before they can contend for a title.

When Tech fell behind 21-7 in the third quarter to
the Sooners last weekend, Kingsbury’s team kept fighting and scored 17
unanswered points to take the lead.

“Fortune favours
the bold” has become the team motto, and it showed by his aggressive
play-calling.

When Texas Tech was
clinging to a three-point lead late in the fourth quarter against TCU last season, Tuberville
attempted to chew more clock by running the
ball.

Most coaches would have done the same, but it
didn’t work as the Frogs had enough time to tie the game and send it
into overtime.

Faced with a similar situation against West
Virginia this season, Kingsbury trusted his young quarterback Davis Webb
to throw into the end zone to put the game out of reach.

“If we have the ball in our hands, we’re going to go win the game,” he said following
the 37-27 come-from-behind win. “We’re not going to try to depend on someone else or something to happen or just sit on it. We’re going to go take control of our own destiny.”

And players love fighting for a leader with that kind of attitude.

When something goes wrong, Kingsbury
stays calm.

Completely the opposite of how
Tuberville handled those situations.

Oklahoma State returns
to Lubbock on Saturday for the first time since that 66-6 rout.

Texas Tech likely won’t fall behind 49-0 going into
halftime this time.

But if the Red Raiders do, don’t expect to
see Kingsbury calling a draw play.

Follow Louis Ojeda Jr. on Twitter
@LouisOjedaJr