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College Football Fix: Joey McGuire, Texas Tech Head Coach

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb
The Truth Network Radio
August 21, 2023 8:12 pm

College Football Fix: Joey McGuire, Texas Tech Head Coach

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb

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August 21, 2023 8:12 pm

Joey McGuire joined Zach to discuss how he was able to establish his culture quickly and why he's expecting to contend for the Big 12 championship this season.


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That's slash audio. We miss college football. Bennett takes the snap and the shotgun, throws for the corner, Brock Bowers one-on-one. Caught! Touchdown!

He ate him alive! Falls down into the end zone. Six more for Georgia. We can't wait for the 2023 season. Caleb Williams throws the fade in the corner.

Oh, my! Touchdown, Trojans! And we're counting down the days to kick off. Are we there yet? No. Are we there yet? We said no! Are we there yet?

What's wrong with your ears? Here is your college football fix, only on the Zach Gelb Show. We're getting closer, 12 days away, until the Red Raiders of Texas Tech open up their season up against Wyoming.

That's a 7.30 p.m. Eastern Time kick on CBS. And now joining us on the Zach Gelb Show on CBS Sports Radio is the second-year head coach at Texas Tech, and that is Coach Joey McGuire. Coach, always great to have you on. Appreciate the time. How you been? Man, I'm doing great, man.

Thanks for having me. I was listening to that whole intro and I felt the same way. I mean, are we there yet? Are we there to the first game yet? I think that's how our whole building feels, man. We just can't wait to play football again. You never know how a year one is going to go. You guys had a good season last year.

It was exciting. You finished strong, being 8-5. What is your team as you try to continue that momentum going into this season really take from a year ago? Early in the season, we really struggled on the road. We were able to get a road victory against Iowa State. It was a neutral site, but being able to go on the road again in a bowl game and get a win. So, we're opening up against Wyoming, a really tough team, very well coached. So, it would be good to carry over being able to play well on the road. Because we've got some really tough road games in conference. So, we've got to be able to be playing our best football, not only at Jones AT&T, but also on the road.

So, I think we're really hoping that carries over. You have such a fun and easy to root for story, being the head coach in high school at Cedar Hill for all those years. Then you link up with Matt Rula at Baylor. And last year was your first year as a head coach in college. A year later, now having another year of experience and getting through that first year as a head coach in college. How are you a better coach? You're entering your number two. You know, I think just the experience of, you know, I was able to experience as an assistant coach, seeing Matt Rula, seeing Dave Aranda, create a roster, manage the roster.

You know, and now with the transfer portal, it's even more important and different. And so, I think year two, being familiar with that, I always tell everybody we're still the same as we were in 2003, whenever we started the culture at Cedar Hill. We're going to love our players. We want their best part of their day when they're in our building, when they're in the locker room, when they're hanging out with their coaches.

The best part of their day. But I think more than anything, just continuing to learn that roster management and, you know, how to keep creating the best team possible that you can put out on the field. I think that's the biggest thing from year one to year two that you still hope to grow. Based off that, as you were saying with how much just natural change there is in the sport, right, you're a new head coach coming in. You got to trust your players. Your players also have to trust you back. Why were you guys able to trust each other so easily in year one?

You know, a couple of things. I think, one, our best players bought in the fastest. You know, Tyree Wilson, Serodric Thompson, guys on this team currently, you know, they bought in the fastest. I think they saw some of the changes that were made, were really made, and it was all the student athletes. The whole thought process of the changes were made to make their lives better. And they saw that. You could, you know, say this is why we're doing this.

And so I think that had a lot to do with it. And then, you know, everybody that we brought in to the building, I always tell everybody, you can't work at Texas Tech if you can't put the player first. You know, the most important thing we have in this program is our players.

And if that's not the most important thing to you, then you've got to go somewhere else to work. So we're surrounding myself with the people that understand that's part of our job, it's part of our calling. And again, I thought the players saw that, so they were able to accept what we were trying to do a lot faster, honestly, than what I thought it would take as far as trying to build the culture. John McGuire, with that being said, head coach at Texas Tech, entering year two there with the Red Raiders. What do you think this team can accomplish this year? You know, I think we're a good football team. You know, I'm not one of those guys, I'm not a Coach Speed guy. You know, there's guys that are out there and they're like, hey, you know, we can, everything has to go this way or all that.

I'm not that guy. You know, I think we have a really good football team. We have 18 starters coming back from the guys that started in the bowl. We've added some good pieces. We added some really good freshmen. And so, just like anybody that thinks they have a good football team, you have to stay healthy. But, we want to be contented for the Big 12 Championship and we feel like we have a lot of experience. We have good football players and you're year two in the system. So, we should play harder. We should play faster. They should understand what we're trying to do a lot more.

And so, I think it's an exciting time to be a Red Raider. Your quarterback, Tyler Shuck, you talk about the health. He knows that better than anybody. And when he was healthy at the end of the year, he finished off the season in a really strong way.

Outside of him just being healthy this year, what do you kind of look at now with your quarterback and what he can accomplish this season? Well, I know he's excited. This will be the first time in his college career that he's had the same offensive coordinator more than two years in a row. And so, he's comfortable. I mean, the guy's a pro.

I mean, he studies the game as much as any player I've ever been around. And so, I think with being in the system with Coach Kitley for the second year, staying healthy and understanding what it's going to take, I really think that he's got a chance to have a special year. And that's the thing with us. And I've said it. I've said it the Big 12 Media Day. I think we have as good a quarterback room as anybody in the country. And they were both highly recruited guys, just like a lot of these quarterback rooms. My guys have won Big 12 games. Like, my guys have played games, not have had a highly touted high school career and are coming in as freshmen and are redshirt freshmen that haven't played. My guys have won games. And so, not only do we feel great about Tyler Shutt, but we feel great about Barry Morton. You know, if he enters the game. And so, we feel really good about that room.

Joey Maguire here with us. I don't mean this disrespectfully. We know Wyoming had seven wins a year ago. But when you have a real big game in Week 2 up against Oregon, who's a Top 25 team, ranked at 15, do you get a little bit nervous that maybe your guys look past Week 1 and already start getting thinking about Week 2?

No. You know, that's one thing I don't worry about. You know, a couple things. One, you know, we really focus on us. We really talk about the best – you know, we've got to be the best version of ourselves.

It doesn't matter who you're playing. And then we're going to do some different things to get the guys to understand how important, you know, the first game is. We're going to go out a day early. We've never done that.

We're going to do it because, you know, we want to practice at that altitude, you know, to kind of get used to that. And then they understand, you know, for us to be a special team and have a special year, you've got to take it week by week. I mean, there's no doubt.

I'm not stupid. We know how important that game could be, Week 2. I mean, you're not going to win the Big 12 winning that game, but it is a huge game.

And you have an opportunity to put yourselves, you know, out there in front of the nation. But if we don't take care of Week 1, Week 2 is going to look totally different. So I think us just focusing on ourselves and really in our building, the only other team that we've talked about besides Texas Tech is Wyoming. Coach, Joey Maguire here with us. I got to give credit to the last two Big 12 commissioners. This could have either gone one or two ways when you originally had Texas and Oklahoma announce that they'll eventually depart to the SEC. We've seen how it's going in the Pac-12. The Big 12 has been able to continuously add teams the last few years. Just give me your thoughts with all the conference changes and the teams that are coming on into the Big 12. Well, first, our commissioner is a rock star. You know, I've been in this conference, you know, and two years ago, I mean, I think there was a panic with, you know, the eight that were remaining. And you see, you know, how healthy the conference is now.

And so, man, I can't say enough about, Commissioner, your mark. And then I'm telling you, man, from top to bottom and then when you add the other four teams, I mean, it's one of the toughest conferences in all the sports there is. I mean, whenever you start looking at, you know, football and basketball, baseball, I mean, it's such a tough conference. There's no easy games.

There's no layups. You've got to be ready to play every single week, you know. And so I think whenever you look at it that way, it's a healthy conference. It's a tough conference and it's going to be a lot of fun to play year in and year out.

You know, the new teams and then continuing some rivalries against some of the current teams that, you know, have been in their original Big 12 and are still here. Coach John McGuire, before we let you run, you talked about Tyree Wilson earlier. We know the year that he had a season to go for your program, then gets drafted seventh overall in this past NFL draft by the Raiders.

For Raiders fans that were not watching your team last year and don't know much about Tyree Wilson, their first round pick, seventh overall, what are they getting? Well, he's a great guy, man. As good a player he is, he's a great guy. He was one of the first texts I got on my birthday saying happy birthday, coach.

So that was really cool. I mean, it was like 6 o'clock in the morning and, you know, he's texting me and he's just such a great guy. But the one thing that I love about him, I mean, he's going to put pressure on the quarterback and he's going to hit the quarterback. What I would watch is how he chases plays away from him. He plays so hard every snap and for a guy that's 6'6", 270-something pounds, he throws his body around like he's a linebacker.

I mean, just as far as chasing the ball and getting the ball down. And so they're getting a guy that's a big, high-effort guy with an incredible talent. And I can't wait to watch him. I'm so fired up for him. Now, you love the success that he's having, but how do you try to replace his production from a year ago now?

Well, I tell everybody, man, it's crazy. Now, I always say, look, again, don't call me stupid because whenever I say the room's better, if I could have Tyreek Wilson back right now, I would take him in a heartbeat. But we have a lot of depth in that room. We got a lot of experience, and we have two outside linebackers that we feel like are both going to be drafted next year in Miles Cole and Steve Linton. And then we have some young guys that will definitely help them. But, you know, whenever you see our outside linebackers, I mean, Tyree's 6'6", 270, Miles Cole's 6'5", 280 and has longer arms. And so that's who's replacing, you know, Tyree, and then you turn around and we added Steve Linton, man, just a great athletic, explosive outside linebacker. So we're excited about that room. And, you know, I think CJI used an absolute stud as a position coach. And then Tim DeRuder, I mean, his defense has produced those edge rushers.

He's had back-to-back first-round draft picks the last two years. And so we're expecting a lot from that room. Well, Coach, always great to catch up with you. Good luck this upcoming season.

We'll be watching. Thanks so much. All right, man. Thank you.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-08-24 13:58:28 / 2023-08-24 14:04:46 / 6

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