That stretch followed a 7-0 break from the gate in Kingsbury’s debut season in Lubbock (2013) that lifted the team into the top 10. But the Red Raiders lost their next five games before closing with a 37-23 victory over Arizona State in the Holiday Bowl. Tech’s longest winning streak thereafter has been three in a row to start the 2015 season.
The Red Raiders missed out on a bowl game last year behind NFL-bound quarterback Patrick Mahomes, the FBS leader in total offense, because the defense finished last among FBS programs in scoring defense (43.5) and total defense (554.3 yards per game). The hope for improvement this season, in Kingsbury’s estimation, stems from increased defensive continuity under third-year defensive coordinator David Gibbs. A former NFL assistant, Gibbs is Tech’s longest-tenured defensive coordinator since the 2009 season.
During Monday’s session, Kingsbury fielded a question from one reporter who asked why he could not assemble a defensive depth chart capable of holding opponents to 30 points or less against FBS teams.
“I wish I had the answer,” Kingsbury said with a wry smile. “We haven’t been good enough defensively. … As a head coach, if falls on me. No question.”