Four interceptions later, Kingsbury was more prepared to give No. 23 Kansas State credit for a 45-13 rout than point his finger at the second-year starter.
"He was good to go," Kingsbury said. "They made plays on the ball and you've got to give their defense a lot of credit. They were where they were supposed to be."
Jake Waters threw for 290 yards and four touchdowns, ran for 105 yards and another score and paced the Wildcats (4-1, 2-0 Big 12) to the big rout Saturday night.
Tyler Lockett had 12 catches for 125 yards and two scores, and Curry Sexton had nine catches for 128 yards and the other two scores, helping the Wildcats prepare for a showdown in two weeks with fourth-ranked Oklahoma by easily dispatching the Red Raiders.
Webb threw for 247 yards and two touchdowns for Texas Tech (2-3, 0-2), but he also threw the career-high four picks — two each to Travis Green and Morgan Burns — and was victimized by numerous drops that ruined promising drives.
"We're practicing hard, they're working hard to get better, but when we get out to games, it's not connecting," Kingsbury said. "That's on me as a coach. I've got to find that disconnect."
The drops weren't the only problem for the undisciplined Red Raiders.
One week after committing 16 penalties for 158 yards in a loss to Oklahoma State, the Big 12 leaders in yellow flags were penalized nine times for 89 yards. That pushed their total for the season to 55 penalties, among the worst in major college football.
Most of the drops and penalties were crippling, too.
"To win a game, you've got to have your full team," Texas Tech linebacker Pete Robertson said. "That's the biggest part with us. We're one team on one page and one on another. That's what it comes down to. We were on two different pages the whole game."
On one drive late in the third quarter, with the Wildcats already leading 31-7, the Red Raiders dropped four passes in a span of five plays. The last of them occurred in the end zone and wiped out a touchdown, and Webb threw his third pick of the game on the ensuing play.
The flags may have troubled Kingsbury even more.
There was the hands-to-the-face penalty that helped Kansas State to its second touchdown, a short run by Waters early in the second quarter. There was a hold that wiped out a 21-yard pass play in the third quarter. And on one Kansas State scoring drive, Texas Tech racked up 29 yards in penalties on unsportsmanlike conduct and pass interference calls.
"We came out here and basically laid a goose egg," Red Raiders wide receiver Jakeem Grant said. "That's what we're talking about as a team. We've got to get ourselves together."
Texas Tech actually had a chance to strike first, marching right down the field on the game's first possession. But on second-and-5 at the 7, Webb was picked off in the end zone by Burns, who made a nifty one-handed grab to scuttle the drive.
"Texas Tech had the momentum," Burns said. "It was huge for the team."
Everything went Kansas State's way the rest of the night.
Waters hit Sexton with a 48-yard touchdown strike a few minutes later as the Kansas State offense started humming. By the time the senior quarterback hit Lockett with a 15-yard scoring strike with 21 seconds left in the first half, the lead had ballooned to 24-7.
"It seems like we were clicking so well on offense," Waters said. "I want to get like that every game. It's a special feeling when you get like that."
Lockett's second TD catch came late in the third quarter, giving him 21 for his career and moving him into third place on the school's list. He also broke a tie with Jordy Nelson and Quincy Morgan and set the school mark with his 11th 100-yard receiving game.
Texas Tech kept battling into the fourth quarter, closing to 31-13 on Webb's TD pass to Grant. But Waters and Sexton answered with their second touchdown completion, and DeMarcus Robinson added a short scoring run to put the game firmly out of reach.