Nic Shimonek had a great first start for the Red Raiders. Then he had a bye week. He didn't like that.

"You kind of want to keep that thing going. But you know, that's how the schedule ended up. You can't do anything about it," Shimonek said. "We definitely got better this past week with corrections and having the extra week to install this game plan. I'm just eager to get back out there this Saturday."

Shimonek knows the difference between this year and last is the offensive line improvement. "I trust the O-line. I know that was a point this off-season, this summer, that it seems like they were getting a lot of flak for not being up to par last year," he said. "But with the addition of Coach B-Jones, he's going to get them right."

Continuing on the 2016 contest between ASU and Texas Tech, Shimonek said: "That was a tough game because I felt like we had a chance to really take the game over at numerous times. It just seems like we couldn't do it. I think we had a fumble recovery for a touchdown that got called back with a block in the back. That was a big turning point."

He continued" "Obviously nothing that I could have done, nothing that Pat could have done, either. It was just one of those games."

The new quarterback is just excited to be on the field in Lubbock. "I'm excited that they have to come here this year," said Shimonek. "Obviously The Jones is a very awesome place to play, especially at night. Just ready for Saturday."

You can bet the team is ready to play this week against ASU. But Shimonek came shy of framing it as a payback game.

"We are anxious to get out there, just along with last year's loss, along with this bye week that we just had. We kind of wanted to keep it going. But I wouldn't say payback is the word," he said. "We're treating every game like we have to go 1-0, whether we play Eastern Washington or whether we play Oklahoma or whoever the case may be."

Anything you say, Nic. Anything you say.

Shimonek doubled down: "We've got to prepare and go throughout the week like it's a win-or-go-home game, and if you do that, you're putting yourself in a position to have success on Saturday."

He's already a press conference professional.

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