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October 27, 2014

V.J. Fehoko

Q.  V.J., after a game like that against TCU, is it kind of one of those ones that you use the score to motivate you or was it such a bad day you want to throw it away and focus on the Longhorns?
V.J. FEHOKO:  Yeah, I mean, watching the tape once, that was pretty much good enough for me.  Disgusted, but it's something to learn from.  The great thing about football is we can come in and we've got a big game this week, so we can pout our attention and our anger and our frustration towards that.

Q.  Under a better set of circumstances to get focused back on the next game at hand, obviously Texas coming in town, it's a 6:30 primetime kick, I doubt there will be trouble refocusing on the next one?
V.J. FEHOKO:  Oh, yeah.  You don't ever want to let a team beat you twice, and our priority right now and our focus is on Texas.  You know, they're coming off of a shutout which was done in almost nearly a decade, so they're going to be fired up.  We need all the head starts we can get, and so UT is our focus.

Q.  What have you seen from their offense thus far?
V.J. FEHOKO:  You know, as Coach Kliff said earlier, their quarterback has been a lot better since week one in the passing game.  They've got three good backs.  They've struggled a little bit this season, but still no excuse not to bring our "A" game.  I think they're a good offense.  They've got all the talent.  They're a five‑star program.  They bring in the recruits, so we know it's going to be a fight.

Q.  You've got to be excited about your defensive performance against TCU.  How do you build on that?
V.J. FEHOKO:  You know, I thought we played tough.  We had some unfortunate circumstances, but we let the best get ourselves in the end.  I felt we had some miscommunication errors and some misalignments and some missed assignments, but overall I'm proud of the guys.  We tried to stay in it for as long as we could.  Some guys played their tails off, some guys even got hurt and still were playing.  So I have no doubt we're following our defense.  I feel when the time comes we just need to step up and make plays and get our offense back in our red zone.
There was one time in the game where TCU was able to drive it down it down on us and kick a field goal, and I feel if we had stopped them there and got our offense the ball back, it might have changed the game.

Q.  How frustrating is it to see all the injuries mounting up?
V.J. FEHOKO:  Very frustrating.  When you've got a guy like Brandon Jackson who's playing with a tight hamstring and guys like Bradley and guys like Davis, some key guys going down, you know, I wouldn't say it's the worst, but you want to keep your best players in there, and when they're not in there, when your leaders are not in there, it's difficult for the team to follow sometimes.  Some guys will get lost, but I feel confident in guys like Pat Mahomes that are ready to step up and take over from where Davis started.  It's good to see the starters out on the field and the captains out on the field.

Q.  When the defense was getting stops on Saturday there would be some kind of a weird thing, whether it be roughing at punter or a mishandled kick return.  What were you saying to each other?  What was said when they kept getting the ball in those weird circumstances?
V.J. FEHOKO:  You know, we were just telling each other keep fighting.  It was unfortunate, but that's football.  Things are not always going to go your way.  They had that pass interference call on their fake punt, which a lot of us thought was questionable, but sometimes you'll get calls like that.  You really can't let that drag you down the rest of the game, you've got to keep fighting.  I thought as a defense we could have performed better.  I don't think it was our best game all season.  Technical errors, missed tackles.  But still, that's no excuse.  And a team like TCU who's No.10 going into the game, you've kind of got to capitalize on every single thing.  They get something like that, and as you can see, once their offense got rolling, they got rolling.

Q.  There were scenarios where they got the ball deep in Tech territory, turnover, kickoff, and you guys were able to hold them to a field goal on some of those possessions.  Is that some sense of pride, those possessions where you held them?
V.J. FEHOKO:  Yeah, I feel as a defender, you don't want to ever have the offense score points, but if they do get the ball in the red zone and they have to kick a field goal, I feel that's a win for us, especially playing against Tech.  Coach Patterson said you don't really want to kick field goals.  So we felt like we accomplished wins on those drives, but it would have been nice to see a turnover accumulate from a short field to help our offense out at the same time.

Q.  Did they do anything different than what you had game planned coming in?
V.J. FEHOKO:  They did do some things different.  They had a lot more formation into the boundary than we had expected, a lot of brisk motion rather than shift motions that we had not expected going into the game.  But it's football, and things change week by week, and offensive coordinators scheme against defenses, and we do the same thing.  You've kind of got to expect that going into the game, and I'm sure our coaches won't make that same mistake or our players won't make that same mistake twice.

Q.  TCU seemed like everyone that touches the ball had the chance to have home run ability.  What was it like for you guys as a defense really seeing that for the first time on Saturday to that extent?
V.J. FEHOKO:  They're a great football team.  I mean, but at times I felt that we shot ourselves in the foot.  There were some times where guys weren't getting the plays.  They were taking advantage of the hurry‑up, and unfortunately we had guys that had not got the play called in time and ended up in touchdowns.  You really can't have that, those kind of errors will result in, as you can see, the score.

Q.  Playing a night game at the Jones, from what you know, what's the difference from a player's perspective playing a night game in the Jones versus maybe an 11:00 a.m. or 2:30 kickoff?
V.J. FEHOKO:  The stadium will be rocking.  I'm very confident in our fans.  I understand that Halloween weekend, and so I think a lot of people and a lot of players will be juiced up for that.  It's always a great opportunity to play in the Jones at night.  The stadium gets loud, especially the fans.  Everybody is up.  Whereas a morning game, there are different situations going on.  But I'm very excited, very excited to play at the Jones against UT at night.

Q.  Speaking of having fun, this week is going to be fun for you guys.  You're known for having a good time.  Anything that you guys are going to do on the defensive side to kind of take the ease off a little bit, kind of get you guys ready?
V.J. FEHOKO:  You know what, I think UT is all we need right now.  Like Coach Kliff said, we need a win.  Winning is fun, and I think that will be our main focus this week.
As a senior and as a leader of the group, I feel that as long as we're confident in our schemes and in our coaches and in our players, we'll be fine.

Q.  Is there much talk that it seems a bowl is pretty certainly out of reach?
V.J. FEHOKO:  You know what, at this point, we've kind of dug ourselves into a pit, and we've really got to dig ourselves out.
I think winning out will be crucial for us to get into a bowl game, but like I said, I have confidence in everyone on this team.  Our coaches are doing all they can.  I think some of our players are doing the most, and so we've just got to continue that and continue to make plays on Saturday.

Q.  You said some of the players are continuing to do the most.  Are there some players you feel aren't stepping up like you think they can?
V.J. FEHOKO:  You know what, it's hard.  There's 119 players, maybe more than that, on our team, so it's hard to keep tabs on everyone, but as far as I can see, a lot of guys are sacrificing.  Unfortunately we have injuries like Sam Eguavoen, like I said, Brandon Jackson during the game.  So when those kind of things take place, you just hope that the guys that are next in line are ready, which in this situation I feel that Pat Mahomes and all those guys are ready.

Q.  Did you play more Saturday than you normally do?
V.J. FEHOKO:  Yeah, it wasn't so much of the time of possession, it was just being on the field consistently, and so our coaches were pretty smart about that.  I thought Coach Brock did a really good job and Coach Smith did a really good job about keeping us fresh.  A lot of us are on special teams, and so it was hot down there in Fort Worth, and some guys were cramping up.  Reshod had back cramps, so they were starting to be smart on players.  You want the freshest guys in there so that they can produce the best.
I felt that reps, they were as usual, but with the situations of cramps and injuries, I think coaches were a little more hesitant to keep players in there longer than usual.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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