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November 17, 2014

Jared Kaster

Jackson Richards

Q.  How do you feel you guys played as a unit last week?
JARED KASTER:  As an O‑line?  We did good.  We kind of gave up too much pressure I feel like for Pat.  But overall I feel like the times we ran the ball, we ran the ball pretty decent.  We gave Pat as much as we could.  Oklahoma, give them credit, they came out with a good game plan and played us hard like they always do.  But as an O‑line standpoint, I feel we could have probably played more harder and kept the protection a little bit tight per.  But, overall, I think we played pretty decent.

Q.  What is the difference in blocking for Davis and then from Mahomes?  Obviously, he extends plays and having to hold those blocks?
JARED KASTER:  Yeah, when you have a scramble quarterback like that who has got the option to run, you've always got to kind of keep your eyes in the back of your head.  You don't really know where he's at some times, but you've always got to‑‑ that means you have to finish your block a lot longer than you would, say, with Davis or the quarterback that stays in the pocket.  But you've always got to have an awareness of where he's at and just keep the play going.

Q.  Do you look forward to Pat maybe getting another start here this weekend?
JARED KASTER:  Either quarterback, either or.  I'm excited for whichever quarterback goes in there.  I feel like both of them can get the job done.  Coach Kingsbury does a great job getting those guys prepared.  But whoever is in there.  We're just going to do our job as an O‑line standpoint.  But either quarterback I feel like can get the job done.

Q.  Obviously, at this point not being able to go to a bowl game this year, but what is your the message moving forward in these next two games?
JARED KASTER:  Get your head down and just to finish strong.  You don't want to say, look, this season's over we can't go to a bowl game.  That's not how it goes.  You still have two more games.  It's all about what's in here.  It's all about your character.  These last two games it's going to show who is in it and who is wanting to just quit and give up.  But these two games, it's important to move on into the off‑season and just to finish strong.

Q.  Without those extra bowl practices, your season coming to an end against Baylor, how important could that be to get a couple wins and take that into an off‑season as opposed to a bowl win?
JARED KASTER:  Good motivation and good momentum going into the off‑season.  Seeing that, look, we didn't finish off on a bad note.  We finished off on a good note.  It will be good.  It will build a lot of character for this team and through all the adversity that we've been through so far, it would be great to finish up with these last two wins.

Q.  Just talk about the challenge going into a tough place like Ames where it's probably going to be cold.  It's a tough place to play over there.  As a player, what's it like to play there?
JARED KASTER:  It's an exciting place.  Last time I was there, it was my freshman year.  They sold out the whole stadium last time I remember.  It was one end zone, and it was just like a grass side and they let everybody come in there and they packed it up pretty good.  It was a good crowd.
They've gone through some tough adversity just like we have.  They're going to come out and play us strong, but it is going to be a good environment.  It's going to be cold, which is fun for us big guys.  We like playing in the colder weather.  But it's going to be a fun atmosphere, and it's going to be a good chance for us to take a step forward through this process.

Q.  Talk about the holding calls and the touchdowns on Mahomes, how do you fix that situation?
JARED KASTER:  Just don't do it.  I mean, you can't let opportunities like that come away.  Those two holding penalties weren't called and you're looking at a different ballgame I feel like from our standpoint.  But you just can't go down there and get towards the red zone.  I mean, we had an offsides penalty on us.  It's just mental mistakes like that that you kind of look at the game different if those things wouldn't happen.  We've just got to look at it and grow from it.
Being in our team room and our meeting room as an O‑line, you have to look and say what could you have done better not to do that?  You look at it, you grow, and you learn from it and move on.

Q.  How do you all go about actually (Indiscernible)?
JARED KASTER:  Well, as your roles and as your job, you finish your guy until the whistle blows.  You don't quit blocking.  You just keep blocking and keep blocking.  You never know really where he's at.  I mean, he's a good guy.  He can run the ball really well, but you just keep blocking until the whistle blows.  You don't give up and you don't quit.  If you do that, it gives him a little more opportunity to just make the play continue.

Q.  Jackson, obviously it's tough you guys not going to a bowl game.  But you being a senior, what message do you want to give to these guys for these final two games here?
JACKSON RICHARDS:  For the seniors, it's another opportunity to play college football.  Not a lot of people get to do it, and a lot of people would like to do it.  So I guess for the seniors, you need to go out and have some fun.  Play football.  At the end of the day, it is a game.  We haven't had the season we wanted to have, but it is a game.  Younger guys can hopefully gain some momentum.  This is actually two weeks of practice, so like I said, gain some momentum and get rolling for the off‑season and have a better year next year.

Q.  Obviously, the message for the game is totally different from the message this week in practice.  How do you get your guys through this week of practice to prepare well for this team?
JACKSON RICHARDS:  I don't think our morale is down as much as some people would think it is, honestly.  I think we just need to harp on the fact that, like I say, we get to play college football a few more times.  Lot of people don't get to do that.  We're going to Ames, and it's a really cool environment.  I had a great time last time we were there.  It's going to be a cold game.  It's going to be a blast, and after that, we have Baylor at Cowboy Stadium.  If you don't get fired up for that, you don't need to be playing college football.

Q.  You guys are going to see a running quarterback in Richardson again this week.  What kind of things are you looking forward to taking care of in practice to limit his opportunities?
JACKSON RICHARDS:  It always changes the game a little bit.  It's one extra thing to have in the back of your mind.  If you're on the defensive line, you have to understand you have to keep your lanes.  You can't let him get too far up field and take off.  If you're a linebacker, you have to have awareness that he might be taking off same thing as a secondary.
We've played plenty of running quarterbacks this year and in the past.  So we know how to prepare for it.

Q.  Saturday being Senior Day, what would you say is your best memory from playing here at Texas Tech?
JACKSON RICHARDS:  It's kind of hard to knock it down to one memory.  I guess anytime as a defensive player that you kind of felt that energy that the whole defense was playing as a group.  We had a spur set this year, there are some games we played together the whole time, more so maybe last year.  But anytime you're out there and you feel like there are two other guys in the field with you that had the exact same goal in mind as you did and everybody was flying around and just having fun.

Q.  (No microphone)?
JACKSON RICHARDS:  I didn't actually get to go head‑to‑head with him at all in that game.  But he sure looked like he was running pretty dang hard.  He's going to be a good player.

Q.  You know by now that it sounds more like a broken record, but again, guys are going to have to have the ability to stop the run.  How much is that on you guys on the front line to make sure that doesn't happen?
JACKSON RICHARDS:  It starts.  You know from playing, if the D‑line is not playing good, the run is not going to be stopped, doesn't matter if you have All‑Americans everywhere else.  If the D‑line's not doing their job or getting pushed, the rest of anything else doesn't matter.  So I thought that we did‑‑ since the Arkansas game we definitely did get better.  There is no doubt about that.  A lot of people on the D‑line came on, lot of the JUCO guys played a lot harder and a lot better.
So looking at it now, hopefully this was a building year to next year and hopefully we'll have a defense that stops the run.

Q.  Did you have a lot of discussion about the defensive coordinator and whether he should stay on the staff.  I guess, what is the difference you're going to look back and remember about Mike Smith?
JACKSON RICHARDS:  I love playing for Coach Smith.  I think that the second he took over we started playing harder.  We kept our defense just as intricate, but it felt a little more simple.  It wasn't as hard to keep up with.  We knew exactly what our job was a lot more than we did before.  I wish I could have played for Coach Smith for four years.

Q.  You mentioned the defense starting to play a little bit harder.  What changed?
JACKSON RICHARDS:  I was not talking bad about Coach Wally.  I love Coach Wally.  I just kind of maybe I guess we kind of felt more responsibility on ourselves after all that happened and Coach Smith kind of came in not trying to act like the boss.  He was like listen, I'm in the same position as you guys are in.  I have to prove my worth as well, so it was more of a bonding experience, more of a we‑have‑each‑other's‑back type deal.

Q.  (No microphone)?
JACKSON RICHARDS:  I think that the younger guys do like Coach Smith a lot, yeah.

Q.  (No microphone)?
JACKSON RICHARDS:  Well, Rika and Keland have both gotten worlds better at their foot work.  We've done a lot in this defense, and it's not easy.  Not a lot of defenses that they come from with the same style of play.  Honestly, everyone started playing harder.  That is the main deal.  That is the most important thing about D‑line.  You can be undersized, but if you don't play hard, you're going to get knocked back.  So I thought everyone started playing a lot harder.

Q.  How did you feel you all played in the first half Saturday?
JACKSON RICHARDS:  Like I said, throughout the season there were spurts where it was like this defense is playing right now, and I feel like it's the same thing with the Texas game in the first half.  The first half we were all doing our jobs.  We were holding our gaps.  There was nothing getting through.
I guess in the second half they caught us in a few things.  I didn't feel like we fell apart, but like I said, they caught us on a few things.  We might have caught some gaps in the D‑line.  Quarterback run game got us a little on the boots towards the end, didn't expect that.

Q.  As a senior from the defensive side, do you walk away from this program saying that, hey, I made a difference?
JACKSON RICHARDS:  Well, I did what I could.  I know that I came out and I practiced my hardest every day, and I played my hardest in the games.  At the end of the day I feel like that's enough.  I definitely had goals coming in that I would say I probably didn't reach, but I'm definitely going to leave this place with no regrets.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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