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September 21, 2015

Justis Nelson

Jared Kaster

Lubbock, Texas

Q. Justis, what's it do for the rest of your team when you see Jah'Shawn go out there and have the performance he did, 16 tackles? What's it do for your whole group out there when a guy steps up like that?
JUSTIS NELSON: It gives us energy. Jah?Shawn Johnson's a ball hawk. He goes around there and flies around 100% full speed every play. So we know we're going to get plays made by him. That just gives us energy to keep the tempo going.

Q. What's it feel like in that locker room coming away from Arkansas with the big W?
JUSTIS NELSON: We're excited. Everybody is jumping around. We have to get into a different mindset and get ready for this week.

Q. What kind of challenge does the TCU offense present to the defense this year?
JUSTIS NELSON: I mean, they have great players, outside, inside, quarterback, they're going to throw the ball around, they're going to run the ball. They're well coached, so we have to be ready for anything everybody has to bring their A-game and be where they're supposed to be whenever a play is called.

Q. What do you remember from walking off the field last season?
JUSTIS NELSON: Obviously, disappointment. But we remember it, we forget it now, and now we're just trying to get better every day.

Q. What kind of mentality do you have to have as a cornerback playing in such a prolific offense like this where you're probably going to be on an island a couple times against very talented receivers?
JUSTIS NELSON: Just a hard-nosed, one-snap and clear. That's one thing we say all the time. You give up a big play and you've got to let it go because they're coming right back at you. So just a hard mentality, just be willing to go a hundred percent every play.

Q. What do you think about the quarterback of TCU?
JUSTIS NELSON: He's a great player. Trevone Boykin, he can extend plays. He likes to move around. He can throw the ball for sure. He's a great player, and we'll have to try to contain him as much as we can.

Q. You guys are leading the Big 12 in forcing turnovers. What are your thoughts on that production through the first few games and obviously it was something that was lacking last year?
JUSTIS NELSON: Yeah, I mean, we've emphasized it and are coached in every drill, so we're pleased with the turnovers but we know we've got to keep producing every week. We've got to get more and more. So I feel like we're in a good position right now, and we're just trying to get better every week.

Q. In the first three games you've only allowed three points in the third quarter. Coach said it's really just luck. What do you attribute some of that success to, guys just settling in?
JUSTIS NELSON: Yeah, we emphasize it every week in practice. Second half we try to raise the energy than it was in the first week of practice. So we've been emphasizing that. Guys trying to fly around, pushing through when we're tired. Obviously it's been paying off, and we'll keep emphasizing it.

Q. How do you adjust to the different styles of offense from last week to this week?
JUSTIS NELSON: That's on the coaches and also on the players. But they'll put us in the right position, and it's just our job to make plays.

Q. Talk about having a guy like Mahomes on your team that maybe helps a little bit and seeing him going up against him in practice? Similar style offense in your program this week. Do you see any advantages of that?
JUSTIS NELSON: Yeah, definitely. The guys in the secondary are going to have to hold on to the coverage a couple more seconds with a guy like Pat or obviously Boykin who we're about to go up against. They can extend plays, but I'm confident in our D-line that they'll get to the quarterback and help us with the turnovers, help us in the secondary.


Q. There was a moment there in the fourth quarter where you guys were driving and trying to close the game out. I saw you lean over and kind of smash your helmet against your teammates. What were you saying to try to get this over the edge and finish this one out?
JARED KASTER: Just to finish it. I mean, that's all we had to do. Me being in my position, that's what I've got to be, I've got to be a leader. That's one thing I'm trying to get the guys ready. Go in there and put the dagger in them and finish the game. That was one thing that really emphasized this off-season is finishing. Going out in the second half and finishing the game. Just getting everybody excited, just don't quit. Like I said, just finish the game.

Q. How hard is it as an offensive lineman to go from the hurry-up style you guys ran to then slowing it down and really trying to beat out that clock on that last drive?
JARED KASTER: It's not hard at all. We practiced it in practice. Kingsbury does a great job preparing us for those situations. We go through pretty much any situation that you can experience in a football game. I think with the preparation we had, it doesn't change our demeanor. We might take a little time to get our breath, but we're in great shape. It doesn't really change for us. It's like let's go, you know, snap the ball.

Q. How much moxie does No. 5 have? What is Mahomes like during the course of the game?
JARED KASTER: He's the same. He's the same. He doesn't change. Even if he throws a pick or throws seven touchdowns, his head doesn't get rattled. He's the same demeanor that he is throughout the whole game. That's what you want. That's what you want in a quarterback that is in a position that he's in.

It fires us up. To see a guy if he does throw a pick like he did that comes back in the huddle and says, all right, let's go put this in the end zone. It fires us up and gets us going for that drive.

Q. How rare is it to see that in a guy as young as he is going through the first full season starting at quarterback?
JARED KASTER: You could say it's rare. But from knowing Pat, it's just him. You're looking at it from other schools you would say that it could be rare for young quarterbacks to be like that. But being around Pat as long as I have, it's just Pat. I mean, Pat is Pat, and Pat's going to go out there -- I mean, heck, he threw out his whole body on a play to get extra yards, and you don't see that from quarterbacks. You usually just see quarterbacks run around and try not to get hit. But he went out there and threw his whole arm into it. He needs to leave that up to us big guys.

But you play for guys like that. When you see that on the film, that's what this game is about, the preparation and demeanor that he has is through the roof.

Q. (No microphone) did you guys respond to that?
JARED KASTER: Yeah. I mean, well, I saw it there late. The O-line's coming to me and telling me. Dude, did you see that? No. Yeah, Pat just went out there and got a knock down. Oh, heck, yeah. Let's go then (laughing).

Q. When did you guys hear about Coach Kingsbury's comments after the game, and what did you think about them?
JARED KASTER: That's between him and Coach Bielema. We don't worry about that too much. I'm not worried about that at all. I'm worried about TCU this week.

Q. Did it fire you up when your coach came out and spoke out like that?
JARED KASTER: Yeah, but that's in the past now. And we'll worry about this week and what TCU has to offer for us.

Q. What did you think of Jakeem's touchdown toss?
JARED KASTER: He's got an arm. We were all excited when Coach Kingsbury put that play in this week. Kind of joked around and said don't throw a duck out there when you do it.

But it's good. It's part of this offense that's exciting when you have plays like that. It was fun to see that and see Reginald score that touchdown.

Q. How do you avoid the letdown going from last week to this week?
JARED KASTER: You don't. You keep on it. You keep adding to it. You keep the momentum going into this week. Coach is going to have a great, great game plan for us. It's fun. I mean, you really don't need -- the energy's not going to be let down. It's the first conference game against a great TCU team in the Jones, Saturday, on television. It's fun. What more do you want?

Q. What was it like for you at the end of the game going into the road environment and coming away with the win?
JARED KASTER: It was fun. It's always great to see that many fans at an away stadium that far away. We have the best fans in the country. It's awesome to see all of them out there. And going to a win like we did against a great team as Arkansas, that's fun. That's football. That's what you play the game for.

It's exciting. It was fun. It was a great experience for us, and a great experience for the young guys. Really see what a true road game is.

Q. What is the biggest difference in the offense this year going into TCU than last year going into TCU?
JARED KASTER: We've got a lot more veteran guys, guys with experience, guys that have been through it. I would say it would be the off-season. With everything we've been through that last year and what we came out with and the off-season that we had and what the coaches have done for us, I think that's what's changed tremendously about this offense compared to last year.

It's just our mindset now that each week we're going through the coaches have a plan for us. Just execute the plan. Do your job, and good things will happen.

Q. What do you remember about TCU's defensive line from last year?
JARED KASTER: They're good. They're solid. Probably the best defensive line we've gone against. They're probably one of the most dominant if not the Big 12, in the country. It's fun. It's going to be a great challenge for us up front. It's going to be fun. It's going to be a fun game.

Q. Have you taken on more of a leadership role? I'm not saying practice, leading up, but in games so far this season?
JARED KASTER: I've tried to. I mean, that's what -- coaches didn't just make me captain it for no reason. They felt that I had something in me that could get the team going. I really, ever since that I really kind of took it personal. That's one thing that I've tried to step up and tried to improve in my game and my leadership standpoint is really get guys going.

The big thing with me was the second half. Coming out of the second half is just as exciting as we did the first half, and that was a big thing for me. But really, this on of season is something that I've worked on. It was just trying to lead guys and be there for people.

Q. (No microphone) you guys came out and scored a touchdown in the first series and looked sharp. So what do you think the main reason for that is? Is that setting the tone?
JARED KASTER: It's everything. Just executing what we're supposed to do. You get the play, and you take one play at a time, and you do the right thing. You do your job and good things will happen. The only thing that's going to stop us is ourselves. We can't have penalties. We can't have, you know, just the stupid penalties are what killed us last year. Going down there and scoring a touchdown on the first possession, that's what sets the game is what sets the tempo. That's what we want.

If we get the ball first, go down there and score. If we don't, and we get to touch the ball first, go down there and score. But, yeah, it gets a team going. It gets us going.

Q. Talk about the penalties. You guys were talking about reducing penalties for quite a while. This year you're better at it. Was the message finally getting through?
JARED KASTER: Yeah, just the execution of not having those penalties. That was a big emphasis on this off-season was to get rid of the penalties. That is something that the coaches, the strength staff really drilled into our heads. Last year we were probably the worst in the country at penalties. If you go back and take half of those off, we're sitting at a different record. The only thing stopping our offense is penalties, pre-snap penalties.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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