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November 23, 2015

David Gibbs

Lubbock, Texas

Q. Coach, can you talk about their offense and their running game?
COACH GIBBS: Four of the last five games they've run for 275 yards. So, obviously, they've got a powerful run game. They've got three or four running backs, two quarterbacks, big offensive line. Got our hands full trying to not only gap it out but tackle those guys once, if and when we do gap it out. So same thing every week for us. Just trying to get better, improve, all the things I've been saying for 12 straight weeks.

Q. How did the short week off help your defense get healthy?
COACH GIBBS: I mean, shoot, at this point you'll take any day you can get. I think some guys got some extra treatment, but guys who have been hurt, I'm not sure it helped them. We've had some good practices. We've had some extra reps, which like I said for us, every rep we can get is a blessing. Look forward to practicing again today and getting to the game Thursday night.

Q. You guys were able to hold K-State to a season low rushing-wise. Joe had nine yards. What do you feel like was working so well?
COACH GIBBS: If I knew, I'd do it every game. Played the same defenses we've been playing all year. Just played good. Played for the most part, stayed in our gaps and tackled good for us and we were disciplined. Even though they completed some passes, we had coverage on them for the most part on their play action stuff. The touchdown pass Nigel gave up was just straight drop back pass, crazy.

But showed some improvement. Again, we've got to go play these big boys from Austin, so they'll have another challenge.

Q. Do you feel like the blueprint you had against K-State rushing-wise is something that you take down to Austin with you? I know you guys kind of loaded the box and forced them to maybe put it in the air a little bit more.
COACH GIBBS: Yeah, truth is the week before against West Virginia I loaded the box too and they ran for 300. So like I said, we've just got to keep working and guys got to understand. The good news is we've seen these runs, obviously their quarterbacks are a little bit more athletic than Kansas State's quarterback. But at least we've got the reps in practice and hopefully we'll just keep grinding, keep getting better.

Q. With the extra reps you've had last week, is that kind of the best opportunities you've had all year as far as teaching moments and slowing things down here in the bye week?
COACH GIBBS: Yeah, all coaches say that. I think your best teaching moments, honestly, are spring practice and training camp and bowl practice, bowl preparation to where you can slow it down and really teach. Because during the season, it's hectic. Every day is obviously a teaching opportunity. But we'll keep repping and keep loading the box, and hopefully avoid some of the big passes.

Q. As a coach, how excited are you to be able to coach a game on Thanksgiving, a primetime game, big situation for the team?
COACH GIBBS: All exposure is good exposure, that's why you're always nice to the press and TV people, because even when you're playing bad, they can talk good about you. I'll be happy Friday morning when it's over. Hopefully we can play good enough defense to find a way to win the game.

Q. Texas announced today that Chris Warren will probably start at running back. (No microphone) what's that do for your preparation?
COACH GIBBS: Nothing. Same creatures, different numbers. They're all big, fast, and tough. They're all pretty young guys anyway. He played a lot against West Virginia, so I expect the same run game, same everything.

Q. So you expect they won't pass it off?
COACH GIBBS: I would, if I was playing it. I'd hand it off every snap, but I've been saying that all year.

Q. Coach, last week against K-State, do you see the fruits of your labor?
COACH GIBBS: Oh, no question. I say it every week. The kids practice hard, they play hard. It's just we don't play well together. For a little bit there we put a few series back-to-back, which we've done throughout the course of the season every now and then. We just can't ever maintain it. It would have been nice to finish the game last week a little bit better. But circumstances come up and you have to keep fighting as a defense. Hopefully we'll learn from the experiences and keep getting better.

Q. Do you think the four quarters, was that collectively the best performance for you?
COACH GIBBS: I'm just glad we got number six to be honest with you. I'm just happy to get six.

Q. What did you think about D'Vonta? It seems he's getting better and better every week.
COACH GIBBS: He is, and he should. I say it, he got hurt for about three weeks in training camp, so he's been behind. He had a good practice yesterday. He's just getting better. So hopefully he'll look like a midget out there this weekend or Thursday night. But he'll go play his heart out.

Q. What extra does he have to do to get around and make those types of plays that he was making last week?
COACH GIBBS: Not a whole lot. He's so small they have a hard time cutting him, have a hard time blocking him. He's instinctive, and he can read blocking schemes and like anything else, he sees the ball, finds the ball, and goes and tackles the guy with the ball. It ain't that hard. It's just we have a tendency to not want to do that. I don't know why.

Q. With this being the last opportunity to play Texas for the seniors, have you seen them step up their leadership this week?
COACH GIBBS: Yeah, they're excited. They should be. Going back to the previous question, playing Thanksgiving night in Austin against Texas, probably didn't a whole lot of them get recruited by Texas, so they thought object fired up. We'll see. It's easy to be fired up. You've got to go play good.

Q. Kansas State had those couple scores towards the end, and they got the onside kick. You forced the field goal. Just what did you see in that drive defensively where you guys stepped up?
COACH GIBBS: You know, it was good to see them get a stop. It doesn't matter. I'm not sure what I saw. We called the same defense, kids made the plays. D'Vonta got a big sack. Truth is that's what we should have been doing all year, but trust me, I didn't want to see that thing get any closer. I was scared to death.

Q. Who played the best on the front seven?
COACH GIBBS: You know what? I don't even remember. I can't even remember. I've been watching so much Texas. Have I told you they run for 275 yards four of the last five games? In case you don't know, we give up a lot of running yards.

So, yeah, I'd love to pat them on the back for last week, but truth is we've got three days to get ready for the Longhorns.

Q. Changing the subject, have you paid much attention to what your former team has been doing this year with Houston?
COACH GIBBS: Every now and then. But just trying to get ready to play Texas.

Q. Best part of Thanksgiving meal?
COACH GIBBS: It's on Thursday. We'll be done Friday. Happy Thanksgiving.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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