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September 12, 2017

Jah'Shawn Johnson

Lubbock, Texas

Q. Jah'Shawn, I guess this time around is it an advantage to kind of have a guy like Desmond Nisby, who I guess is a little bit like Kalen Ballage, and how has that helped you at practice knowing it's kind of the similar size of him?
JAH'SHAWN JOHNSON: Yeah, Nisby does a great job when we go good-on-good of running tough and lowering his head and things like that like Ballage does. J-Stock, him and Felton and Tre King, they all do a good job of lowering their head and trying to get extra yards and things like that, so they give us an extra look.

Q. How much does last year's loss sting?
JAH'SHAWN JOHNSON: I mean, last year was last year. It's a new year. We're excited to get a new opportunity to play such a great team and compete against some great athletes.

Q. What are some of the biggest challenges that a running back like Ballage brings?
JAH'SHAWN JOHNSON: I mean, he's just so skilled running the ball and out in the receiver position and things. I mean, he's a big back. He's fast. I mean, he's very powerful. He makes great moves. He can either run you over or he can juke you and things like that. He's very unpredictable, but I mean, we've just got to prepare well this week and get after it.

Q. Wilkins had a good game against you guys last year. What do you see from him as a quarterback?
JAH'SHAWN JOHNSON: He's a dual-threat quarterback. From this year since the first two games he's been more of trying to throw the ball and stay in the pocket and protect himself more. But last year of course he was jumping over guys and things like that. But he's a great athlete, and I mean, he has great receivers and great backs behind him to help him. I mean, their offense is dominant just about everywhere. We just have to get after him and play well.

Q. What's been the biggest difference from the linebacker corps last year to this year, especially with the experience they've got and some of the guys getting bigger?
JAH'SHAWN JOHNSON: I'd say the biggest difference is the knowledge. I think more of the guys last year was just kind of threw in the fire, had a lot of young guys playing. But Coach Bab has done a great job of getting them in the film room and in the playbook and learning their playbooks and their plays and what they have to do and things like that. I mean, they're just playing fast now that they know the defense.

Q. Do you kind of feel like that makes it almost a new game considering all the new guys that you brought in, and obviously some of the guys have that knowledge now that they didn't last year?
JAH'SHAWN JOHNSON: Yeah, like I said, they're playing a lot faster now. They're making their reads and they're trusting it now, and that cleans it up for us on the back end as we try to fit off them and things like that, so it should be better.

Q. How much more confidence do you have as a defense knowing you've already seen a dual-threat quarterback and pretty much shut him down?
JAH'SHAWN JOHNSON: I mean, this is a new week. We definitely have to fly to the ball like we done last week. I think we improved in tackling, but we still have some plays where we let the last quarterback get out of the pocket and things, which we didn't want to do, and I mean, I believe that will be another key point for us this week to keep him in the pocket and force him to throw the ball away and things like that.

Q. Do you guys set any type of goals heading into the Arizona State game considering how many points they were able to put up last year?
JAH'SHAWN JOHNSON: Definitely. We'll go over that later on today when we meet. I mean, yeah, they put a lot of points on us last year, and we know we have to improve in order to win this game and just give our offense a chance at the end.

Q. (Indiscernible).
JAH'SHAWN JOHNSON: I know their outside receiver, No. 1, I believe it's Harry I think is his last name. He's a bigger guy, more physical guy. Likes to just run into you and try to run you over and things like that, and then they have a couple slot guys that are more shifty and will run around you and can run the jet sweep and things like that. But just about everywhere they have playmakers.

Q. Do you or any of the guys know (indiscernible) because he's a metroplex guy?
JAH'SHAWN JOHNSON: Yeah, I mean, I played him in high school. He's a great guy. I haven't seen him playing. I know I saw he was hurt for a little bit and things like that, but I think he should be back. I mean, he's a great athlete that can do it all in the return game and on the offensive side of the ball.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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