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August 27, 2012

Alex Okafor

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Alex Okafor.

Q. We were just saying, time flies, and this is going to be your last opener.
ALEX OKAFOR: Yeah, it's hard to believe that, man. It's been a long journey. It's been a long process. I'm excited about it. It's just me and the seniors team and I've been waiting for that moment. I'm ready to put our name down and make a legacy here.

Q. What is it about Saturday? Is it about sending a message to the nation that the Longhorns are back? Is it about pride or respect or what?
ALEX OKAFOR: It's just, I mean, it's just about getting back to where we were, and then picking up from last season; it's about getting better every game, and last year, I think we had the eighth‑best defense nationally. We just have to pick up on that and improve and hopefully get ranked higher than that.

Q. How do you buy into all of the magazines and all of the national TV sponsors saying about how good this defense can be?
ALEX OKAFOR: Obviously it doesn't really bother us at all. We have high standards for ourselves. But we honestly have pressure for us and the coaching staff. The pressure and the things from the media and the outside stuff, it doesn't really affect us because all of those expectations for ourselves.

Q. How much momentum do you think the win at the Holiday Bowl gives you?
ALEX OKAFOR: It puts a good taste in your mouth going into next year. We have that to build upon and we are hoping to take a step forward and get better from essentially last January, or last December.

Q. Is there anything that you can say to the freshmen before they run out for the first time?
ALEX OKAFOR: Don't let your nerves get the best of you, man. Take it all in. Enjoy every second of it. But remember, it's just football. You've been doing this since middle school; some kids since Pop Warner. Just don't let it get bigger than what it is. It's still a game at the end of the day.

Q. Inaudible.
ALEX OKAFOR: Most no, but you do have some that are a lot more mature than others. That's how it goes.

Q. Inaudible.
ALEX OKAFOR: Just getting back to the top, man. That's all we worked on this off‑season was just getting Texas back to where it belong, getting barked Top‑10 BCS team. That's what we are working towards and Wyoming is essentially the first step to doing that.

Q. Coach used aggressive and dominating‑‑ is that what you guys are?
ALEX OKAFOR: That's exactly what we are. We want opponents to leave the game feeling like, man, not only did we lose a game, but we took a physical beating. That's what makes great defense s is when teams don't want to play you again. You can beat a team but they will be like, hopefully he can we can get them next year. We want them to leave here like, ohhh, we have them next year, again. That's the mentality we have on our defense.

Q. Wyoming 's offense ‑‑ inaudible‑‑ are they in trouble?
ALEX OKAFOR: Wyoming, they have a good offense. They have a good team. Their quarterback, what was he, freshman Player of the Year last year for the mountain west? He can run. He's a great player. It starts up front. If we don't pressure him from the get‑go and he starts getting loose on a couple runs and completes a couple passes, we'll be in for a long game, man and we don't want that to happen.

Q. Do you and Jackson‑‑
ALEX OKAFOR: We do, man, because we know we have the God‑given talent and we know we have put it on film last year. It's just continuing that and that's the ultimate goal, everybody wants to be the best.

Q. Where are you guys‑‑
ALEX OKAFOR: We have to get more consistent. I think we have learned the scheme and we are familiar with the scheme enough right now. It's just about us getting more consistent and putting pressure on the quarterback every single day. We had some great plays and great sacks that have come in spurts, but now it's time to put it all together and do it essentially every passing down. That's what we have worked on.

Q. As far as turnovers‑‑ when I say that, what does that mean?
ALEX OKAFOR: It wins games, plain and simple. We win the turnover margin, we'll win the game.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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