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September 24, 2012

D.J. Johnson

Q.  They have thrown picks in every game so far, how much of a priority is that for you guys to create turnovers?
D.J. JOHNSON:  Definitely.  That's our goal.  That's something I feel like we really didn't achieve through these first three games, not just getting a lot of turnovers like they should.  Our whole is to get three turnovers a game at least.  So we are really going to focus on that.

Q.  Talk about the confidence on defense, what you've accomplished for the first three games and how that carries you into this game.
D.J. JOHNSON:  Well, it doesn't stop there.  The first three games to us, those are like just kind of glorified scrimmages more so.  We were still feel each other, feeling ourselves out, and this is going to be the first real challenge we have had, first game in the Big12.  So it really starts here.
So our confidence is high based off of what we've done those past three games, just seeing what we are capable of doing and achieving so much.
But at the same time, we still have to continue to get better and make a lot more plays; with that being said, as a defense, we feel like this will be the game that we really make a statement.  A lot of people feel like‑‑ well some people feel like we made statements those last three games but this game will really be the game we made that statement.

Q.  Inaudible.
D.J. JOHNSON:  Yeah, I would say they are pretty balanced.  Really what they like to do is they like to use that tight end for blocking purposes on the back side and then they just do‑‑ it's a lot more combination routes as far as passing and then with the run game, it's like power reads and such, like stretching the defense out, trying to get that guy on one cut and go.

Q.  What do you remember most about last year?
D.J. JOHNSON:  What, like what do you mean?  Oh, this game?  Well, the loss.  I mean, it was just something to where when I think back to it, it's like I can't really explain what it was that we just weren't doing right that wasn't getting the job done, but they just came out and they were better unless they came out prepared and they came out ready to go.
I felt like we weren't as prepared as we could have been and so that's something that we are really trying to make sure that never happens again.  We want to be prepared every game, as well prepared as we can be.

Q.  Last year, the elation from riding high from the win before ‑‑ inaudible.
D.J. JOHNSON:  I wouldn't say that.  I just feel like that really because we had lost two games prior to that‑‑ and then beat Oklahoma.  So for us, it wasn't like we were just riding high.  It was more so that‑‑ I couldn't tell you.  Just we weren't as prepared as we could have been.  I feel like that's just really what it boils down to.  We weren't tackling great.  We didn't have any turnovers.  We weren't making plays on either side of the ball.

Q.  What do you tell the guys that it's going to be their first Big12 game?
D.J. JOHNSON:  It starts now.  Your legacy begins here, and everything that you worked for this off‑season, it starts right now.  And so this is going to be the biggest game of your career, because it's not only the first Big12 game, but it's the next game.

Q.  How important is it for you guys on the defensive side of the ball to get off to a fast start like at Texas State and take the crowd out of it?
D.J. JOHNSON:  It's extremely important.  We want to get off to a fast start in every game.  But the key thing to it all is finishing it, as well.  So if we get off to a fast start and we don't finish, then we lose the game.   That makes no difference if we get off to a fast start and don't finish it.
So it's going to be the fact of starting it off strong.  And then coming out in the fourth quarter and being able to put them away.

Q.  With only three games this year‑‑
D.J. JOHNSON:  Yeah, that was my goal, like talking to the guys here, no one came to Texas Tech to lose.  We didn't come to Texas Tech to be the last‑ranked defense or the worst team or however you want to look at it depending on different opinions.  We came here to win and that's our goal as a team, as a unit, and every individual came here to make a statement, to do something that Texas Tech has not done.  So we agree with that.

Q.  Who is the keeper of the chain right now?
D.J. JOHNSON:  Right now we have‑‑ right now it's Kerry.   He got Player of the Week that last game, and so Kerry Hyder, he's carrying it right now until we find out who will be the captain for this week.

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