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TEXAS TECH UNIVERSITY MEDIA CONFERENCE


October 15, 2012


Seth Doege

D.J. Johnson


Q.  How nice is it to have such a good sized receiving corps so that now, in spite of the injuries that are coming up, you still have some really good people?
SETH DOEGE:  Yeah, I think it's the biggest difference between this year and last is the fact that we have depth.  If somebody does go down, we still have guys that can produce behind that.  If you look at it, we still have Alex Torres inside who has been very productive in the last couple of years.  You look at Austin Zouzalik who has been very productive in the last couple years.  So we still have guys that can get the job done that will step up and play well for us.

Q.¬† Last year you guys were 5‑2.¬† This year you're 5‑1 almost the same thing.¬† What is the biggest difference in the way you're handling it this season?
SETH DOEGE:  I think everybody realizes how easy it can happen to you.  Going back to last year being on such a high and going to such a low.  I think last year you could kind of tell that we weren't ready to play just by the way we practiced.  We didn't practice very well, so I think that's huge for us to have a good week of practice and prepare well and help the guys that maybe the younger guys that weren't here last year understand that this game is bigger than the last.
No matter if we lose this next one, nobody's going to remember the one before.  So we've got to prepare and realize that this game is bigger than the last one.

Q.¬† Can you talk about just some of the adjustments you and I were talking about a minute ago?¬† Can you just talk about from last week to this past Saturday about just the O‑line adjustments up front?¬† Just keeping you clean, and that way you can sling the ball down the field?
SETH DOEGE:  Yeah, played very well and it makes it easy.  The offensive line and the running backs played well too.  I think people forget how big of a deal it is for your running backs to be able to pick up a blitz.  Those linebackers are coming full speed and those guys are standing there.  It's not easy to do.  You've got to have some toughness to you to do it.
The O‑line and running backs did a really good job of keeping me clean.¬† It makes it so easy for a quarterback to sit there in a pass offense to pick apart a defense when you don't have anybody at your feet or anybody in your face and you can see the entire picture and identify what's going on.¬† So it's a big shout out to those guys.¬† That's why we were able to throw the ball down field.

Q.  After you saw the film, was there anything that surprised you about how the team played just in general?
SETH DOEGE:  No.  I felt pretty good about it on the field.  There were a few looks on defense that I hadn't seen on film that I saw on our film that I was just kind of curious to see what they did and what we could have done.  But other than that, I think we played well and we played really hard as a football team.  That's a big thing for us.  We play really hard each game.  I think our film is our resume.  When the next team gets to look at it, I think they see how hard and how physical we are.

Q.  After the first drive, did you kind of have the mindset after you guys got the first one that it was going to be one of those days that we've just got to go on?  We've just got the Mojo today?
SETH DOEGE:¬† Yeah, I think we were excited.¬† I think that was huge.¬† I think Coach Brown really preached bringing energy on Saturday was going to be a big deal for us.¬† Everyone was excited to play.¬† Once we scored that first drive, it just boosted us in confidence and the sideline did a really good job.¬† The young guys that don't get to play or suit out, I think they did a good job of keeping up‑tempo sideline and keeping the crowd into it.¬† Overall, it was a big team victory.

Q.  What's it like now dealing with essentially the spotlight at a national level?  All the attention, the awards, things of that nature.
SETH DOEGE:¬† I think I got a taste of it last year.¬† Over the off‑season and stuff, I kind of looked through everything that happened to me and realized what I did well and how I accepted things, what I didn't do well when accepting things.¬† So I think just learning from past experiences is going to help me out throughout the season.

Q.  Can you talk about what you think it's going to be years down the road when you're long gone, kicking off this rivalry with TCU and what this means for this program?
SETH DOEGE:  Yeah, I think it's big.  It's a lot of fun.  If you look at it, there are not a lot of people in Lubbock that care too much about TCU people, and there are not many TCU people that care too much about Tech people.  So I think it's going to be a fun rivalry.  I'm excited that I'm part of it that gets to kick it off.

Q.  Did you get a chance on Saturday, obviously you guys were having a good time or whatever, but did you have a chance to check out and watch TCU play Baylor at Baylor?
SETH DOEGE:¬† I watched a little bit, not a whole lot.¬† I watched a little bit on film.¬† They play, their defense plays really hard.¬† They're well‑coached.¬† They're very athletic on the ends.¬† So I think we're going to have to have some guys that have big weeks of practice and are ready to play.¬† I think it's going to be a dog fight.
They'll be excited to play, and whoever is prepared and whoever executes the best is going to win this game.

Q.  It looked like you guys were more of an attack mode against West Virginia.  Is that the mentality moving forward?
SETH DOEGE:¬† Yeah, I think so.¬† If you look at it, the team that's we did play that way, we attacked them from the git‑go.¬† We played really well.¬† I haven't talked to Coach Brown about this week, but I think that we played well when we just line up and attack from play one to play 75.

Q.  How do coaches evaluate the young guards (Indiscernible)?
SETH DOEGE:¬† First off, the Le'Raven's a beast.¬† That guy can get it done.¬† If you ever can sit down and watch, and I don't know if you can tell on TV, but if you watch him run, it's incredible.¬† He'll keep up with Hakeem on a speed sweep.¬† It's incredible to watch.¬† He plays really hard.¬† He's going to be a great player here.¬† And the other two, Beau and Alfredo have been doing a really good job.¬† Both of them were called to step up, and I think they both answered the challenge each and every week of doing their job.¬† They've been a huge factor for our offense and O‑line, and they'll continue to improve and be big time players here.

Q.  How much are you going to miss Jace?  I don't know how long he'll be out.  Coach will talk to us about that.  But he's really coming into his own this season.
SETH DOEGE:  Right.  He's a big time player.  We for sure are going to miss him, but we can't really worry about it.  We have to go with the guys that are going to play this week.  We have all the confidence in the world in each guy that is going to play.  I fully expect Jace to be ready to play next week.  I think he's a tough guy.  I think he takes a lot of pride in his work, and he cares about this team.  So I think he'll do whatever it takes to get himself healthy and be ready to play as soon as he can.

Q.  Talk about you and Cody winning Big 12 player of the week, and having both of those guys on both sides of the ball in your locker room?
SETH DOEGE:  It's an honor, but I think it's a tribute to the entire football team.  Our offensive group, everybody did their job.  Offensive line, running backs, receivers, everybody did their job.
On the defensive side, everybody did their job for Cody to make those tackles.  So I think Cody would say the same thing.  It was a team effort in this win.  And those awards just kind of are showing off how well we played as a team.

Q.  You've had a lot of success at home.  What do you expect from the atmosphere down there?
SETH DOEGE:  I mean, I think they're going to be excited to play.  Hopefully we have some fans there just because we have a big fan base in that area.  But I think they're going to be fired up and ready to play.  I think they've been looking into this game for a while.  I think it will be a fun atmosphere to play in.

Q.¬† You said that media days that you were already looking forward to playing TCU.¬† Is some of that because there was like a mix‑up a couple years ago and got on TV with Texas early in the season and couldn't reschedule TCU?¬† I mean, how much of that is playing into this?
SETH DOEGE:  Maybe for like the administrators and people that put stuff together for that, but for us players I think it's just the fact that they're another Texas school.  For being from Texas and we have a lot of guys that are from Texas that it's just one of those pride things that you want to be the best team in Texas.  So any time you play a Texas school, there is a little more excitement there to win and play.

Q.  Has there been a moment that you've kind of looked around and said after Saturday that the season can be special?
SETH DOEGE:  I think after the game we all realized that we can play at a very high level, and we're going to be very, very hard to beat.  If we go out there and prepare and have a great week of practice and execute and play with a lot of energy and have a lot of fun, if we play that way each and every week, we'll be a very, very special group, and we'll be hard to beat.

Q.¬† There is a perception that outside of the deep ball ‑‑ if so (Indiscernible)?
SETH DOEGE:  Yeah, think so.  There was a lot of opportunity to go over the middle.  It was just trying to identify where the safeties were and what they did.  They stepped out a lot to one safety, and hit Jace on those seam balls a couple of times and that really opened up some things.  That's just something we game plan each and every week.  I mean, if we have opportunities to attack the middle, we're going to attack the middle.  If we have opportunities to attack the outside, we'll attack the outside.
It's just one of those game plan things.  We knew going into it there was opportunity there to attack the middle, and I think we did a really good job of it.

Q.  You were always good on your feet.  Will we be seeing more of that?
SETH DOEGE:¬† Well, it's not‑‑ since I'm not an above‑average runner, it's not going to be a game plan for me to run.¬† But I think I have the ability to make things happen with my feet when things break down.¬† Sometimes I think there is more opportunity for me to do that, but I get so locked in down field and trying to identify where I'm going with the football, that I miss some opportunities to run.
I think that's one of the key parts of my game that I need to keep developing is being able to run when I have space to run, and keep the chains moving and keep us on the field.

Q.  Has Neal encouraged you to do that?  Or what was his reaction when you did that?
SETH DOEGE:  Yeah, each time we meet with Coach Brown he's always telling me if nothing's there, run the ball.  You can run the football and make things happen with your feet.  So he's always encouraging me to make things happen with my feet if things break down.

Q.  Were you more relaxed going into this game?  Did you do anything different with your routine to get ready for this?
SETH DOEGE:  I didn't do anything different other than the fact that I learned some lessons from last week maybe that hindered me from playing at a high level.  I just took those lessons and tried to really develop myself mentally to be ready to play.

Q.  What lessons did you learn?
SETH DOEGE:  Just I think that there were times in the game where I maybe didn't pull the trigger, maybe second guessed myself a little bit.  I just need to trust in my abilities, trust in my arm, and trust in my preparation to go out there and make plays.

Q.  You wouldn't have guessed a month ago if there was one ranked team going into the TCU game, it probably was going to be TCU.  Do you have any comment you want to make about that?
SETH DOEGE:  I'm just playing the next game on the schedule.  We're excited to play them.

Q.  How about the game that Coach Brown called for you on Saturday?  How it allowed you to get into a rhythm early on there?
SETH DOEGE:  Yeah, I mean, just like we talked about it.  We were in attack mode the entire game.  That was his game plan.  That was the way he called plays if we were going to attack him.  He gave me a lot of leeway to make decisions on the field.  I think he had a really good game plan for us, and he for sure called a great game and gave us opportunities to get the ball down field.

Q.  What are you doing this week to keep it together?
SETH DOEGE:  First off, when we get back together, we'll have a senior meeting and we'll talk to the entire group about the highs and lows and what happened last year.  That is a good example for our football team to realize we were in the exact same position last year, and we could have done something special with it.  Instead we kind of let all the pats on the back and everything get to us and didn't play our best football.
We've got to remind the guys that last week we were one of the most hated people in Lubbock.  Like people didn't want to talk to us.  Nobody wanted to shake our hand.  This week everybody wants to pat us on the back.  We have to remember that.  Remember that we're here for one common goal, and that is that crystal ball on the wall.  That's a huge thing for us as leaders to relay to the entire football team.

Q.  When you came here four years ago, five years ago, the offense was what it was all about.  There wasn't a very good defense.  How does it feel now to have good strengths on both sides?
SETH DOEGE:  It feels good.  It reminds me of my first year here was '08.  I think our defense was pretty solid that year just because we had some players on the defense.  That made it a special group because they did have such an explosive offense, and they had a defense to back it up.  I think we're on the verge of doing that here with this football team.
So I think it's very comforting and a confidence builder for an offensive unit to know that our defense is playing at a high level.  We don't have to press if we get behind.  If we're not clicking and vice versa, they know that we're going to score a lot of points for them and put them in positions to make a lot of plays and being able to do some things that they want to that they game plan for.  So I think it's good to have both sides of the ball clicking.

Q.  You've mentioned the quarterback spread and have you ever crossed paths with Jason (Indiscernible)?
SETH DOEGE:¬† Yeah, we went to a lot of football camps when we were younger.¬† Just because he's a Brownfield kid and kind of the same area.¬† My grandparents lived in Lake Brownwood, so I'd always go visit them, and we were always at the same camps, because we were kind of getting recruited at the same time and by the same people.¬† He had a big‑time arm.¬† He's very athletic for a big guy.¬† I hate to see what happened to him.¬† But hopefully he'll get back on track and get back to playing football.

Q.  How much fun did you have on Saturday going against them and shutting them down?
DJ JOHNSON:  A lot of fun.  It was exciting.  Like I said, we didn't anticipate going in there.  We are going to continue to get better.  It was exciting.  It was fun to do.

Q.  How do you prevent what happened last year again from happening this year?  You know what I'm talking about.  Big wins and you know what happened last year.  Is this just a totally new defense, new mindset?
DJ JOHNSON:  Definitely.  Our confidence is never shattered.  Like I said, we took a loss, and we fought back from it.  We'll continue to get better.  We're confident in what we can do.  By no means are we cocky or are we going to get overly confident about our abilities or are we going to try to think too much or do too much or be overly excited.  We'll continue to play at an even keel level and continue to get better.

Q.  We've heard an awful lot about senior leadership from both the defense and the offense.  Where's that coming from?  Where did you learn that or you specifically?
DJ JOHNSON:  I've been a leader since I've been here.  It was one of those things where when I first came here, Jamar Wall and Jevon Moore, and Brent Nickerson really took me under their wings and showed me some things.  It was like seeing their humbleness, but at the same time you respected them because of who they were and the way they handled themselves.  I learned a lot from that.
Since my sophomore year, I've kind of been that guy since I played my freshman year that people looked up to and asked for advice and things like that.  I'm a smart player.  So people asked me questions about the playbook and stuff like that.  I'm able to help them and answer those questions.  So it's just something that I've been kind of molded into just throughout my life and throughout my career at Tech.

Q.  Have you been looking forward to this game all season against TCU?
SETH DOEGE:  Not really.  It was just one that's the next game.  I'm excited to play them and go out there and have another opportunity.

Q.  Are they afraid to play?
DJ JOHNSON:  Do I think they're afraid?  I don't think anybody's afraid to play anybody.  You know what I mean?  I hope they bring their best game.  I'm sure they will.  I'm sure they're going to be very prepared.  I'm sure they're excited to play us from what I've been told.
So we're just going to go out there and perform to the best of our ability, have confidence, and continue to keep our confidence and play great as a defense.

Q.  D.J., going in last week with Coach Kaufman and things of that nature, what was he preaching to you guys all week about what was the game plan for you guys to get after it?  As far as you guys were dominating right from the jump?
DJ JOHNSON:  Assignments, doing your job.  We knew we were going to get pressure, and we were going to stop the run.  Like he always says this.  It's kind of instilled in you now.  Stop the run, tackle the pass, and we were able to do that.  We didn't give up big plays or big yards after the catch.
If you go back and look at the game before that, that's what really got us a lot of times.¬† In this game we were able to stop that pass, take away‑‑ stop the pass and stop the run.

Q.  Art Kaufman seems to have found something that the defense really can make work.  Other than stopping the run and tackling the pass, what is difference this year that has made the defense so much better?
DJ JOHNSON:  Our confidence and leadership.  We're confident in each other and we know what we're capable of.  In spring ball, we had this idea that we could be a great team.  We took off with it ask ran with it.  We did some things in spring ball against our offense that we haven't done here in a while.  It's been a long time doing it.  It kind of motivated us and boosted us up.  We want to go out as one of the greatest defenses Tech's ever had.  We want to be known.  We want to start a legacy.  That's part of the reason we started the chain gang.  Something to look forward to, and be excited about.  Something that builds brotherhood, camaraderie and a family.

Q.  Is there any extra motivation for you guys going up against Coach Glasgow over at TCU and showing him what you've been able to accomplish this year?
DJ JOHNSON:  Yeah.  Based off our record last year a lot of people assume that we weren't able to do things.  That we just weren't that team that could prove ourselves.  So we'll go out there week like we've done every week and prove ourselves.  We want to show that we have the skill set and the assets and the players and capability of going out there and being a contending team.

Q.  D.J., as far as the game plan is concerned, you guys against Oklahoma's didn't get to the quarterback.  This week you had a lot of pressure.  How much more will we see of that this week?
DJ JOHNSON:  I'm not sure yet.  It goes with the practices.  We'll continue to work hard.  We'll trust coach that he has a game plan in that he's going to set us up for success.  So we'll just continue to work towards that.  We'll listen to him and see what he has in store for us.  We'll watch more film, study key things that maybe they don't know about or the bad habits that they have or bad techniques and we'll focus on those.  He'll put us in the right positions.

Q.  Will you blitz a little more this week?
DJ JOHNSON:  Not really sure.  I couldn't tell you.  I feel like whatever he feels is working, that's what he'll stick to.  Maybe we'll blitz some more to get pressure on the quarterback, knowing that he hasn't played very much, their new quarterback.  So we'll probably just try to make him uncomfortable.  As we did this past week, we'll try to make him move his feet a little bit more and make bad decisions.

Q.  How much did the hype around the West Virginia offense and maybe the kind of cocky attitude they came in with, how much did that motivate you at defense?
DJ JOHNSON:  It motivated us a lot.  We're more excited because we were going up against that team, and they were so hyped.  I know a lot of people doubt us and a lot of people didn't expect us to play the way we did.  But inside the room we knew what we could do.  We knew what we were capable of and we were confident about what we could achieve.  So for us, it was really exciting.  We wanted to go out there and make a statement, and thankfully we were able to do that.

Q.  (Indiscernible) talk about his play and how that's effected you guys?
DJ JOHNSON:¬† It's huge.¬† It's funny to think about, but some guys never get the opportunity.¬† He came in as a walk‑on.¬† You see so many guys that may come and play D1 football, but because they're a walk‑on, coaches may overlook them or they may not get the chance to play or perform.¬† Thankfully we allowed him to get a chance.¬† He was able to go out there.
He's a great player and he's able to go out there and make plays.¬† We enjoy that.¬† I'm thankful.¬† I'm sure he's blessed and fortunate to have a coaching staff that would allow him the opportunity to go out there and show his skill set and show what he's able to do.¬† He's a great player.¬† A great all around player, a great person.¬† He's a God‑fearing man and all of the above.¬† He's everything you could ask for in a player.¬† He's humble, he's modest, and he's a brother.¬† He's a family member and he cares about his family.

Q.  What were you guys taught from a pass defense standpoint?  It looks like you guys were a few footballs away from the that confidence (Indiscernible).  What are you taught if a receiver has the football in his hand to keep playing the play?
DJ JOHNSON:  That's second nature.  That's not a technique that we work on.  It's just we want to make sure they don't come out with the ball.  So every time we make a tackle or something like that, we're trying to get it out.  If we can make an incomplete like you saw on that touchdown.  Newbold got it out after he hit the ground.  It was a touchdown.
But it's just something that's instilled in you.  You don't want the ball to be caught on you.  That's how great players feel every time the ball comes their way.  I don't want him to have the ball at the end of the play.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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