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October 24, 2012

Paul Johnson

COACH JOHNSON:  Certainly we've got our hands full this week.  No question about that in a quality BYU team.  I think their record is very deceiving.  They've lost three games to top 25 teams, two to Top 10 teams.  Defensively they rank in the Top 10 in most every category, so it's an experienced team, a lot of juniors and seniors they have especially defensively.  And it will be a big challenge for us to try to string together a couple wins in a row here.

Q.  Your first game after you made some changes you talked to us about defense.  You held Boston College, I know it's not the greatest offensive team in the world, but you held them a touchdown a hundred some yards below their averages.  Can you talk about the changes on defense and how well you think it worked?
COACH JOHNSON:  Well, I think that there were a couple factors.  We played better on third down.  That was the big thing.  Offensively we held the ball for 41 minutes.  That will help too.  But I thought our defensive coaches did a good job keeping things simple and letting guys play.
We were fortunate we were a little better on third downs.  We gave up a couple of big pass plays and Boston College dropped some balls that helped us.  But it's going to be a work in progress.

Q.  Not to change the subject, but being from Durham, I have to ask about Vad Lee and the fact he played a significant part of the game.  Is that just part of the game plan to give him more work or is there a reason I'm not aware of?
COACH JOHNSON:  No, it was part of the plan.  He had a good week of practice, and he's done that whenever he does that and he's dialed in and focused, he's got a lot of ability and talent.  We think he's going to be a really good player.  So he earned the playing time and played really well, especially in the first half he played well.

Q.  Do you feel better about your defense after the changes coming off last week or how much of that was just playing who you played?  Do you think we need to do better or keep that up this week?
COACH JOHNSON:  Well, you never know.  Certainly I feel better about the direction we're going, but it's a fluid, moving thing.  You have to play better.  You have to play harder.  We had a few mental assignments or mental errors because it was really simple.  We're going to have to add some things to it, and grow as we go along here.  So we'll see.  The proof will be in the pudding at the end.

Q.  When you watch BYU's defense on film, what jumps out as the challenges that they're going to pose for your offense this week?
COACH JOHNSON:  They're very physical.  They run the ball.  They're well coached.  Up until the only two teams that have gotten 300 yards of offense on them are the two teams that are ranked in the Top 10.  So they play well together as a team, and they've been really good against the run.

Q.  Where do you see Tevin has having improved this year?  What areas do you think he's maybe a better quarterback than last year?
COACH JOHNSON:  He's completing a high percentage of his passes.  I think he's just more confident in what he's doing and understanding the things going on just like you would expect from anybody that's played as long as he has.  So those would be the big areas, I think.

Q.  He still has room to grow, I would assume.  Where would you like to see him?
COACH JOHNSON:  I think everybody always has some room to grow.  Maybe be a little more consistent, for a guy with that much experience, really cut down‑‑ he hasn't had a ton of errors, they've just come at inopportune times, and we really need to cut down on that for a guy that's played as much as he has.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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