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TEXAS TECH UNIVERSITY MEDIA CONFERENCE


October 29, 2012


Seth Doege

D.J. Johnson


Q.  It seemed like you've had a hard time stopping teams that are able to score points.  Do you anticipate good things from the offense this week?
SETH DOEGE:¬† Yeah, I think I always do.¬† I think Texas' defense is very talented.¬† I think they've had some injuries, but they still have the talent there to stop and produce the way they want to produce.¬† So it's going to be a big week for us to execute and then work on winning man‑to‑man routes and protecting and running the football, like you said, working in the run game.
But I think there are times where Texas looks like worldly on defense, And there are times that they're not so good on defense.  But I expect them to come in here, get geared up and ready to roll since it's a rival game.  They'll be excited to play, we'll be excited to play.  So I expect their best on Saturday.

Q.  Is there a game that you watch more of their's than this last week's?
SETH DOEGE:¬† Yeah, I think there are a couple of good games on film that the offense is similar to what we do.¬† There is Oklahoma State, West Virginia, and then Baylor.¬† So there are three really good games on film for me to watch where I can have some‑‑ a better feel of how they're going to play our style offense, other than having maybe not as much as we've had in the past with different teams.

Q.  Given the way you've responded after Oklahoma and West Virginia, does that give you confidence after coming off a loss and going into the Texas game handling adversity?
SETH DOEGE:  Yeah, it's something we've talked about as a football team.  I think there is a little fire burning inside of us after what happened on Saturday because that was such a great opportunity for us.  We were so prepared.  I think we had a really good week of practice.  I don't think anybody saw that coming.  It was just a couple of turnovers that at the time kind of put us in a bind.  We don't feel like they're that much better than us at all.  They just played better, and we turned the ball over.
So we feel like we still need to play with the edge, and feel like we need‑‑ every weekend, we need to prove ourselves that we're a top‑notch program and a top‑notch football team, and that's the way we want to play this Saturday.

Q.  How does it feel to be the favorites and not be the underdog in this game?
SETH DOEGE:  It's not different.  It's really not because I think we're going to approach this practice week the same whether we're on top or the underdog.  We're going to approach Saturday the same way whether we're the underdog or if we were picked to win.  Regardless of all of that, we're going to do the same things that we've always done.

Q.  You guys having two losses now, winning a conference championship is not that likely.  How do you go about goals for the rest of the year?
SETH DOEGE:  I think anything can happen.  We don't count out the main goal.  We take it game by game.  This is the first one.  If we went out and we're in a position where maybe something happens, maybe OU gets beat or Kansas State gets beat a couple times, whatever the case may be, we still have an opportunity at it.
Another goal is each game we win we get ranked higher on the Bowl schedule, so that is another goal for us.  I think we feel like we have these next four games are winnable, but we've got to take one at a time and Texas is the next one.

Q.  As players take away wins from a rivalry factor, is there any game bigger than Texas for you guys?
SETH DOEGE:  I don't think so.  Not for me personally, just because I'm from Texas.  And I think it's a good thing that we have this Lone Star Pride Under Armour thing going on, because sometimes people forget there are other schools in Texas besides the University of Texas.  So I think it will be a huge game for us.  I know the guys are excited just as I am.
Like you said, it's a rival game and something that I think any time you come to Texas Tech, that is the one you circle.  No matter how good or how bad you're doing that season, that's something you're excited for, regardless.

Q.  Do you think the loss to A&M adds something more to it?  Does that add more to it?
SETH DOEGE:  I don't think it adds more to it.  But I don't think it needs more added to it.  It's just one of those games that always will be a rival.  And I think for the guys that have been around for a while, especially the seniors, know that we took care of them our freshman year.  Ever since then, they've kind of handled us.  So it was our last chance to ever get that win, and get that bad taste out of our mouth ever since our freshman year.

Q.  Does being the top team in Texas play another goal that there's nobody in football better right now?
SETH DOEGE:¬† Definitely a pride thing that you want to be the top program in Texas.¬† I think it may be different from the guys out‑of‑state that are on our team.¬† But for the guys that are from Texas, that is something that you want to be able to say.

Q.  Did you talk to your buddy Mason Walters going into this game?
SETH DOEGE:  Yeah, he'll text me if he saw we had a good game, he'll congratulate me, and I do vice versa.  Every time he comes into town, I try to meet up with him.  I don't think we can talk as much this week, but we're still friends.  We're still buddies.  I wish him the best.  He's a great player.  During this week we're not that close of friends this week.

Q.  Coming off the second half, I watched it on TV, and it looked like an entirely different team in the second half.  Did you notice a change in enthusiasm and a spark?  How difficult might that be to rekindle?
SETH DOEGE:  I don't want to make excuses.  I think it's just the fact that we came out.  They went and scored, we went and scored, and things kind of snowballed on us.  I think we did lose some excitement.  Some, I don't know what it was.  We were trying to put our finger on it yesterday. 
But whatever it is, it needs to change.¬† Just because we get hit in the mouth or just because a big‑time play turns negative and maybe shifts the momentum, we have to learn to fight back and understand we can still make plays to get us back in the football game.¬† We can still turn a negative situation into a positive with a score or with a stop.¬† One score or one stop can really boost us in the opposite direction rather than take it as a snowball effect.¬† It's something our team needs to learn.¬† If something goes bad, it's all right.¬† If we get behind two or three scores there is plenty of football left to go that we need to continue to battle and continue to do what we're supposed to do and play with a lot of enthusiasm.

Q.  (Indiscernible).
SETH DOEGE:  I think once they scored after we scored in that second half, I think we kind of had a drop off there.  It's not something you want to see.  As a team leader, I kind of put it on myself.  But as a leader, as seniors, we need to continue to encourage guys to fight during those games.

Q.  (Indiscernible).
SETH DOEGE:  No we had so many opportunities to put numbers on the board.  That fumble by me I thought was huge.  That missed field goal, we had an opportunity to stretch the chains out.  I don't know if it would have changed the game because that's hard to say, but I think it would have definitely kept us in the game because we would have been ahead a lot more going into half time than what it was.

Q.  On the fumble play, you ran an out route.  Were you looking for something else?
SETH DOEGE:  No.  I had tagged an out route.  I should have thrown the screen.  The screen was good.  There are a lot of things as a quarterback you never want to do.  One thing you never want to do is overanalyze something.  You never want to try to make something happen when you have a play there, and that was the outcome of me trying to make something happen.
I tagged Eric an out route.  I thought the guy jumped it.  I didn't want to throw a pick six since we were down there.  In the heat of the moment I thought if I don't throw it, I'm about to get hit.  And I saw him jump it, and I thought now what?  And I got hit.  It's one of those things you have to learn from and never let it happen again because that was a big change in the game.

Q.  There are some guys that you guys played a lot of games here in a row.  What is going on with the team and how's everybody doing?  Have you guys backed off a little bit in terms of working out?
SETH DOEGE:  I think after the TCU game, a lot of guys were sore just because it was a long time and a very physical game.  I think the coaches and strength staff did a good job taking care of us last week trying to get our bodies refreshed and our legs back under us.  But I think we're back to the point where we can go the way we were before TCU and continue to practice and prepare like we were doing.

Q.  Was fatigue a factor?
SETH DOEGE:  No, I don't think so.  Like I said, I think it was just guys kind of for the first time I think guys really felt like I don't know if we can do it.

Q.  (Indiscernible) does that fire you guys up or does it not matter at all?
SETH DOEGE:¬† No, it does fire us up.¬† Knowing that they're excited just raises a level of excitement that much more for us, just because we know that they're going to be into the game.¬† From my perspective, going and playing on the road is so much harder just because‑‑ especially when the crowd is into it, because the line can't hear my checks.¬† I've got to get down and basically yell in their ear to get something communicated.¬† It makes it hard because your backs are against the wall.¬† You have nobody else there for you, and you can't hear anything.
So I think it gets me excited to know that the students are excited about this game knowing that it's going to be loud, and it's going to be hard for UT to come and play and execute the way they expect to.

Q.  What do you think of the uniforms?
SETH DOEGE:  They're cool.  I think Under Armour did a good job.  I think the guys are excited to wear them.  We're excited to represent the Lone Star Pride and excited to play UT in them.

Q.  Jace Amaro back?
SETH DOEGE:  I'm not sure.  I know he's frustrated.  I know he wants to be on the field, but there is only so much he can do.  He's got to let that thing heal, but who knows.  I'm not the trainer to tell you that.

Q.  Did you notice a change in the energy in the second half?
DJ JOHNSON:  Yeah, I mean, it was obvious that there was an energy level change.  You didn't see as much jumping around, as much excitement.  When we came out with the offense when they scored, I felt like we had a lot of excitement after they put up their touchdown.  But I don't know what it was.  I can't really explain it to you what it was, but we just didn't have that drive, that energy that we had in the first half that we had every other game that we've played.

Q.  You guys kind of stopped them eventually with the run, and you guys forced them to throw the ball and he was making some plays with his arm.  Did you anticipate he could throw the ball that well?
DJ JOHNSON:  We anticipated that if you gave him time, he could, and that's what he had.  You give any quarterback time in the pocket, and they'll complete some passes.  So that's what he was able to do.

Q.  (Indiscernible)?
DJ JOHNSON:¬† We know what we have to do is go out there and perform.¬† I guess this last game we just weren't able to do it.¬† We weren't able to come out and perform in the second half.¬† In the first half, it was like 13‑10 in the first half instead of 14‑4 at the end of the game.¬† That's a huge, huge stretch.¬† That score shows that so many things had to have gone wrong for that score to end up that way after such a close game.¬† It wasn't like we just mentally weren't focused or mentally weren't into it.¬† It's just nothing was going our way that game.

Q.  How do you balance mentally going up against Texas?
DJ JOHNSON:  We just continue to fight.  We know what we're capable of on defense.  The most frustrating thing about us is I always talk to our guys.  I mean right now it seems like we're the best defense with no turnovers.  We haven't gotten many turnovers in games, and that's a battle that you have to win.  You give another team turnovers, and if we're not getting turnovers against good teams, you're not going to win those games.  That's something that we have to harp on as a defense.  We have to make sure we go out there and tug on the ball.  We're aggressive making tackles and aggressive going towards the ball, but we're not aggressive when we're at the ball.

Q.  How special is this rivalry for you?
DJ JOHNSON:  I'm from Austin.  It's huge for me.  We haven't beaten them since I've been here.  I take this a little personal.  So we just have to go out there and continue to play.  I'm going to continue to do my job as a senior leader and player on this team to make sure that I'm assignment sound, and I'm keeping us motivated and being inspirational in every way that I can.

Q.  Do you believe Texas is the single biggest rivalry for you guys?
DJ JOHNSON:  I don't know.  I feel like every game is a rivalry, if you ask me, because you lose one of them and it's just as important if you lose against Texas or Oklahoma or Oklahoma State, Kansas.  Anybody you lose to, it's a big game.  I don't really think of it too much as just a rivalry or bigger rivalry than any other game.  I just think it's the most important because it's the next game.

Q.  That being said, at the end of the season being the best team in Texas, is there a pride factor of being the best team in Texas at the end of the day?
DJ JOHNSON:  I'll let everybody else feed into that.  Me personally I don't feed into that.  Our goal as a team is to win the Big 12 Championship, and that's been our goal all along.  So whether we were playing or had already played Texas or whether TCU wasn't in this conference or Texas wasn't in this conference, we still treat this game as an important game because it's the next game.  It's the next game for us moving forward, especially coming after this loss.  We have to get this win in order to even have a bit of an opportunity to achieve our goals.
For me, I don't feed into it too much.  I'll let everybody else do that, and I'll just keep us motivated as a team knowing we have to go out here and win this game.

Q.  Can you talk about the adversity going into that Oklahoma game and getting confidence coming off a loss?
DJ JOHNSON:  The one thing we try to stress is never too high, never too low.  What we want to do is continue to be confident.  We're still confident in our abilities and we'll continue to be confident.  We had a little rough patch this last game.  We'll eventually come out and correct those things and trust in the coaching staff to have us prepared and focused.
What we have to do as players is make sure we're excited on the sideline, excited on the field, and excited in practice.  It's a long stretch.  We still have four more games to go, and that's going to be huge making sure we have that excitement.  You start to get fatigued; your body starts to wear down.
You don't have as much energy as you have in the beginning of the season.  We have to find a way to figure out how to keep that energy and that momentum and enthusiasm up throughout the week and throughout the rest of these games.

Q.  Can you talk about the challenges of preparing for two quarterbacks?
DJ JOHNSON:  I can't really explain it.  I want to say that it's difficult, but at the same time we've got to go out there and see what they do.  I don't feel like the game plan's going to change because they put in different quarterbacks.  They may do a couple of things different.  We just have to recognize what it is that they like to do with each quarterback back there.  Do they like to pass more with one or the other?  Do they like to run more trick plays?  How do they do it with those two quarterbacks as far as putting one in depending on what's going on in the game.

Q.  (Indiscernible)?
DJ JOHNSON:  Man, I don't know.  I guess they're cool uniforms.  I'm not really worried about it.  I just want to get the W.

Q.  Texas is one of those teams that got to you guys last year.  How much of a motivating factor is it this time around for you guys?
DJ JOHNSON:  That's huge, man.  We felt like last year we weren't very aggressive playing against that team.  We're going to come out and be a lot more aggressive.  Like I said, enthusiasm has to be there, that's the only way we can win this game is having enthusiasm on the field and off the field.  Then at the same time, creating turnovers.  I have to really stress that throughout this week's practice.  Going out there and making sure we're tugging at the ball, we hit, we wrap up.  Making sure we get that ball out every opportunity we get making plays on the ball.
So it's going to be huge that we just come out extremely aggressive.  It's probably going to be one of the game that's we have to be the most aggressive knowing that they're a running team, and they're similar to Kansas State when it comes to running the ball.  They just continue to run it.  No matter what's going on, they're a run team.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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