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November 5, 2012

D.J. Johnson

Q.  DJ, how bad does this one hurt being a senior and you being from Austin?
DJ JOHNSON:  I don't know if it really affects me as much being from Austin.  That doesn't really play a part of in it.  It's just being a senior and knowing what we wanted to accomplish this season, three losses was never in our sight.  We never thought about having those three losses.  It's huge.  It's a huge impact on us, on me personally, because I know I wanted to get at least one win away from those guys before I graduated.
It's a difficult loss, but as we have to do, we have to continue to just move on, go to the next game, continue to play hard, continue to play as a team and play together.

Q.  As a senior you want your young guys to do the best they can for you.  What do you do as a senior to make sure your guys are getting into the game as well as possible?
DJ JOHNSON:¬† I have to get them to understand the importance of what's going on, the importance of the season.¬† We had a tough rough patch last year, the last five games, so for me that's what went through my head after the loss to UT.¬† We have three games left, and we have to make the best of them.¬† We can't have the same season that we had last year.¬† We have a lot better squad, a lot better understanding, more leadership and everything, we're just an all‑around better team.¬† I have to just reiterate to those guys that you don't get too many opportunities so you have to make the most of each opportunity that you get.
We're fortunate as we're blessed, God has blessed us with the ability to play at Texas Tech and have the athleticism and things to do the things that we do out there on the field.  We have to run with it and make sure we make the most of it.

Q.  Do you feel like you would have matched up better with their play action if Phillips had been out there?
DJ JOHNSON:  I can't say that, man.  Honestly it was simply just we weren't assignment sound.  We knew what they were going come in, we knew what they were going to do.  It was out fault.  We came out there and we just weren't assignment sound.  The game plan was excellent.  As you can see in the second half, it was a totally different ballgame as far as the defense, and as we always say, they're going to come in with something new, they're going to hit you with a big play now and then, but we just didn't execute in our assignments.  We were in the right position and we were in the right calls, but as players we didn't execute our assignments.

Q.  Seth talked about maybe changing up the energy of the start of the game when you guys come out.  Is there somebody that maybe you might go to to change things up a little bit different, shock the guys or have somebody waving a towel or something along those lines, or do sense that as well?
DJ JOHNSON:  I've talked about it.  I talk about it every week.  That's one thing that I harp on is enthusiasm, making sure the weeks are the most excited to play because a lot of times that will win you games, when people see that excitement across the ball from you, it's kind of an intimidation factor because they know that you mean business and they see how serious you are about it.
I felt like the first quarter or so or first half, the defense didn't really play like that, and then you seen the excitement the rest of the game, you seen how excited we were to go out there and play in every play, just every stop, even if it was a gain, a decent gain.
So we're just going to continue to do that.  We have an early game this week, so it's going to be huge that we make sure that we're up and we're ready to go.  We can't come out sluggish, we can't come out slow, we have to come out fast and we have to come out focused and we have to come out with energy, and that's going to be something that's going to have a major impact on this game, just making sure that we come out that way.

Q.¬† You guys finished up this five‑game stretch of five ranked teams last week.¬† How do you feel like you've made it through this stretch?
DJ JOHNSON:  Not like we liked.  We didn't want to come out this way.  We wanted to make sure that we were up.  As I said, our goal was to come out undefeated this season.  That was the most important thing for us, just to make sure we win each game and play each game.  We weren't able to do that.  We did fairly well.  We did a lot better than anyone anticipated of us, so with that, that's huge for us.  We were able to overcome a lot of adversity and a lot of doubts, and people not really giving us a chance.  I mean, that's huge in that perspective.  But from our perspective we didn't achieve what we wanted to achieve.

Q.  Could this be a game where you might go to everybody and say this is a chance to circle the wagons, send a strong message to not only yourselves but the fans and the other teams that you have left?
DJ JOHNSON:  It's the next game.  I mean, every game is like that.  There's not one game that goes by where we're not thinking that it's around a game or it's an important game or the biggest game of the season.  Like I always say, if you lose one game, that affects the season.  Every game we go into, we go into with the mindset that this is the biggest game because it's the next game and it's the most important game because it's the next game, and if we lose this game then we're one step further away from what we're trying to accomplish.  So yeah, we're going into this game and we're going to make sure that we go in there and prove to ourselves that we're still capable of doing what we wanted to do and prove it to the rest of the world.

Q.  What are your expectations for senior day as far as what it's going to be like knowing it'll be your last gig out there?
DJ JOHNSON:¬† Passionate.¬† I expect it to be real passionate, especially from the seniors.¬† I expect them to have a lot of emotion in this game and go out there and play and have fun.¬† We have to be aggressive in everything we do and we have to have fun.¬† When we're out there we have to be chest‑bumping, high‑fiving, slapping hands, just anything to keep the crowd into it and keep each other into it.¬† We have to stay motivated through our brotherhood and our family.

Q.  Finishing out this season, how much responsibility as a senior is put on your shoulders to do the best you can?
DJ JOHNSON:¬† That's every game, man.¬† I put a lot of responsibility on my shoulders.¬† Actually after the Texas game I was hurt.¬† I had to‑‑ I actually wound up leaving the locker room.¬† I was like one of the first guys because it was huge to me.¬† As I said, Kansas State, when we lost to Kansas State, that was huge to me, as well.¬† We wanted to make a huge impact, so some guys were able to get over it pretty fast, a lot faster than others.¬† I'm one of those guys, I can't really just get over losses like that.¬† I hate to lose, period, but for me to know the capabilities of this team and to lose games, close games or lose games the way that we lost them, it hurts.¬† It's a major impact.
So I put a lot on my shoulders to make sure that I go out there every day and that I'm a leader, and that when you see me on the field you see excitement and you see ‑‑ I want the younger guys to see how they need to be when they're out there on the field, and I feel like I've rubbed off, especially on my roommate J.J. Gaines.¬† We have fun every day before the game or every game day or whatever, just in there talking about the plays or talking about the different players on the opposing team.
Yeah, man, I put a lot of pressure on my shoulders and want to make sure that I look good for the upcoming guys and hold myself to a high standard.

Q.  You guys know last year falling down early to Kansas, just talk about knowing this team can't jump out on you, being able to take away any thoughts they have of pulling the upset early.
DJ JOHNSON:¬† That's any game.¬† Any game‑‑ when you think about it any team has the opportunity to jump out on you, it's not just Kansas.¬† They're a D‑1 football team, so they have athletes, they have talent, and so we have to continue to do the same things that we've been doing, go out there, play hard, play aggressive, play smart, and we have to be assignment sound.¬† We're focused on that, we try to focus on it a lot in these past couple of games.¬† This game we just weren't able to be as assignment sound, but we're going to definitely make sure that that's one of our major focuses throughout this week, making sure we get back to the fundamentals and the understanding of the game and what we've seen on film and what we know about the opponents going into the game come out fast, strong and smart.

Q.  Do you do anything different this week because it's senior day?
DJ JOHNSON:  No, it's the same game.  Understandably it's the senior day, so personally we may take it more personal, but it's still about this team.  It's still about us going out there and making sure that we get the victory because whether we win or lose, it doesn't just affect the seniors, it affects this team, and so the most important thing is to make sure we go out there and get this W for the team.

Q.  Is there any importance at all to you the fact that Charlie Weis is behind the Kansas offense, going up against a former NFL offensive coordinator?
DJ JOHNSON:¬† We're not worried about it.¬† Every coach has done something, has something on their r√©sum√© that looks good, otherwise they wouldn't be a D‑1 coach.¬† We're just going to do out there and make sure we do our assignment, do our job and play hard.

Q.  With three more to play and then the chance to go bowling, do you have any personal goals?  Is there anything you want to accomplish?
DJ JOHNSON:¬† Yeah, I mean, my goal is just to continue to do my best, continue to give as much effort as possible.¬† I would love to get a pick six.¬† That's something I would love to do, fumble recovery for a touchdown, whatever, anything to help the team.¬† Personally, yeah, I just want to make sure‑‑ like I told Cody, it started about two, three weeks ago, I told Cody I'm going to get more tackles than him, so that's my personal goal, to make sure I get more tackles than him the rest of these three games.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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