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November 19, 2012

Alex Okafor

Q.  Were you watching games Saturday night, and as the results were coming in what were you thinking?
ALEX OKAFOR:¬† I don't know, at one point I was watching the game, and both K‑State and Oklahoma was losing at the same time, and I'm like, no, this can't possibly happen.¬† But one of them lost, and it definitely helps our chances of getting back into the Big 12 contention.¬† But anything can happen in college football.¬† There's good teams.

Q.  Have you guys gotten lucky to be back in the mix and in contention, or have you guys earned this right to be back in contention?
ALEX OKAFOR:  We've definitely earned the right.  After the OU game we could have easily faltered and put the season in the tank, but that shows the resilience of our team.  We fought back.  The big 12 is a good conference.  Anybody can lose any Saturday, and that's what happened this past weekend.

Q.  What kind of goes through your mind when you start seeing that you're back in the mix?  How does that help you?
ALEX OKAFOR:  I mean, it's hard to say but it blows my mind actually.  I remember after the OU game people were talking down on us, we had lost two straight games, got blown out, and now if another team loses we could easily be back in the mix.  I mean, it's great for us, and it definitely creates a buzz around this program.

Q.  Is it extra motivation for you guys knowing that you do your part with a little bit of help and you could be Big 12 champs?
ALEX OKAFOR:  Yeah, you could say it's extra motivation, but we already have enough motivation as it is, man.  We know that if we win out we've got a chance to go to a great Bowl.  Not sure what it is yet, but we know it's going to be a great one.  That's our motivation as of now.

Q.  Last home game, what are your emotions?
ALEX OKAFOR:  Like you said, man, this just kind of wraps up my career here in central Texas.  I wasn't born but went to high school in Pflugerville.  So I've been around this area for a while now.  This area has definitely shown me a lot of love, and I want to go out with a bang this Thursday.

Q.  Have you had a roller coaster career at Texas would you characterize it or a glamorous career?
ALEX OKAFOR:  It's definitely been a roller coaster career filled with glamour and disappointment.  I've seen it all basically.  The senior class has seen it all.  We're just trying to get this thing back right.

Q.  How do you not get emotional and all that stuff Thursday night?
ALEX OKAFOR:  Because we know we still have our best football ahead of us.  We have a great game after this TCU game, and then we have essentially hopefully a great Bowl.  There's still a lot of excitement to look forward to after this game, and this game is essentially just another one, and you can't put too much into it.

Q.  Will you get emotional?
ALEX OKAFOR:  I probably will when I see my folks on the field with me.  But I've got to suck it up and make sure it doesn't affect my play.

Q.  Frogs and Horns, I'm not used to it on Thanksgiving week like I am Horns and Aggies.  Does it seem right, feel right to you yet?
ALEX OKAFOR:¬† I mean, I'm happy to be playing on Thanksgiving.¬† It's a primetime game, as big as any game in the season.¬† Honestly if you're going to mention A╩&╩M, I feel sorry for them not being in this game no more because they don't get the opportunity that we have to play in front of the whole country, so that's what I'm excited about.

Q.  Kenny was bragging about you, and I'm sure you can brag about Kenny.  You guys are a mean, physical presence on the field, but also there's a different side to you guys.  Can you kind of just explain that, how thankful you are for each other and your friendship?
ALEX OKAFOR:  Yeah, man, Kenny has been by my side since I got on campus, and since our 2009 recruiting class has disintegrated, he's been there right with me every step of the way, and I've done the same for him.  For us to be senior leaders on this team and on this defense just means everything to me.  I'm glad to have the opportunity to play with him.

Q.  What do you see in this Frog offense?
ALEX OKAFOR:  They probably throw more formations at us than any other team that we've played, so it'll definitely be big on the defense this week.  Whenever you have two weeks to prepare for a team, the offense usually starts off slow because defense knows what's coming.  So we're going to have to put it upon ourselves to shut them down and give our offense time to start picking things up.

Q.  With all that's going on and your family being on the field and being emotional, your last home game, is there any way that TCU in your mind is coming here and upsetting you on your last home game?
ALEX OKAFOR:  No.  I mean, I don't expect that to happen, and I know it won't happen if we come to play.  That's the issue; it's about us, man.  If we come to play like we've played the last few weeks, they won't beat us.

Q.¬† I was asking Johnathan if he had a favorite dish his grandma or mom made for Thanksgiving.¬† Do you have a favorite dish or a pie or green beans or╩‑‑
ALEX OKAFOR:  No, I love my mama's sweet potato pie.  I can't get over that right there.  But also I think dressing has slipped.  Dressing is one of the best sides for Thanksgiving, and not a lot of people put a lot of appreciation into that.

Q.  Are you and Byndom going to get after each other this week?
ALEX OKAFOR:¬† With the high school playoff game?¬† You know, we might do some push‑ups or something, push‑ups on demand.¬† Pflugerville is hot right now, so I'm feeling good.

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