Selected questions and answers with Texas defensive tackle Paul Boyette Jr., from Monday’s media availability:
There’s no week off for Coach Strong. How did he impart that message to you guys? Did he let you know that it was back to business right away?
We played our butts off against Oklahoma, but we’re still sitting here at 2-4. We still need to go out there and make a name for us.
What is the goal with six games left, coming off the off week? Is a winning record and a bowl game on (players’) minds?
Exactly. Like when Coach Strong preaches to us all the time, the goal is to get this thing to a bowl game and that’s what we are going to do. I’m going to keep playing my tail off and get these seniors to a bowl game because I owe it to those guys.
Do you remember the (2014) loss to Kansas State? Does it provide motivation?
Yes. I know I do, because I was a part of it. It wasn’t a good feeling. We’re coming back to DKR and we are going to put on a show.
How do you guys establish some consistency?
Just holding guys accountable and just being a student of the game and preaching fundamentals and technique. You can go out there and play hard, but as the game goes on, you have to rely on your technique and fundamentals. That’s what we did against Oklahoma.
When you say ‘hold guys accountable,’ what does that mean?
Just trusting your brother. Going back to OU week, we treated the game like it was a bowl game. They are a top 10 team. We are not ranked. Which way do you want? We went out there and beat a powerhouse team. That’s what we did.
Does this team need a fast start to get confidence and, conversely, if it does not start fast, do things snowball?
Not exactly. Adversity is good for us. Hey, we went out there and we lost to TCU bad. I think just coming back and battling adversity, really. That’s what we did against Oklahoma. I don’t think fast start. We just need to hold people accountable. The Oklahoma game was a stepping stone towards moving forward.
Malik (Jefferson) said after the game it was the first time the defense played together. Did you feel that way also?
We just went out there and everybody was on the same page. There was no missed assignments. Nobody blew coverage. Everybody executed.
What was the light bulb that clicked?
Just sitting down, knowing the personnel, knowing your job and coming out and communicating. That was real big for us.
After the loss to TCU, did you feel like there was nothing else to lose?
You come to the university to play big games, and it was a big game. You don’t want anything more than that.
Does it seem odd that people are asking if ya’ll are overconfident with a 2-4 record?
Not really. You need to be overconfident sometimes. That’s really building confidence. You can go out there and say you’re overconfident, but at the same time you can go out there and dominate the person in front of you.
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