Jah’Shawn Johnson Is Excited for the Challenge ASU Provides
"Last year was last year," Jah'Shawn said about the 2016 Arizona State game during this week's pregame press conference at Jones AT&T Stadium. "It's a new year. We're excited to get a new opportunity to play such a great team and compete against some great athletes."
Speaking of the 2016 game, the Texas Tech defense wants to contain Kalen Ballage, who scored eight touchdowns against the Red Raiders.
Johnson said of Ballage: "He's just so skilled running the ball and out in the receiver position and things. I mean, he's a big back. He's fast. He's very powerful. He makes great moves. He can either run you over or he can juke you and things like that. He's very unpredictable, but I mean, we've just got to prepare well this week and get after it."
Johnson also talked about the job that the Texas Tech running backs have done to prepare the defense in practice.
The other Sun Devil who torched the Red Raiders last season was quarterback Manny Wilkins, who is also back for the 2017 game. "He's a dual-threat quarterback," said Johnson. "From this year since the first two games he's been more of trying to throw the ball and stay in the pocket and protect himself more. But last year of course he was jumping over guys and things like that."
Johnson continued: "He has great receivers and great backs behind him to help him. I mean, their offense is dominant just about everywhere. We just have to get after him and play well."
Johnson thinks there is some difference between this defense and the 2016 version. "I'd say the biggest difference is the knowledge," Johnson said. "I think more of the guys last year was just kind of threw in the fire, had a lot of young guys playing. They're just playing fast now that they know the defense."
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