"Take 5" with Jabari Smith

The Raiders' defense has seen significant improvements in the first four games of its season as compared to last season. Recruits and junior college transfers have added depth, and further experience under defensive coordinator Lyle Setentich's defensive scheme has helped Tech make strides to improve. Senior Cornerback Jabari Smith is a perfect example.

His experience as a starter last season combined with good speed and tackling abilities has provided much needed depth to the squad.

Jabari's game-clinching fourth quarter interception secured the Raiders' 31-30 come from behind victory over Big 12 opponent Kansas. Recently, Jabari took a few minutes to talk about the game as well as the defense in general.

BH: Let's hear your thoughts on your game-clinching interception.

JS: "I saw the receiver go in but Meeks was the first one there and he tipped the ball and I was just at the right place at the right time to make the interception. I'm glad it happened that way."

BH: When you were down 30-12 at halftime, what was said at halftime to motivate you guys?

JS: "The coaches said something really simple: ‘Go in there and play how you're supposed to play.' We knew we had a whole half to get it together and come back. We knew we weren't going to lose the game."

BH: At what point could you feel the momentum switch to the Raiders' favor?

JS: "It had to be a combination of Trey's long touchdown pass right before halftime and Chad's pick at the start of the 3rd quarter."

BH: What is the difference maker from this year's defense compared to last year's defense?

JS: "It comes down to a stronger mentality and attitude. We're really hungry this year and we just strive to be the best. We work as hard as we can in practice to get better. Coach Lyle and the other coaches are all great motivators. Even the coaches on offense tell us that a lot of people are depending on you guys."

BH: What are your thoughts heading into the OU game?

JS: "OU's a good team. We've just got to go in there and do what we're taught. We've got to really focus and do our assignments."

BH: Describe the transition coming from your junior college in California to being at Tech in the Big XII.

JS: "Well first, the game speed is faster. Also, the QB's are more accurate. Most importantly, everything is more mental. I have found myself making more mental mistakes rather than physical mistakes. Getting in the film room is also a much stronger priority at this level."

BH: Is your family able to make it to your games?

JS: "So far, they made it to the New Mexico game and will be here for the Nebraska game, too."

BH: What about the UT game?

JS: "Oh, without a doubt."

Raider Power Top Stories