Nebraska Player Quotes

By NU Athletic Communications

Nebraska Football
Postgame Quotes vs. Minnesota
Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012
Memorial Stadium (Lincoln, Neb.)

Senior Safety P.J. Smith
On how it felt to start strong

"It felt good. That was our goal, to start off fast and dominate in the beginning and get all the other guys in. That's exactly what we did."

On how Senior Day went
"It was emotional. It was a tough week all week, just thinking about it. Last night, in the hotel, (Coach Bo Pelini) talked about it to us and before the game. It was emotional, but good things have got to come to an end at some point. Not many folks can say they sent the season off right."

On Coach Osborne leading the team onto the field
"That was sweet. That was pretty cool. I was the last person out of the tunnel, so I didn't really get to be up front. But he means so much to this program. He's the face of this program. For him to walk us out on our last game, that's a blessing."

On if the team talked about shutting out Minnesota
"That's the whole goal. Start out fast and shut them out. But that's our goal every week. You just have that mission to do that and finish it off. That was a little frustrating, but in the end we got the win. That's the main thing."

On how it felt to win
"It felt pretty good, but that's what we're expected to do. Like we said, it's our Senior Day, but at the end of the day, it's about getting the win. We have time later on to hug each other and cry and all that, but our focus was just coming in and getting the win. That was the seniors' focus."

On how it feels to finish undefeated at home
"It means a lot. Isn't it the first time since 2001? That's special, right there, but I was saying this yesterday, this team is special. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter if we don't finish the season off right. That's how it goes, right there. It felt good to finish off undefeated at home, but we've got another game and after that, we've got another one and after that, we've got another one. So we better keep going."

Sophomore Wide Receiver Kenny Bell
On the extra parts of gameday

"I wouldn't call those extracurriculars. That just helps us make us want to play that much more. It was a huge game as far as historically with Coach Osborne. We wanted to give him the best send off that we absolutely could, same with those seniors. The seniors have really been the heart of the team this year. They called us in in January and said we're done being average. We're sick of 9-4 and loses at bowl games. We want a conference championship and we want bowl victories. For us to win this game in the fashion that we did was awesome. It really speaks volumes about how much this team cares about the seniors."

On Coach Osborne leading the team onto the field
"It was just an amazing feeling. Historically, everything he's done for us as a university and as 18-to-22 year old young men, he's done so much and influenced our lives. We were really thankful to have him lead off on the field. Tunnel walk is a sacred thing and to have such an iconic person lead you out onto the field is a really great thing."

On how it felt to start strong
"We had focused all week on really starting well and playing fast because we've been coming out a little bit slow the past four or five weeks. I know we've been giving some people heart attacks as far as scores went. It was really important to us this week to start out fast and get into our game faster to throw them off. We did a great job with that today. We really went out strong. Definitely didn't want to stutter as much as we did heading into halftime, but it was a pretty good day. We've got a big week ahead of us now, again, with going to Iowa City."

On the wide receiving team
"I don't want to praise our wide receiving core that much. I think we just do our job as part of the offence. Quincy (Enunwa) and Jamal (Turner) do a really great job. Jamal is really explosive and Quincy does a great job blocking on the field, but I wouldn't praise any position on this team more than another. It's called a team for a reason. Everyone does their job and you win. Are we having a pretty good year? I'd say so. The thing we worked for all through the off-season are really starting to show up in games. It's a good feeling to see that stuff pay off for us. The hard work is really coming to light and that's a good feeling, but like I said, I wouldn't praise us anymore than any other group, because everybody's doing a great job."

On facing the fourth best passing team
"Our pass game really revolves around our run game, but that was a little bit different today. We had to throw the ball to run it. It was a good feeling that the wide receivers could really come through and make plays for us. Going in, the gameplan was three-step and that really paid off for us today with slants. That led to bigger plays with the play-action post, so that was a good feeling that what we worked on, that's the first time in four or five weeks that our gameplan really fit what we saw on Saturday."

Junior Quarterback Taylor Martinez
On how it felt to not have to come back in the second half

"It was awesome. I was really happy about it."

On wide receiver Kenny Bell
"He did great, so did all the other receivers and the tight ends. They all did a really good job."

On what the offense's plan of attack was
"Our plan was to just get the ball to the receivers and let them make plays. We know that we have really good receivers and that if  we could get them the ball anything could happen."

On if they thought the quick pass to the side would be effective against Minnesota
"Sometimes, it just all depended on what they were doing. We took it deep on them, short range and middle range. It just depended on what was working."

On what he thinks of setting the Nebraska career passing record
"It is awesome, because there are so many great quarterbacks that have gone through here, especially (graduate assistant) Joe Ganz. He has helped me, and I couldn't have done it without him."

On how much more comfortable he is changing plays at the line of scrimmage than he was last year
"I feel a lot more comfortable, because I know the defense and offense a lot better. It's easy for me to go out there and go 'oh I want to do this."

Senior Defensive End Eric Martin
On what it was like to come out for the senior walk and give Coach Pelini a hug

"It was different seeing Coach Bo smile. It was fun. It kind of got to me a little bit. It was fun to come out of the tunnel for the last time, and I'm going to miss it. Giving Bo the last handshake got to me a little bit."

On what kind of legacy the senior class hoped to leave
"We all just wanted to leave on a positive note. We just wanted to accomplish the goals we set every year. This year we were trying to accomplish all of them and make sure we get to where we need to get to, which is Indianapolis (for the Big Ten Championship Game). Once we get there our next goal is to win. We just want to win for this program, and be the first (Nebraska) team to do it since 1999."

On his journey from special teams player to leading the team in sacks
"It was a tough journey. I have been through a lot of rocks and rolls, ditches and bumps. I went through it all here. It was fun going through it. Looking back, I don't regret any of it.  It was probably one of the best things I have done as a person. It was one of the goals I have accomplished. It was hard getting through all that, all the injuries and not playing was hard. It was hard trying to stay focused getting back to playing. For me to fight through it and have a decent season, I'm happy."

On how important it was to have a game in which everything came together without a dramatic comeback
"I actually like the dramatic comebacks, because I get to stay in all four quarters. I was sitting there at halftime cold. I like to play to stay in, and when they took me out I was upset. I like the dramatic games, because then I get to stay in all four quarters. I'm not even tired right now. I want to go play again. It was very important to us as a team to try to go out with a win, and we were able to do it, especially almost getting the shutout. We had fun, and I enjoyed it."


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