Head Coach Bo Pelini Quotes

By NU Athletic Communications

Nebraska vs. Michigan State
Head Coach Bo Pelini
Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013

Opening Statement
“I just left the locker room with the kids and they were disappointed. I told them that I'm proud of them. I'm proud of the way that they fought. We didn't lose that football game because of a lack of effort or a lack of want-to. We just made too many mistakes to overcome. I told them it was a team loss. We didn't play well enough. We couldn't overcome ourselves. Obviously, everyone's disappointed. We just made too many mistakes to overcome. It's hard to be minus-five in the turnover category and win a football game against a quality football team. We almost found a way. We had some opportunities. But that's a tall order. I liked our plan, I really did. I thought we had a good plan. We didn't always execute, I think, offensively. I liked the way we were attacking them. There were some things there. There were many things we left out on the field. Overall, our guys fought. We didn't get it done. Now our challenge is to regroup and head to State College and take care of next week. That's where we are.“

On the attitude change at the end of the first half
“We were backed up. I wanted to be conservative. I didn't want to lose the football game in that situation. I chose to not put it in the air because of that. Unfortunately, we put the ball on the ground. That is what I was fighting against doing. Obviously, that was a disappointment. That was a big point in the game. I wanted to go into the half 13-7. We used our final time out to run the football and we put it on the ground. That was huge. That really hurt us.“

On if he took a timeout because players were getting rattled
“I don't know what we were rattled by. At the end of the day, we just missed the tackle. Maybe I should have called a time out. I don't know. I liked the call we were in. That was a big point in the game.“

On if the turnovers were caused by nerves
“They weren't nervous. They weren't rattled. I'll have to look at it on film. I've been around it before. Putting the ball on the ground five times - well, four times and then the interception. Like I said, we made too many mistakes to beat a football team like that. We were our own worst enemy.“

On the performance of redshirt freshman starting quarterback Tommy Armstrong Jr.
"Minus the turnovers, he had a couple throws he missed that could have been really big plays for us. I don't feel any different toward Tommy Armstrong than I did going into the game. I think he's a heck of a football player, a tremendous young man, a leader, a competitor and that hasn't changed. He made some mistakes. He'll learn from them. He'll be a better football player down the road because of today.“

On the goal-line play resulting in a fumble
“I don't think he (Tommy Armstrong) ever got the ball. I'll have to see the film. I don't know if he pulled out too quick, but I don't think he ever had control of the ball. I saw it right away. It looked like it kind of ricocheted in there. What is that, three times, I think, where we gave them the ball right there inside the 10. It's not only turnovers, but where we gave them those kinds of fields. The way the game started, we were lucky to survive the onslaught that started this football game. They fought back. They continued to stay the course and had each others' backs. In the end, we just couldn't get over the hump. We were close. We were close sometimes to getting over the hump. A couple opportunities where we needed a third-down stop, we missed on. They made a good throw and a catch. A couple times we were all over the guy and a catch. We just couldn't get over the hump. We actually had the ball back twice when we were down six and had a chance to take the lead. We couldn't do enough with it. You've got to make plays. We just couldn't get over the top."

On Michigan State's fake field-goal attempt
“It looked like we hit them short. We were expecting fakes in the game. We talked about the fact that they would always do it in the fourth quarter. It was a good call by them. Like I said, I'll have to look at the film.“

On the run game
“We've run the football on them for three years. We beat this football team the past two years. They're a quality football team. But we've run the football on them before, and we'll run it on them again.“

On talking to the team about turnovers
“It's just, like I said, we just couldn't get over the hump. If we had found a way to take the lead, it might have been a different football game. We just couldn't get there. We lost the game because we made too many mistakes. Our kids played with heart. They played with passion. As a head football coach, that's all you can ask. We'll go fix some things that need fixed. This is a heck of a team. These kids stick together, and they will stick together. We need to come out and get ready to go next week. We won't take any different approach tomorrow than we would have if we'd have won this game by 30 points. We've got to move forward and get better.“

On not challenging the punt ruled down at the 1-yard line
“I thought they had the call right. It was close. They would have buzzed out (for a review). Honestly, I couldn't get a good look at it. What I heard from the guys upstairs was that they'd probably go with what they called on the field. They called it a touchback and they probably would have kept it a touchback.“


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