Weekly Press Conference
Memorial Stadium (Lincoln, Neb.)
Monday, Nov. 17, 2012
Sr., Linebacker, Boone Terre, Mo.
On how much increased focus there is this week knowing they clinch a berth in the Big Ten Championship with a win
"The sense of urgency has to be high. If we win, we get to go to Indianapolis. The energy will be there and we will probably have more of a mental week than a physical week, because it's such a short week. I think we'll do a good job of getting guys locked in."
how difficult it is to not think about Indianapolis
"We have to win this one first. I don't think we'll have a problem with that. The only thing everyone has been talking about it is Iowa. We're not looking ahead or anything which is what we have to do. We have to focus on this week and this week only."
what Iowa does well
"I haven't watched much film yet, but they are kind of like Penn State. They are basic. They have a decent running game, so we'll have to stop that first and foremost. Then we can get into their play action and pass game off that. As I watch more film, I'll know more, but so far, that's all I know."
what Coach Rick Kaczenski has said about this game since he coached there last
"I haven't been around him much this week to talk to him about Iowa yet. I'm sure he'll be all about it. He'll be ready to go for this one."
if this feels like a rivalry game
"It feels like another game. We have to be ready to play. They'll be ready to play. It's their Senior Day and the Heroes Game, so we'll have to keep that trophy here in Lincoln."
what the team realized after the Ohio State game
"I wouldn't say we fell apart. I don't know. Staying together, the maturity of the team goes a long way. After Ohio State, we had a bye week to think about us and have another week of practice. I don't know really. We just have a great group of guys on the team and we have a great staff. We stay focused on our vision and we can still control what we want to control. We knew we still had to play the teams we wanted to play like Michigan. We knew we had a shot; we just had to move forward and not dwell on that."
if the coaches reminded the team during that bye week there was a lot to play
"Without a doubt. Right after the Ohio State game, that was said. It sucks taking a loss like that in that fashion, but I think we've done a good job of moving on and winning some big games."
if he knew they could run the table after Ohio State
"It's always taking it one game at a time. We knew we were a better team than what we showed against Ohio State. It just sucked having to hear about how bad we did. We just knew how bad we did looking at the film. That was the negative about that. We knew we could take care of ourselves and we knew we were a good football team when we are clicking on all cylinders. That has always been the emphasis - putting together a complete game. When you don't do that against Ohio State, it's rough. We knew we could be in this position as long as we took care of ourselves and took it one game at a time. We knew we always have to play four quarters of football if we want to win games."
how big of a role Taylor Martinez has played during this winning streak
"A huge role. You guys have seen it. He's done a great job. I think he's just going to continue to get better. It's his third year. He just continues to get better every year and every game and he's matured. His leadership is better. Everything about him is a lot better. I love having him as our quarterback and I think the whole team feels that way."
if there was ever a moment when the team was trailing and felt like Taylor was
going to bring them back
"I wouldn't say it was like that- that Taylor (Martinez) was going to bring us back. Against Michigan State for example, it was 'we need to get the ball back to our offense.' We have a lot of players on our offense. It's more so we have to get the ball back to our offense. There was something about those fourth quarters where even if we played bad in a different quarter, when we've needed stuff we've come through. Getting the ball back in the hands of our offense is always a good thing when you've got guys like Taylor, Rex (Burkhead), Ameer (Abdullah), Kenny Bell, Kyler Reed, Ben Cotton and Quincy (Enunwa) and all those guys on that side of the ball. We have a good offense; we just need to give them the ball."
how important it is to get off to a good start against Iowa
"It's really big, just like Minnesota. The emphasis for Minnesota was start fast, because we hadn't started fast in the few games leading up to that. We have to do the same thing. We can't let the game drag out. We can't let them hang around. We need to start extremely fast and move the ball and stop them and go from there."
what he's seen from the other linebackers
"Roles change every week and it just depends on what type of personnel we are playing against and what types of things they do schematically. They've all done a great job. We've all played pretty well these last few weeks. (Justin) Blatchford is a guy that has really stepped up these past few weeks. Alonzo (Whaley) played a good game. (Sean) Fisher has always done a great job. Everybody has always done a good job. Coach (Ross) Els is always teaching the concept of 'we,' so there's never any man who you are jealous of. He says who will start and who will get reps and this and this and we just go from there. Everybody does a great job of playing their role and doing their thing and taking care of themselves for the betterment of the team."
if he feels pressure being the stable piece
"No. I don't feel any pressure. I'll make calls and stuff, but I know all the guys next to me know what they are doing. We've always prepared well in practice, so I never get too nervous on who's next to me."
if it surprises him how much Nebraskans and Iowans go after it
"I don't know. I've never been too involved in that. It's funny to me. We don't get too caught up in the whole rivalry with Nebraska and Iowa. That would probably be a better question for someone who's lived here."
how he will keep his manly edge with the pink locker rooms
"Eric Martin made the comment that it's for breast cancer awareness, so we'll just tell ourselves that. Coach (James) Dobson gave us the rundown of what to expect at Iowa. It comes down to taking care of ourselves and handling business and not looking ahead to Indianapolis or anything. It's about winning this game. If we win this game, then we get to go. We are in the driver's seat and we have to stay there."