Nebraska Football Weekly Press Conference
Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2007
Memorial Stadium (Lincoln, Neb.)
Pre-Kansas State

Joe Ganz
Junior, Quarterback

On how much the first game helped him

“I think it will be a different set of emotions starting my first game at home. Starting my first game at home on the same field as some great Husker quarterbacks like [Scott] Frost, [Eric] Crouch, and [Tommy] Frazier. It will be a different kind of nervousness and a different kind of emotion this Saturday than it was last.”

 

On the best part of his performance against Kansas

“The best thing I thought was I brought an overall spark to the offense. The guys played really hard for me, and I respect them for that. I appreciate that very much. We just could not get the job done. It was just disappointing.”

 

On how frustrating the Kansas game was

“It is tough, but that is our job as an offense to match what their offense does. For the first half, we did a pretty good job of that. We just could not keep it going throughout the whole game. It is disappointing for us as an offense.”

 

On his reaction to calls for Callahan’s resignation

“It is tough. It is real tough. It is all you really do as a 21-year-old is watch TV or read the newspaper. It is tough to hear them taking shots at your coach, especially the guys you have been through battle with. You really love these coaches and you want them to stay here. You want to be with them. It is tough when people start taking shots at them.”

 

On the mindset of the players

“I believe the same. I have known these guys for three or four years, I know they are not going to quit. I know they are going to give everything they have. That is not the type of guys that they are. I would hope that for the fans' sake and everybody else’s sake that they do not give up because that would be a crying shame. I do not think we will have to deal with that issue. I know these guys, and I know they will play hard.”

 

On if his spark to the team will wear off against Kansas State

“I do not think so. Like we said last week, our plays are still our plays. We are still going to do what we do. I do not think we are going to have trouble finding a spark, especially on Senior Day with all that emotion going on. I do not think we will have trouble finding a spark. It is my job, as a leader of the offense, to provide that spark and to keep that spark going. Just because it is my second game starting, I do not think it is going to be gone.”

 

On what it would mean to him to send the seniors out with a win

“It would mean a lot to me because I have played with these guys for four years. I love these guys to death, and it would mean a lot to me to send these guys out with a win. The way they should be sent out. They can count on me to give them everything that I have.”

 

On the chemistry between Maurice Purify and him

“The chemistry has been there. It is easy to have chemistry with a guy who is such a freak athlete like that. You can pretty much just throw it anywhere. That one-handed grab with those banana mits he has was kind of incredible. A lot of what Kansas did predicated where the ball was going to go. They played a lot of cover two and took away a lot of our primary receivers, so we got Maurice one-on-one with a backside safety. It is a good match up for us, especially with what Kansas was doing. Obviously he is an easy target to find. The chemistry has been there with us since last fall camp when he came and ran a lot with the twos. The chemistry has been there for a while. Coach [Ted] Gilmore does a good job of rolling in those receivers with the two groups, because we do not have that many out there. He does a good job of getting the core group of one receivers in with the twos.”

 

On if he looks for him too much

“It is not that I look for him too much. It is just predicated on what the defense does to the primary read. I could see them maybe in the red zone double-teaming him because obviously he is a huge weapon in the red zone having that leaping ability and that size. I can see Kansas State doing something similar to that. That is fine. We have other playmakers on the offense. I distribute the ball pretty well. Maurice is my main target but I think nine other guys caught passes. If they want to take Maurice away in the red zone, that is going to open up opportunities for other guys to step up and make plays just like Maurice did this past Saturday.”

 

On if he enjoys running the option

“It was cool. I have only really run the option in high school, so it was cool. I like running the ball. I do not like to be labeled as one of those prissy quarterback who does not like to take hits. I like running the option. I like mixing it up a little bit. It is fun for me.”

 

On if the team worked on the option a lot

“We have worked on it since the first week. We had a couple packages for it last year, but we have never got around to calling it. We have worked on it for two years now, so I am pretty well-versed in the option. Obviously not what people are used to, but for this offense I am.”

 

On the feel of an actual game

“We do a pretty good job of creating the same tempo as a game. Obviously it is a little faster. In the first drive of any game you are going to take a while to get used to the flow and how fast a game is, but after that first series we went down and scored. It kind of got the nerves out of me and I was just ready to go after that.”

 

On his confidence in the team earning a bowl bid

“Hopefully pretty confident. I mean I do not know what the bowl committee looks at, but I know one thing is how well that they travel fans. A lot of it is revenue driven. I am sure that is a big consideration. We travel probably the best in the country. It is up to them. First of all, we have to take care of Kansas State to even have a chance. That is what we are really looking forward to is winning this week just to put ourselves in a position to have a shot.”

 

On if he is trying to prove he is a starter for next year

“Yes. It is motivation, but I am just trying to go out and help our team. Obviously we are down. We are in the basement. We need something to bring us back up. I am just trying to do whatever I can to help our team. I do not really look at it as trying to prove people wrong, but you do kind of play with a chip on your shoulder. A lot of people did question you coming, especially a lot of the fans. You do play with a little chip on your shoulder, but that is not your main motivation. Your main motivation is to help the guys around you who have been there for you.”

 

On if these three games are on audition for next season

“If the coaches want it to be an audition, then yes. I am not really worried about that. I am just more worried about trying to get a win. We have not won in five weeks and it is tough. We care so much about it and we care so much about this program. It is really hard. I do not really look at it as an audition as much as I do as a chance to get this taste out of our mouth and help this team win.”

 

On how much the bye week will help the team

“I do not know. If we win, we do not want a bye week. A bye week is always good to get the guys rested up. We have a lot of injuries so we can get everyone back and healthy. Bye weeks are always great. We have not had one all year so it is tough. If we win we want to get back on the field with that momentum. A bye week never hurts.”

 

On if he was sore last Sunday

“Yes, I was. I took a couple good shots, but it felt good. It feels good to be sore. I was pretty sore on Monday, too. You do not have that many opportunities in life to be that sore. It is all pretty good.”

 

On if the five-week stretch has seemed real to him

“Obviously a little too real. It is tough. These five weeks have been really hard on the guys and the coaches. We work so hard and to not have it work on Saturday is really disappointing. It is really hard, but you cannot let Kansas beat us twice. You cannot let Kansas beat us two weeks in a row. We kind of have to forget about these last five games and forget about these losses and focus on Kansas State. It would be a shame if Kansas beat us two weeks in a row.”