P.J. Smith hauled in his sixth career interception against Michigan.
Photo by Scott Bruhn/Nebraska Communications

P.J. Smith Quotes

By NU Athletic Communications

Nebraska Football
Weekly Press Conference
Memorial Stadium (Lincoln, Neb.)
Monday, October 29, 2012
Pre-Michigan State

P. J Smith
Sr., Safety, River Ridge, La.
On Le'Veon Bell as a running back and trying to take him down for four quarters
"He is a beast. He runs the ball hard. So we've got to get gang tackles on him. You just can't go out there and have arm tackles on him. We've got to put our shoulder into him and wrap up. It's going to be a challenge for us, but it all starts off in practice. Coach (Terry Joseph) will have some tackling drills for us today, tomorrow and Wednesday."

On how difficult it was as a defensive back to understand how Coach Bo Pelini wanted his defense to play
"It took a while, it's a tough system to play in. He is a tough coach to play for, but you get better and better each week. If you do the things he asks you to do, you will be fine. It's a challenge though. It's not easy."

On why Pelini is a tough coach to play for
"He brings so much fire and passion to the game. He wants everything to be 100 percent correct. As young guys, you don't understand that. We go out there and we try, just like myself. People say we played a great game, but I don't think we have played our best game yet. Our expectations are really high, and so it's tough but it's fun. I wouldn't change it for anything."

On if he prefers a pocket quarterback or a dual-threat quarterback
"It doesn't matter, I just want to win and help this defense and this team to be the best team we possibly can be. To me it doesn't matter who is back there at quarterback, we've got to stop them no matter what."

On agreeing with Alonzo Whaley that this defense will thrive against pocket style quarterbacks
"I agree with that. They are going try to run and pass the ball off of play-action. Sitting back there in the pocket helps the defensive line because they can rush a lot more and not be so conservative on the rush lanes, and they can put pressure on him a lot easier because he can't scramble as much as he wants to."

On getting the offense short fields since Michigan State's defense is strong
"It's huge. We have to have turnovers and stops to put our team in a good position. It's going to come down to special teams, especially in this game where both defenses are good. It's going to come down to special teams and field position. If we can get turnovers or make their offense drive on us 80 yards, and if we can put our offense in good field position it's going to help us out a lot more to get those points."

On blitzes and pressure making the secondary's job easier
"It doesn't make it easier, its either you're man-to-man with a slot receiver that runs a 4.3 or you're on the left trying to help your corners or nickles out. We've just got to finish the play."

On grading the defense after the game against Michigan
"We did all right. We can do better. Hopefully we get that this week, and we play better. We did pretty good. We made some plays. We stopped a lot of big plays, but we also gave up some plays we shouldn't have."


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