P.J. Smith led the Huskers last week with 12 tackles at Michigan State
Photo by Scott Bruhn/Nebraska Communications

P.J. Smith Quotes

By NU Athletic Communications

Nebraska Football
Weekly Press Conference
Memorial Stadium (Lincoln, Neb.)
Monday, Nov. 5, 2012
Pre-Penn State

P.J. Smith
Sr., Safety, River Ridge, La.

On how long they celebrate the win against Michigan State
"It's behind us now, plane ride coming home. Yesterday we had a different mind frame. It's time to start thinking about Penn State. It's a big game we gotta have it"

On how his head feels after the hit from Le'veon Bell Saturday
"It's good, I'm fine. It's just a normal tackle, every tackle you get a headache. But no, I'm fine."

On his own personal play the last three weeks after the Ohio State loss
"It's getting better, obviously there is room for improvement. I'm not really happy on how I've been playing. I just get up there and just watch more film and finish the plays and help the defense out."

On what he has seen that makes him not happy about his play the last three weeks
"I could have helped the secondary out a couple more plays here and there. I left some plays out on the field, I could have helped the team out with some more turnovers and communicating better and little bit different things in the secondary. Small stuff, like that could have prevented certain plays they ran. I just have to keep focusing and doing my job."

On plays against Ohio State where he should have made the tackle, instead of letting (Braxton) Miller go the other way
"I should have done something else, but on one of the plays, the long run he had I didn't want to out run him to the sideline because I thought he would out run me to the sideline it's a touchdown. I was just trying to make him cut back, but what I should have done is (went at him) and try to make the tackle instead of trying to make him cut back."

On defensive mindset in the two-minute drill
"To get the ball back to the offense. We have an explosive offense and with things clicking they are hard to stop. We stepped up to the challenge. All the guys flew around to the ball and we communicated a lot better in the fourth quarter with like eight minutes left. We started doing things we are supposed to do and when we are all on the same page it's hard to get stuff on us and like coach says just focus and re-focus and if we do that every single play you know teams really can't do much. But when somebody or one of us loses focus that much there is a big play, boom, and that's a couple things that hurt us, but it's just stay the course like coach said and that's exactly what we did and he said we needed big stops and we kind of stepped up and did it."

How does Justin Blatchford help the defense
"He's a hell of a guy and a smart kid. You know, and he does his job and when coach asks him to do something he's going to do it. He is flying around to the ball. I just finished watching the game just now and they ran up the middle and he threw a guy off and made the tackle. I thought he would have been gone if it wasn't for that. He is a hell of a guy and he is a leader, you know. He works his tail off every single day."

On excitement of the best Big Ten pass offense with Penn State against the best pass defense in the Big Ten with Nebraska
"Yeah we are excited. We are excited with every matchup. It's going to be a challenge, they are a really good team and they are coached very well and the quarterback is really good. He has 18 touchdown passes and three interceptions and also ran for five touchdowns so it's going to be a challenge but our coach will come in with a hell of a game plan and we just got to execute it."

On improvement of the Penn State quarterback from last year to this year
"Yeah, he looks comfortable in the pocket, he is leading his team and that whole team is playing lights out, especially with all the stuff that went down last year and so it's going to be a challenge. It's not going to come easy."

On how they use the tight ends and different from things they have seen this year
"They use a lot of them, they do a lot of different things with them so it's different from what we are used to seeing, but it's the game of football so coach will come up with something good and all we have to do is have a good practice this week and execute it."

On if he can see the road to Indianapolis or if it's still a long ways away
"It's still a long ways away, you know. Every game we have to have, it's critical so we just are taking it one game at a time. As long as we take that mentality of one game at a time and go out there and do the best we possibly can do and play together as a team and just keep believing we will be there. But it's not going to come easy."

On limiting the 'bone-head plays' that (Bo) Pelini talked about
"We just got to focus a lot more on those bone-head plays. I mean, if you ask every guy they know what they are supposed to do on that play it's just a small step here and there which sometime people don't think it's a big deal but a small step in the wrong direction that's big plays and that's exactly what happened the other night."

On how to adjust to the way referees are calling the pass interference on the defense
"It's like Coach Bo (Pelini) said, just go out there and play, don't worry about the referees, they are going to make calls. Good calls or bad calls who cares, but don't stop playing aggressive and don't stop playing the way you play. It's just when you're in position, don't panic, that's the bottom line and they are going to make calls. But we don't worry about it, we are still going to go out there and keep playing aggressive and keep going after the ball and keep our hands on receivers and if they throw the flag then they call it. We just got to go on to the next play."


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