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Will Compton Quotes
Photo Courtesy Scott Bruhn/NU Media Relations
Courtesy: NU Media Relations
11/26/2012
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Nebraska Football
Weekly Press Conference
Memorial Stadium (Lincoln, Neb.)
Monday, Nov. 26, 2012
Pre-Wisconsin (Big Ten Championship)

On Eric Martin
“He’s been very disruptive. He’s done a bunch of great things for us, especially when we get in passing situations. He’s really upped his level and he’s done a good job.”

On Eric Martin’s game against Iowa
“That’s just Eric. Guys are going to try and block him 1-on-1, it’s going to be pretty difficult. I wasn’t that surprised after watching film. He had a great game.”

On what Saturday means for the season
“All that stuff won’t mean anything unless we get the win on Saturday. Everything we’ve sacrificed and everything we’ve done since January up to this point, this is why we’ve done it. We’re now in this position, so we have to take advantage of it.”

On if Wisconsin’s offense presents similar challenges now that they did earlier in the season
“They do what they do and they’re good at it. They rep it a lot in practice and they execute well. They have a great line of scrimmage, they have great backs, they have a great receiver in (Jared) Abbrederis. They’re a good football team. We have our work cut out for us this week. We’ll have to prepare well.”

On the defense’s second-half approach for Saturday
“We have to go out there and take care of ourselves. We can’t have a situation like last time, where we kind of hurt ourselves at the beginning of the game. We have to jump out on them first and we can’t look back. We just have to take care of us and I think we’ll be fine.”

On Wisconsin’s 7-5 record
“They’re a better team than what they’re record says. They’re a well-coached football team. They can hurt you a lot of different ways. You’ve got to come out ready to go.”

On handling Montee Ball earlier in the season
“Guys just took care of their responsibilities. When stuff started to go wrong, he got a couple of touchdowns early and we were just in a bad situation. But our guys just kept going to work, kept filling gaps the way we were taught to that week. We’ve got to do the same thing this week. We can’t let him run free. We can’t give him any yards after contact. We have to wrap up, we have to bring our feet and gang tackle. We just have to execute.”

On Coach Bo Pelini saying the linebackers didn’t play well against Iowa
“He actually just ran into me and told me that Coach (Ross) Els will tell us and everything. I’m not sure. I watched it on the plane ride back, so I kind of just glanced through everything. I sit next to Baker (Steinkuhler), so we were kind of looking at his injury and everything. I don’t know. We’ll get it corrected. He said it wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t to the standard we’ve been playing at. He told me it was me especially, but we’ll get it corrected.”

On giving up 200 yards
“We chase perfections, even though you never reach it, but there’s always another level you can reach and there’s always a standard that you hold yourself to. (Pelini’s) seen the way we’re capable of playing multiple times and he holds us to that standard. That’s what we chase. Yeah, it comes down to the wins and losses, but still you have to play to your best ability.”

On how the defense made up for losing Lavonte David
“You never replace someone like Lavonte David and we never thought of it like that. Everyone knows who Lavonte is and who he is in the NFL right now, so it was never about filling his shoes or replacing him. We knew as a unit that we had to step up. It was never a challenge of replacing Lavonte, it was a challenge of ourselves playing at a high level. We’ve done a pretty good job of that this year. You don’t ever want to look at things as if you want to replace somebody. When you’re looking at that stuff, you’re looking at more of external things and this year we have to replace Lavonte and this and that. Lavonte is who he is in his own respect and you’ve got to look at it as you always have to ask the most of yourself first. I don’t think we’ve ever looked at it as filling somebody’s shoes, but how are we going to get each other to up our own game, to play well as a collective unit.”

On why the defense is better after losing Lavonte David and Alfonzo Dennard
“I don’t know. I don’t want to say anything to take away from last year’s defense. I think we’re a smarter defense. We’ve been in the system longer. We’ve got more veteran guys. The work we put in during the off-season, the leadership. There’s a bunch of good things. We had a bunch of good stuff last year, but we just, for some reason, didn’t get it put together, especially for four quarters every game. This year, we’ve just come a long way in that area and the coaching, the players, the effort. I just think we’ve done a good job of just coming to work every day. That was something I knew we’d do at the beginning of the year. I was at media day saying that. I knew what we were capable of. We just have to keep coming to work every day and doing it. The sky’s the limit for us.”

On if there was any doubt after losing to Ohio State
“That sucks to have that happen. It stinks because you know you’re better than that. When you put something like that on film, all it makes you do is shake your head and you’ve got a week to hear about yourself talk about it even more or hear everybody else talk about it even more. We’ve done a great job of responding to that adversity and we’ve got to get it done again this week.”

On if he’d prefer Saturday’s game in a dome, or at an outdoor field like Lambeau or Soldier Field
“Lambeau and Solider Field already reminds me of the weather from last Friday, so I’d rather play in the dome.”

On Baker Steinkuhler
“He’s good. He’s been in high spirits. He’s been positive. I texted with him for a good while on Saturday because that’s when he got his MRI’s and everything. We still need him. That’s something he knows. That’s something we talked about. We still need him in practice, we need him on the sideline, we need him to be vocal for us. He’s still a leader, even if he’s not wearing the pads with us. I’m going to miss him out there being with me and I’m sure everyone else will too, but we still need him this week more than ever.”

On Steinkuhler’s enhanced performance the last few weeks
“Baker’s just a hell of a player. He’s big, he’s long, he’s physical. He knows how to play his responsibility and technique and that’s just what he does. He’s done a great job of that all year. He’s picked up his level of game every game, I believe. We’re definitely going to miss him down there, but we need to get those other guys rolling. He needs to be a factor in that. He’ll still play a big, vital part this week.”

On lessons from the 2010 Big 12 Championship game
“I know, for myself and for the seniors who’ve been there a couple times, we’ve even tasted winning a championship. We ran out there the first time against Texas before we got that called back, so we’ve tasted winning and gotten that taken away from us. We blew a 17-point lead. The sideline’s all great when you’re up 17 points, then you lose that lead and lose that game. I know those feelings. Our guys know those feelings. We take away feelings from the bowl game last year. The feeling last year in the locker room, and then again this year with UCLA and Ohio State, there’s those feelings of being disappointed with ourselves and how we played. We’ve got to do everything necessary to not be in those positions again and we have to get it done this year.”

On if the team wished they could have another shot against Ohio State
“Yeah, we do wish we could play them again. Unfortunately, with their sanctions, they’re not able to play in the championship game.”

On how to deal all week with the excitement of Saturday’s game
“I think it’ll be easier this week than it has been all year. I know for me, personally, it is. We play Wisconsin again for a second time, so you play a team for a second time. You have a whole year’s worth of film on them now. There’s a lot of studying a preparation that goes into that and we need all week long to do that. As long as you’re locked in to prepare for this game, I don’t think it’ll be very hard to go day by day. They pose a lot of stuff, a lot of personnel, a lot of looks. They do a lot of the same things, but they do a lot of formations and stuff like that. There are a lot of details that go into playing a team like Wisconsin. For me personally, I think it’ll be easier to take it one day at a time because I know that I need all of these days.”

On Wisconsin quarterback Curt Phillips
“I don’t know, really. I’ve just been trying to break down plays and stuff like that, so I haven’t watched him specifically over anybody else and what he does differently. All their quarterbacks run the same offense, they do the same thing, so they all pose the same kinds of threats.”

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