Nebraska Football
Weekly Press Conference
Memorial Stadium
Pre-Southern Miss
Monday, Sept. 2, 2013

Senior Offensive Tackle Jeremiah Sirles
On how the offense performed
“We had a lot of execution errors. We knew what they were going to do. I thought the coaches did a very nice job of preparing us, but it comes down to us executing our jobs. We came out in the third quarter and responded well to having a rough first half, with our first few drives resulting in touchdowns, but we have to be able to finish games. When we have a chance to go out there and finish a game on the field by getting a first down, that needs to happen. Looking back at the tape, it was just execution errors. No one played a perfect game, it was just execution, and that’s what I’m going to keep harping on because we need to get it hitting on all cylinders to be good.”

On being surprised by the ending of the game
“Surprised wasn’t the word for me. Disappointment was probably the word for me. We did that a lot last year, and it’s something we talk about all the time. Finish on the field. Don’t give the other team a chance. Victory formation is the best formation in football, and ending the game on the field is one of the best feelings that there is. Not being able to do that was very disappointing for all of us. I don’t think anyone felt good about it.”

On execution in fall camp
“I thought we had been executing very well. When it comes to finishing the game, you have to be able to go out there and not make a single mistake. The defense wants to get their offense back out there, and they’re going to throw everything they have at you. If you have one little execution error, you have 2nd-and-9 or 2nd-and-10 instead of 2n-and-5. Then it’s harder and they’re going to keep throwing things at you. I thought we executed very well throughout camp, so it was disappointing for myself and the entire offense that we finished the way we did.”

On playing both left and right tackle
“I started almost every game last year at right tackle and every game three years ago at left tackle, so I’ve been able to play both. I played a lot of football at both. I feel comfortable at both and I’ll do whatever is going to keep me on the field. I love being on the field, I love playing and I feel comfortable playing both.”

On finishing blocks
“There were times when we had guys with good initial contact and a good two or three yards, but then they would slip off. That’s something we all saw, and we definitely need to work on that. It just comes down to finishing your blocks in practice and being relentless. You never know if holding onto a block for a half-second longer, with the backfield that we have of Imani (Cross), Ameer (Abdullah) and (Terrell) Newby, could give them a crease to go the distance.”

On the mistakes being fixable
“We control everything that went on out there. We definitely have a long way to go to be the great team that we want to be, but it’s right within our reach. It’s just going to come down to working hard and paying the price during the week. We have a chance to be a really good football team, but it’s not just going to happen. It’s going to come with a lot of hard work.”

On the game being a wakeup call
“It just goes to show you that you can’t take anything lightly. I’m not saying that we took Wyoming lightly, because I definitely didn’t. Football is probably the most humbling game around. It will humble you in a hurry. We had a lot of young guys playing in their first game, and a lot of older guys that have played a lot of football. I hope that it shows all of us that if we go out there and don’t take care of our business and worry about other things instead of ourselves that it can turn bad in a hurry.

On the practice mood this week
“I think everyone’s ready to go. I don’t think anyone was pleased individually or collectively with the performance, and I think we’re all itching to get back out there and show what this team is. There are a lot of people out there doubting what this team is and what we can be. We know what we are and that’s all that matters. We’re going to go out there and show what we are next Saturday.”

On freshman I-back Terrell Newby
“He was quiet. He was very quiet, but he ran hard and I’m really proud of him. I thought he handled it very well, and I’m excited because he’s electric, and he’s going to do some great things here.”