Nebraska Football
Weekly Press Conference
Monday, Nov. 25, 2013 (Memorial Stadium)
Pre-Iowa

On telling him at season’s start he’d potentially start at quarterback on Senior Day
“I would have told you you were a liar. I probably wouldn’t have believed you because Taylor (Martinez) was almost invincible. I would have just assumed that he would start the entire season.”

On how Taylor Martinez has handled not playing
“It’s been difficult, but he’s a mature adult, and he’s handled it like an adult. He’s been there for us, especially as a senior who’s played for four years now. He’s given a lot of tips to Tommy (Armstrong Jr.) and me, so he’s put on more of a cultured role. Plus, he’s still rehabbing to try and get himself better for whatever he plans to do next season.”

On reversing roles with Taylor Martinez this season
“He gives me his opinions on things I should have done, such as checks. He’s really been able to help me out when I’ve needed him to.

On his confidence running the ball
“I’m not as fast as some people would want me to be, but I don’t care as long as I’m getting a first down or positive yards. That’s A-OK in my book. Even after the hit against Penn State, I’m still probably going to run the football. I know everyone was scared, including my mom, but that’s not going to deter me from seeking success for the offense.”

On sliding
“I know how to slide, but I broke my ankle sliding like that so I don’t slide like that anymore. I slide head-first now. I might have to change that up, too.”

On his emotions on Friday
“I’m going to try to be as composed as possible. I’m not saying I won’t have any emotions.  I’ve seen some of the toughest people, like Alfonzo Dennard and Lavonte David say that weren’t going to cry and then come back into the locker room crying. I’m going to try to be composed and set all of the emotions aside because we still have a game we have to play. We want to get our ninth win, so I’ll try my best to compose myself.”

On expecting to run the ball at the end against Penn State
“At that point, I didn’t really care what play call came in. I just wanted to score, whether it was me running or Ameer (Abdullah) running. A touchdown was something that we all wanted. It didn’t work out the way we wanted it to. I would love to have a rushing touchdown. That would be nice. Whatever Coach (Tim) Beck calls is what I’ll run. I really don’t complain or go against what he wants.”

On how sore he was on Sunday
“I felt like I got in a car accident. With the treatment from the training staff, I feel just fine. It’s like I didn’t even play on Saturday, so I’m all good for Friday.”

On Iowa’s defense
“I feel like Iowa’s defense is a typical Big Ten defense. They have good linebackers and a solid defensive line. It’s something that we’re going to start looking at today to get our game plan down. We’ll take it from there. It starts with today at practice, and we’ll work all the way until Wednesday and finalize it on Thursday.”

On the rivalry with Iowa
“There’s a trophy, so I guess it’s a rivalry. I didn’t know it was. I’ll just assume it’s a rivalry for your columns you have to write, so yeah, it’s a rivalry.”

On remembering his time at Nebraska
“It’s something I’ll always remember and cherish for a lifetime. I’ll brag about it to my kids and shove it in their face. Other than that, it just shows that whether you’re a walk-on or scholarship guy, if you work hard and put forth the time and effort to understand the schemes on offense or defense, it’s up to you whether you want to play or not. I easily could have taken a different route and either left or quit playing football, but it’s something I love to do and have a passion for. I also got a mini internship out of it by coaching Taylor (Martinez). There are a lot of memories, whether I played or not, that I’ll take with me.”

On joining the coaching staff next season
“That’s a possibility. I told them there’s going to have to be a lot of spaghetti made as an incentive for me to continue that route. I love football. It’s something I have a strong passion for. I feel like I could help in the coaching aspect too. Like I said, the mini internship I had was pretty exciting, so I might as well give it a shot.”

On playing on Black Friday
“I haven’t been to a Black Friday yet, and I would love to go to one sometime, but we always have a football game. That’s one negative, but other than that, being able to get a lot of television exposure helps our university out. Other people can see the tradition behind Nebraska. Plus, it gets our name out there a little bit. We’re the primetime 11 o’clock game. Also, we don’t get to have Thanksgiving with our families. I know some of the linemen like (Jeremiah) Sirles are a little depressed about it. I’m a little depressed about it myself, but we get to spend it with our teammates and Coach Bo (Pelini).”

On his “mini internship”
“I got in trouble many times. I didn’t tell Taylor (Martinez) the right things, or I didn’t cheer him up enough. It’s a tough role. I’m like his psychologist, his friend and his mentor.”

On how Taylor Martinez should be remembered
“He was an explosive collegiate quarterback. He was unbelievably fast. He broke a lot of records here. We had three comeback wins last year, and those were due to the fact that he completed passes and made big plays for us when we needed him to. That’s something the fans should, and hopefully will, remember about Taylor (Martinez).”