#22 Nebraska 30, Wisconsin 27
Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012
Memorial Stadium (Lincoln, Neb.)
Nebraska Head Coach Bo Pelini
"We made it hard on ourselves, but as a football team, we made a lot of mistakes in that game. We didn't play our best football, we didn't play nearly as well as we are capable of playing. But we got a 'W,' and we stayed the course as a football team. Our guys showed the character, the toughness, the perseverance to overcome not playing our best football. I'm proud of the group in there, but that's just one game. We'll enjoy it tonight and get back to work tomorrow."
On what he told his players before the final 4th-and-1
"It was 'be smart,' execute what we're asking them to do. I thought we did that in the second half. I thought we did some really good things in the first half defensively; we didn't make plays on balls down the field. Give them credit, they made some plays. In the end, we made more. The wheels didn't come off, as some of you would like to say."
On what he felt the turning point was for Nebraska
"You know what, it's a 60-minute game. There are none. There are momentum swings, there are always turning points in football games. You've got to stay the course, you've got to play every play and try and outlast it. It's a fist fight. It's not one play or one series or one quarter, you've got to stay the course. I thought our guys did that and we proved that today. No one panicked, everyone stayed together, kept making adjustments. It's a team game. It's the ultimate team game, ultimate team sport. Our football team did enough to win the football game, and I'm proud of them."
On the adjustments the staff made at halftime
"Not a lot. Just some small tweaks here and there. We just said, 'We've got to execute better,' and we did."
On if this reminded him of the 2011 Ohio State game
"Oh yeah. I said it. We've been in tougher positions than that before. The situation we were in, a lot of it was self-imposed. If we just fixed us--which I say all the time. I know you guys get sick of hearing it, but we've got to fix us. If we do our thing and we're not our own worst enemy--we did some things that were out of character for us in that first half. It could have cost us. It didn't. Down the road it will. We've got to get some things fixed; we've got to keep getting better. We did enough to win the football game tonight. I'm happy about that. I'll have joy tonight, but the way I'm wired, I'll go back and look at what we have to do to get better going forward."
On if he was proud of the team's response to physicality in the
"Yeah, I thought we answered the physical challenge all night. I think they're a physical football team. I think we showed we're very capable of being very physical on the ground, on both sides of the football."
On if he was proud of NU shutting down Wisconsin's rushing game
"Yeah. We did what we had to do. I'm concerned with some of the things we gave up in the passing game, especially in some situations where we were right there to make some plays. We had some tough calls as far as some interference things and that kind of thing. I thought we did some good things. Contrary to what you guys think, I haven't forgotten how to coach defense and how to stop the run."
On quarterback Taylor Martinez's performance
"I thought Taylor did some really good things. I thought he started slow and got better as the game went on. I thought he settled in and I thought he played a pretty good football game. Like I said, I think across the board: quarterbacks, running backs, offense, defense, special teams, we did a lot of good things and we did a lot of things that we need to get corrected. That's why you practice. I've said all along, it's going to be the team that keeps getting better week-to-week. That's the challenge we have in front of us. We're going to have a heck of a challenge for ourselves next week. We need to stay the course and keep concentrating on what we need to do to keep getting better as a football team."
On the performance of his linebacker corps
"I thought all three of them played very well. I'm proud of those guys. Let me tell you, when you're a linebacker, trust when I tell you, it starts up front. Our guys up front played their butts off. Our front seven did a lot of good things. The way we play, our secondary's got to fit in the run, too. I thought they did some really good things. It was a team effort stopping that run game. That football team knows how to run the football. Trust me."