Nebraska vs. Southern Miss
Head Coach Bo Pelini
Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013

Opening Statement
“We’re excited about the win. We made good progress and did a lot of good things out there tonight. By no means are we the finished product. There were a number of mistakes obviously, a lot of things we need to clean up. It was a lot cleaner than a week ago. I saw a lot of progress. I saw a lot better communication. I think our understanding of the game plan improved, so therefore our preparation improved. Every single day right now for this football team is important. Every day we walk out on the field to prepare. We can’t miss an opportunity to get better. Like I said before, I like the potential with this group but it’s a work in progress. We just got to keep working.”

On the Blackshirts setting the tone early with two interceptions
“Stanley (Jean-Baptiste) made a really good play on the first one, and we got a little tipped ball on the second one, but I thought Ciante (Evans) made a good choice on the route, which put him in position to make a play. Overall, we did some good things. We were hawking the ball a little bit with (four/five?) interceptions, but the guys for the most part they were in the right spots, the right areas. They showed some routes and alignments that I thought our guys adjusted well to and, like I said, overall our execution was good and our understanding and ability to make adjustments throughout the game was one-hundred-fold better than it was a week ago, which was good to see. It shows their understanding is continuing to build.”

On the defense giving the Huskers a boost of confidence
“No doubt. Anytime you grab the momentum like that and bait the quarterback like that - he (Stanley Jean-Baptiste) made a great break on it, a nice play. Because on that particular coverage you don’t have help over the top, so he played the technique the way he was supposed to play, and he took a chance and made a heckuva play on the ball. I thought Stanley overall played a good game. My biggest problem with the defense, and I addressed it with them on the sidelines, was the way we came out at the start of the third quarter. I didn’t like the way we came out in that third quarter. But to their credit, they responded to the challenge and came back out and got it righted in a hurry. To be honest with you, I didn’t like the way our football team came out - we didn’t execute well to start that third quarter - that was disappointing to me. We talked about it in the locker room. We talked about the sense of urgency we needed to bring to start the second half and that can’t happen. There’s only way you play and we gotta go and we didn’t come out that way. That was disappointing to me.”

On the communication being ‘one-hundred fold’ improved from a week ago
“I think that our understanding was better. I think (Josh) Banderas, Michael Rose, who played a good game at MIKE linebacker. I think they worked their butts off this week, and I think they did a really good job of communicating. I thought the safeties were on point for the most part. When you are up through the middle of your defense and they communicate well and are on point, the other guys will fall in line. Early in the game we missed a couple layups early on; a couple missed assignments but it was much cleaner than a week ago.”

On Randy Gregory stacking up to other Juco transfers he’s brought in
“I think Randy (Gregory) has a tremendous amount of ability. He’s a very instinctive kid and he’s an instinctive football player who understands a lot of things about the game. We’re not real big into the juco front, as far as bringing in the junior college guys, so we really do our homework and really find the ones we feel are right for us. We’re pretty selective in that area and we’ve been pretty fortunate in doing that. He was the only guy we targeted, and we saw a great pass-rusher at the junior college ranks. We worked our butts off, and we created a strong relationship with him and his family and I feel like that was really important in getting him here. We feel really fortunate to have him here because he fills a need for us. I think a guy with his types of talents fills a need for every football team.”

On going with Josh Banderas over David Santos for the starting linebacker spot
“We base it on practice and who practices the best. Coming out of the week, we came out and started who we felt gave us the best chance to play how we wanted to play. I thought Bando had a good week and I thought Michael Rose had a good week, but believe me, there is a lot to fix there. But they played well. We were a lot better, but there are things that didn’t hurt us tonight, but believe me, like I said last week, it’s not as bad as you think it was but it’s not as good. There are a lot of things that we need to get shored up, but there was progress.”

On Banderas starting and how impressive that was for a freshman in the MIKE spot
“It’s not easy to do. It’s not easy. The thing that struck me with Bando is that it wasn’t too big for him from the start. He’s got a great demeanor about him, and he understands the game and he’s really worked hard at it. He asks the right questions and he gets it. He gets football. He’s got a long way to go as a player, but I think his potential and his ceiling is very high. I think he can be very special down the road if he stays on course. I think we have a number of guys, I think the competition is making that group better. The competition we have during the week, because they know at the end of the day, you gotta put it on film during the week or your not going to be out there.”

On the demeanor of the team being different this week
“The challenge was laid out there to them as to what we need to do to get better as a football team. Trust me, there wasn’t a guy on our football team that felt good about how we played a week ago, but I can also say this, there’s not a guy in that locker room who is satisfied with our performance tonight. There’s a lot more out there for this team and that’s how it should be after week two and that’s how it should be and that’s why we practice.”

On UCLA
“I haven’t looked at UCLA. I know they are a good football team and I think it will be a good matchup and we are familiar with what they did a year ago, and they have good athletes and it will be a good matchup.”

On having a feel good game like this going into UCLA
“It’s on to the next thing. I much prefer we play better than we did a week ago heading into this next game, but it doesn’t change what out task is this week. I know I wear you guys out with it, but what we try to do is we’re headed to the next thing. We’ll try to fix the things we need to fix from this game film, head to Monday and get better. Because we need to get better, we need to be a better football team when we walk out there next Saturday against UCLA.”

On the offense’s performance tonight
“Our offense was good at times. We made some mistakes. Our offense was good at times, but I thought we checked out of some plays we probably didn’t need to. We probably settled in and got a better understanding of what they were trying to do to us. We didn’t have a great idea about how they are going to play us. I thought we learned a lot as the game went on, and we settled in and I thought that showed.”

On David Santos reacting to the situation
“I hope he responds the right way. He has up to this point. He knew what the stakes were this week during practice and he’s a prideful kid. Believe me, David is going to play a lot of football for us but when you're in a situation it’s how you respond. I know David and what kind of a competitor he is, and he’ll respond in the right way.”

On the backup quarterbacks play
“Sure looked like Tommy (Armstrong) played well. I thought Ronnie Kellogg did some good things. He had the one throw - I know Ronnie was disappointed because he missed, but overall he did well. I thought across the board we showed we have depth on this football team. I thought there were a number of guys - we call them backups - but I just think they’re in the rotation. Everybody did a lot of good things, but I’m sure when I see the film that everyone who played in that game is going to have things that they gotta get cleaned up.”