Nebraska vs. UCLA
Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013
Memorial Stadium (Lincoln, Neb.)
Senior Cornerback Ciante Evans
On the third quarter
"We just couldn't make a play, especially on our side of the ball when we needed it. Starting from me, I couldn't make a play. I missed two key tackles and it cost us the game."
On the momentum of the second half
"I don't know. Guys just didn't have the same intention in the first half that they had in the second half. That's all I could see."
On why players' intentions seemed different in the second half
"I don't know, to be honest with you. I guess we just lost our step and our sense of urgency. Guys were unfocused. I don't know what happened. I'll just try to watch the film and reevaluate some things."
On the locker room mood at halftime
"The mood was good. I mean we were up, and we were just trying to get some more things corrected. So I thought the mood was fine at halftime."
On the turning point in the game
"Like I said, we needed to step up and make some plays, and we didn't. Especially on defense, we have to be able to make that play. We talked about it all week: corralling the quarterback. Unfortunately we didn't make that play."
On if the team got down on themselves after the third quarter
"No, I didn't see them get down. They wanted to head for the worst. But guys were just like 'what's going on.' And me being a captain, I need to step up. Unfortunately I couldn't make any plays either."
On if there was a comfort level at halftime
"Not really a comfort level. I wouldn't say guys were trying to get complacent, but they had the right feeling. You know, we were up 21-3. But as you can see things took a turn for the worst."
On the message he wants to convey as a captain
"Finish. That's what it comes down to. You got to look yourself in the mirror and finish. Do your job and do your responsibility. Do what the coaches ask you. Ultimately just finish plays."
Senior Quarterback Taylor Martinez
On the offense
"I just think that we can't get in a rhythm, but I really can't tell you. I'm not really sure."
On the turning point in the game
"It was maybe that option when number 11 (Anthony Barr) hit the ball. Maybe that was a turning point for the offense. That's the only play I can think of."
On how the offense played
"I think we moved the ball pretty well. I think we just didn't finish. When we did get close, something always happened. When we were driving, we'd get pushed back with a penalty or fumble or something like that. Little things like that pushed us back, and that's what I think held us back from continuing to move the ball down the field."
On being up 21-3
"I don't know if we had the ball back again, but I thought we were going to keep scoring on them. Obviously, it didn't happen. The game turned around on us, and there wasn't much we could do about it. We just have to go on to the next game."
On UCLA taking away his running game
"I saw it, but we just have to run what Coach (Tim) Beck calls. Whatever works, we just have to go out there and execute it."
On UCLA's coverage
"I think they played pretty good coverage. What killed us were the second-and-longs and third-and-longs. Once that happens, your offense gets out of a rhythm. It's hard to find plays to get a first down on second-and-thirty or second-and-fifteen. I think those were the main things that killed us."
On playing "not to lose"
"I think in the second half I kind of got the sense that we needed to try and hold onto the lead. I think we were trying to, but we should have just gone out there and tried to just blow them out."
On his message to the team as a captain
"We just need to finish games. The first game we didn't do a very good job of that. I think the last game we did a pretty good job of it and this one we didn't. We had an 18-point lead, but we just have to go out there and finish games. You see how good our team could be, but we just have to be able to go out there and finish the games."
Senior Right Guard Spencer Long
On the difficulties of starting a running game
"(It was) execution really. (UCLA) didn't do much different from what they did in the first half. We didn't come out and get it done. Plain and simple."
On the pressure of seeing UCLA score in the third quarter
"We always feel the pressure. We even tried to nip it in the butt before it happened. We just didn't execute our football and that's what happens when you don't. We put our defense in a bad situation. Hopefully we learn from that and never let it happen again."
On his message to the team
"Learn from the film. Learn from the feeling. Don't forget about it. Just remember to never give a team life and let them come back. Learn from it and move forward. It's done. Like I said, learn from it and come back."
On the mindset during Nebraska's 18-point lead
"We were obviously fired up about it. Football is an interesting game. When we were up, I was thinking let's not lull. We have to keep going. We can't think we have this team beat because UCLA is a good team and they obviously showed us that. We didn't execute and that's what happened. They came back."