Nebraska vs. South Dakota State
Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013
Memorial Stadium (Lincoln, Neb.)
Junior Running Back Zach Zenner
On his thoughts early in the game
"It felt good to go down and score right away. It was nice, but obviously we didn't score enough points to win or even close. As nice as the beginning was, you have to continue that throughout the whole game."
On what changed in the offense
"You know we started shooting ourselves in the foot a little bit. We were down deep and had that offensive pass interference, then the false start and then the sacks. I felt like we really started hurting ourselves."
On if the defense was trying to contain him
"A little bit, but still even when we went back to the running game I feel like we were moving the ball pretty well. They brought the corner more. Even with that, I felt like we were still moving the ball pretty well. The drive stalled, for whatever reason. I had a couple of mental errors. Like I said, shooting ourselves in the foot."
On what in the Nebraska defense they tried to exploit
"I felt like we executed our game plan really well, until we made a couple mental mistakes. I think the game plan was going really well. We got away from a couple of things and made some adjustments and still managed to move the ball."
On if they felt pressure to score every time since the defense couldn't stop Nebraska's offense
"You need to score. As an offense, you want to score every time. So was there really added pressure? No, you put that pressure on yourself to score every time. That's the goal as an offense."
On his ankle
"The ankle is good. I got rolled up on the first play or drive, or whatever it was. Coach just said to take it easy and get some ice on it right away."
On if he expected to have a 200-yard rushing game against Nebraska
"Yes, I mean you need to expect a win every week. You need to believe that you can win every week and believe that you can move the ball every week. Like I said, I think we did a decent job today and then hurt ourselves."
On how to prevent having this game hurt them moving forward
"We talk about 'playing in the present'. Actually I believe that's a phrase coined by Nebraska's Tom Osborne, which is ironic. Just play in the present and the film helps you move on, in my opinion. You can look back and see what happened, what went wrong. You can work to fix it in practice the next week."
On if North Dakota State is less daunting after playing Nebraska
"North Dakota State is a very good team. We're going to be at home so I guess the atmosphere will be more what we're used to, but we've been here before. When I was a true freshman, I drove down and stood on the sidelines. This is actually my second trip to Memorial Stadium. There's a great show of support for the Nebraska club, but the atmosphere I didn't really find that daunting."
Redshirt Freshman Offensive Lineman Mike Shoff
On what worked well for the SDSU offense
"Our technique and fundamentals. We were just running base schemes and nothing out of the ordinary. We were just doing our best to try and beat them at what we do best and play our game."
On if this game was more emotional for him personally
"Yes, very emotional. This was a really important game for me. As a lot of people knew, coming out of high school I really wanted to go to Nebraska. Things didn't work out, but I'm happy where I am now. Coming back to Memorial Stadium, I have a lot of family and a lot of people really close to me that came to watch me. It was a much more emotional game than usual."
On what the offense can take away from the game
"Right now, we just have to go back and watch the film to see what happened. Too many drives stalled and we didn't quite punch it in. I think we kicked three field goals. We're a team that needs to keep going and punch it in every time for a touchdown."
On how Zach Zenner helps the offense
"He makes your job really easy. Zach's a great back and I'm biased but I think we have a great offensive line in front of him. We just try to do our best to make sure he has a good read and can make a good cut and do what he does best."
Senior Linebacker R.C. Kilgore
On what went wrong for their defense
"I thought we had good schemes but a lot of mental errors that we need to fix going into next week. Film will tell a lot. We have to look at it as a great opportunity to get better.
On if facing Tommy Armstrong and Ron Kellogg made the defense have to adjust
"The quarterbacks were very similar to (Taylor) Martinez, with the same athletic ability. Nothing really changed for us."
On if the defense had to adjust throughout the game with Nebraska changing the quarterback very often
"Yes, you definitely had to keep track of who was in the game. When No. 4 was in the game, it was heavy option. Option or not, you still have to defend them."
On if they felt a defensive breakdown was coming
"No, we go into every week planning to do our best. We just didn't get it done today."
On if confidence started to fade as the game went on
"No, we have it in our minds that when stuff goes wrong you have to play in the present. You have to forget the play. If you let that stuff daunt you, then you'll shut down. I thought our guys did a good job not letting that get to our defense."