Michigan State Postgame Player Quotes
Nebraska vs. Michigan State
Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013
Memorial Stadium (Lincoln, Neb.)
Senior Linebacker Max Bullough
On the game
"If you go in our locker room right now there's a lot of happy guys. There's a lot of guys that are happy that we won, but there's some guys that are not necessarily pumped about our performance on defense. We're not going to ignore the elephant in the room. We didn't play as well as we wanted to. Nebraska made some plays and they have in the last three years so credit to them. We are happy that we're winning those types of games. We'd rather be sitting here talking about what we can fix while we're in the winning column."
On how Nebraska was different without Taylor Martinez
"They played a little bit different of a game plan. I think you see more of the power-read, zone-read stuff with Martinez but they like to run the outside zone stuff with the other guy (Tommy Armstrong Jr.). It's just a little bit different of an offense. They still have the same personnel out there except for a few guys. They're good at both. I think you see how dangerous they can be when either guy is in there."
On Nebraska's run game
"They had a game plan. I think that their coaching staff has always had a great game plan when they've come and played us. We might not have been as physical as we wanted to be. I don't know, I'd have to go back and watch the film. Whenever you're getting gashed in the run game, usually it comes down to being physical. Credit to them and their coaching staff and their game plan, but there's a way that we can fix that. There always is."
On how different this game was from last year
"We can sit here and talk about how they gashed us in the run game or how they had a few plays, but we won. That's the difference between being 7-6 or whatever it is and hopefully competing for the championship at the end of the year. I think that's something that you earn in the off season and it's something that you earn each week. That's something that you can't put a name on, you can't put a price on. It's just something you earn and it's something you don't."
On Connor Cook and the offense
"That whole offense, Connor included, this whole year they have just gotten better and better and better. I don't know if there's many guys out there or many teams that can take the stuff they took at the beginning of the year and last year, saying they couldn't do anything. They just keep chugging and keep coming to work and keep going to practice, and it's shown. They deserve the success they've had. Connor deserves the success he's had. He's a great kid, a great football player, and he's worked his tail off. I think that's something that people are finally starting to notice. They're starting to get the production."
Sophomore Quarterback Connor Cook
On the drive with nine minutes left in the fourth quarter
"I just knew that we needed a touchdown to kind of seal the deal and get a bigger cushion for us as an offense and as a team. I didn't really feel anything different. I'm just calm and cool under pressure. I always have belief in myself, but my main goal is just that we need points. A field goal, a touchdown, whatever it is we need it and I'm going to do whatever I possibly can to lead my team down."
On how he got in rhythm
"There was no sideline conversation. I think it was just me taking it upon myself in a big time environment, playing at Nebraska. It's loud; there's 90,000 people or whatever they got. I had the jitters the first couple series and I think they went away. As soon as the jitters went away, I think I was pretty good. You can't dwell on the past. You can't dwell on the play where I overthrew Tony Lippett in the back of the end zone where he was wide open. I would have liked to have that, but you just have to move on."
On the throw to Keith Mumphery
"It was the same exact play from the game against Iowa, versus the same coverage. It was weird because I looked up at the play clock and we had a motion and there was three seconds left. I don't even know how we got the ball off. We snapped it and had two vertical seams up the middle on cover zero. I threw it over the middle with Keith open and it just worked out great. I thought I had overthrown for sure but as soon as the ball was in the air he turned on the jets and made a helluva play. Great play."
On Nebraska's pass coverage and how he handled it
"We knew we were going to get man coverage all day. We knew they were talented defensive backs, especially their linebackers too. We knew they were going to heat me up and blitz a lot, but credit to our wide receivers for getting open. They were not making easy catches. They were getting open. They had guys holding them, this and that, with really good coverage. They found a way to get open and they found a way to catch the ball. I think we did a really good job on third down today. We remained balanced running the ball and passing the ball. Anytime receivers make plays like that, it always helps."