Nebraska 49, Arkansas State 13
Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012
Memorial Stadium (Lincoln, Neb.)
Nebraska Player Quotes
Senior Safety P.J. Smith
On what was going right today for the defense
"We just did what coach asked us to do, which was to tackle. That was the main thing, just to tackle."
On adjusting early on to Arkansas State's tempo
"We knew once we got there and stopped them, that we were going to have to slow it down."
On what Coach Papuchis brought emotionally on the third quarter drive (in the absence of Coach Pelini)
"Coach JP is just like Coach Pelini. He has been with him for a number of years. Honestly, I didn't know that Coach Bo was gone. Coach JP did a great job of keeping the defense up."
On the emotion of Coach Papuchis and the players on the play where the ball may or may not have kicked off Ameer Abdullah's heel and Arkansas State took over Nebraska's 15
"We just wanted to get the stop. We want to be the best defense in the country, and the best that we possible can be. We got fired up. We just went out there and handled our business".
On how the team responded to the adversity of last week
"We didn't listen to the criticism. Let the people say what they wanted to say. We just got back to work and got ready for the game. We werent even worrying about the criticism."
Quarterback Taylor Martinez
On how the succes running the ball put him in situations where he liked to throw it
"It helped out a lot because we were running the ball and the passes were open."
On Kenny Bell making plays today
"He is a great wide receiver, and he did a great job for us today."
On whether or not they planned to run the ball as much as they did
"It pretty much developed seeing how the game was going, and since the running game wasn't working early on. We just pretty much stuck with it, because they really couldn't stop it."
On whether or not this win feels any different
"This win doesn't really feel different. We just take it one game at a time.
On the effort Ameer Abdullah gave with his 30 carries
"He did a great job for us, and I always thought he was a great running back. I'm glad that he could show everyone else how good he is and hopefully he keeps doing a great job. The offensive line also did an amazing job blocking for him."
On whether or not they planned to have all the running plays
"It just kind of evolved after seeing how their offense was playing and our offense was playing."
Senior Defensive End Eric Martin
On practice last week
"Just a focus week like we treat every other week. We've got to come out and stay focused and do our jobs and our responsibilities basically."
On whether the defense proved something today
"We proved something to ourselves that we're better than we played last week. We're not really about outside factors, we just worry about what's within us as a defense and what we're capable of. We know what we're capable of, we just have to execute."
On what kind of energy JP (John Papuchis) had on the sidelines during the second half
"JP's always fired up. He's always bringing energy to everybody. Working with JP, I've been working with him for a while, he's always the type that we mess with and call him Leonidas because he always comes with his fire-up speech to get us all fired up before he game."
On whether the speech was a good one today
"Yes, he always comes up with something different every week. He always finishes with us going out there and doing our best and having fun doing it. Today we had fun playing in our defensive scheme."
On how it felt to force the fumble
"It felt like any other play I made, you know? You just go out there and you don't expect it. An opportunity will present itself and you just take it. It was just surprising to me as it was surprising to any of you all."
On the defensive transition to a different scheme
"We ran it a couple of times. We were able to execute it in practice and make the best of it. This week and in the game it turned out good, so hopefully we stick with it."
On Arkansas' pace offensively and how it affected the defensive line
"Tired. They were a fast offense, very fast. Faster than what we are used to. They were faster than our offense and we're not used to that but all we had to do was just buckle down. Once we stop them on first and second down, third down is the fun down. Third down is fun down when it's third and long. Once we stopped them on first and second, we had to just execute our third down pressures and schemes."
Sophomore I-Back Ameer Abdullah
On when the last time he took 30 carries was
"Probably in high school. In high school I had a couple 30 carry games. I didn't realize I had 30, but it was a call to action and I had to respond."
On what Rex [Burkhead] had to say to him after the game
"Just good job being a competitor. Rex is the ultimate competitor. He loves seeing other people, especially the running back corps behind him, go out and compete."
On if he felt good during his last 10 carries compared to the first 20
"Yes, definitely. I felt like I could have carried the ball more. Like I said, I didn't realize I had 30 carries until someone told me after the game. It's just a good job to get my feet wet for things like that."
On if he likes running the perimeter better than running between the tackles
"I like running the football. It doesn't matter, outside or inside, I just like running the football."
On his thoughts about the offensive line
"They did a tremendous job. All those guys, the glory goes to them. Every time the surge off the ball was a positive surge. We never were stopped in the backfield, I don't think so. They did a good job, a real good job."
On how well the offense responded to the second half adversity with the fumbles and momentum changes
"I feel like we responded pretty well. We didn't start off like we wanted to. I had what I felt like was a bad call on the punt and had a fumble, had some things going on. I feel like we persevered through it, the adversity, at times. I feel like that's a good progression for this team, sticking through adversity."
On whether the punt hit him
"I don't know. Everybody tells me on the replay it was nowhere close. I know the ball didn't touch me. It's over with now, but just for our sake, I know the ball didn't touch me."
On Taylor Martinez completing 13 for 14 passes taking the pressure off of the running game
"It takes off a lot of pressure. Like they say, the passing game opens up the running game and the running game opens up the passing game. We could have a balanced attack as long as Taylor's attacking that. He's done a really good job up to this point of the season, and I'm just looking forward to seeing it progress even more."