Nebraska 42, Arkansas State 13
Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012
Memorial Stadium (Lincoln, Neb.)
Nebraska Offensive Coordinator
On visiting Coach Bo Pelini before he left
"We just kind of went in there and saw him where they had him and were looking at him. [Coach John Papuchis] and I went in there."
On how the second half went without Coach Bo Pelini
"Our players actually handled the situation really well. I didn't handle it as well as I should have, but they were better."
On how he handled Pelini's departure
"I've known Bo my whole life."
On the staff's ability to run without Pelini during the week, if necessary
"I really believe whole-heartedly that he'll be fine. It's just a very emotional game, obviously, as coaches after the trying game last week and going out there and performing and playing then getting some kind of news like that, it's just all very difficult. Like [John Papuchis] said, he's a fighter and he's one of the toughest guys I've ever met. I wouldn't be surprised if he's up watching film tonight."
On wide receiver Kenny Bell
"Kenny made some big, electrifying plays. Just glancing down, I see he had three catches and two for touchdowns. I'd say that's a pretty good day at the office for him. I thought they blocked well on the perimeter. It was a game where we thought we were able to establish ourselves in the running game, and we were going to try and stick to it. In the second half, we went through a bad spell of about three of four plays. We turned the ball over which, again, first half we were uncharacteristic of that, penalties where we get called for an illegal chop that negates a first down for us. Those are things that are going to hurt us and probably hurt any offense and they showed a little bit in the third quarter. But then we were able to gain our composure again and finish the game out, for the most part, the way we wanted to."
On I-back Ameer Abdullah's intensity
"Honestly, that's him. I know people haven't had a chance to see him. When I recruited him, that was one of the things that I saw in his ability was what a powerful inside runner he is for a guy that doesn't have great stature. He's not surprising me one bit the way he's playing. I'm very pleased the way he's doing it. I'm happy for him. He's worked extremely hard to put himself in this position to have the success he has. Again, a lot of it goes up front. We're doing a great job up front piling the ball. We're able to pile on the ball so we can rush 59 times. That's impressive to be able to go out there and do that against anybody."
On quarterback Taylor Martinez
"He was very efficient. That's one of the things I told him. I said just be patient, they're going to give us some opportunities. He converted on two third downs when he needed to. He looked poised and he understood where to go with the ball. He prepared well and he executed. He did a really nice job, even in the running game. He made some nice reads, didn't force it, just played within the confines of the offense and had a lot of success today."
On third-down conversion rates
"One of them, we weren't in third and long a lot. I looked back last week and of the 11 third downs we had, eight of them were over seven yards or more. Your percentages decrease, obviously, the further you have to go for first downs. We were having some success running the ball for short yardage. We had a simple game plan for our guys on third down and they knew where to go with the ball versus what looks they might get. I think that led to success for us."