Nebraska Player Quotes vs. Michigan

By NU Athletic Communications

Nebraska 23, #20 Michigan 9
Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012
Memorial Stadium (Lincoln, Neb.)
Nebraska Players

Senior Safety P.J. Smith
On how it felt to catch his interception

"It was pretty good. I didn't finish the play off, so I'm dissapointed about that, but it feels pretty good."

On what he thought when Denard Robinson got hurt
When he got hurt the backup quarterback came in and he's not really a threat. We were able to not be so [worried] about the quarterback."

On whether or not they were trying to go after the backup quarterterback to try and force mistakes
"It didn't matter who was their quarterback, because we were going to try to go after him [the quarterback] anyway. That was just our game plan. The defense did their job, and the cornerbacks and safeties were doing their job. It was a good win."

On what they did in practice to try to keep mistakes to a minimum
"In practice if we dropped an interception, we would do pushups, and we kind of got frustrated with that. The guys just went out there and made the plays today. We've got to have those plays to win a game. It was pretty good to see that we were able to get three."

On turning down the Blackshirts
"We felt like last year after we got our Blackshirts we went out the next game and did horrible. When they gave them out to us we decided we didn't deserve it.  We shut down Michigan and now we deserve to get them.  That was what we did and was our whole mind frame, to just shut them down."


Sophomore I-Back Ameer Abdullah
On when he felt the defense started to give a little bit

"I would say in the first quarter. We had a pretty good tempo going in the first quarter. Sometimes we had sloppier execution, but good thing we brought it together."

On what he saw from the running back position for execution

"It was some calls that we should have made for offensive line protection things that we missed early. The tempo was so fast sometimes that we couldnt get the calls in before the plays started. That's what I mean as far as execution. After halftime we readjusted and came out strong."

On whether or not the quick tempo was somthing they saw Michigan lacked or if it was just something they wanted to do going forward

"Quick tempo is something we are always trying to do, but we saw that they have some big guys in front, so we decided to run it up the middle.

On the stakes being raised each week and his perspective on that as a player

"We take it one game at a time. We don't look ahead. We understand what's at stake, and what we have to do. Taking every game one at a time, and making every game the most important game.

Junior Lineman Jeremiah Sirles
On how important the win was

"This game just makes the next one that much more important. Every game we win from here on out just raises the stakes more and more to get us where we want to be, which is the Big Ten Championship. This game just leads right into the next one. Every game is a must win for us. The Big Ten, on both sides, is out there for anyone to take, so we've just got to make sure we keep rolling with this momentum into the next week and the week after that because it gets more and more important."

On how physical the game was
"Very physical game. They're very talented up front, very big. I think that our tempo really helped us as far as getting up on the ball and just keep moving and moving until eventually we started wearing them down a little bit."

On getting 100 yards back
"That's huge. We love seeing 100 yards by a back. I think this may be our lowest rushing game of the year, which takes a shot to my pride personally as an offensive lineman. We always want to try and have as much rushing as we can, even more than passing. That's what we live for type of thing, but props to Michigan's front seven. They did a real good job holding us in check for the most part. Ameer (Abdullah) came out and played a heck of a game and we're really proud of him."

On how the offense played against Michigan's defense
"I think we made some mistakes that we can't make in the future. I think it's good that they happened because now we can learn from them, but I also think that we came out and we just stayed the course. We didn't let things get us flustered. We didn't start losing our minds on the sideline. We came off the sideline, made adjustments to what we were doing. We just stayed the course of our gameplan and it showed in the fourth quarter. That long drive where we just kept coming at them, that's where we eventually started to wear them down."


Senior Linebacker Sean Fisher
On what was changed after Dennard Robinson left the game

"Schematically, we didn't really change a whole lot. I think everybody in the stands and on the sidelines could kind of breath a sigh of relief because he's such a threat. We figured that they'd try to get the ball into some of their other good players' hands, so we didn't really change anything from a defensive stand point. We just kept running our calls and really kept an emphasis on the things that we always made a point of running."

On how his game went personally
"Everybody likes to go out to play. As a product of the circumstances sometimes this year, it's been a little light on the playing time. That's not anything you can control. You can't get mad about it. If you play as a team, that's just how it is. Games like the Wisconsin game have been fun for me because I did get to go out there and get some consistent playing time. It's hard when you go out for one series or a play or two and then you don't go out there for another quarter and that hasn't been the case in past games. It's just kind of fun to get a feel for the game. You kind of feel how it's flowing and you get into it a little bit more."

On how the defense prepared
"Tonight, I think the defense just as a whole played a lot better because we really emphasized the small things, getting back to little things. Not dropping picks, not letting the scout team run down field and saying, 'Oh, we'll cover it on Saturday'. I think that translated. You saw the three picks we had, especially the big one at the end by Stanley. So just emphasizing those things and really focusing on the details has translated."

On David Santos
"He played great. I think he got 10 tackles or something like that. He's still young, he's really coming along. He's kind of a guy that, during camp, you could tell he was right on the edge of really understanding and really having things quick, but there are still some concepts that are foggy. I think you'll really start to see him come along and really grasp those things and I think it showed up on the field."

On Dennard Robinson leaving the game
"Like I said, we didn't really talk about it on the sideline or anything. Schematically, we stayed the same. Of course, we don't want to see anyone injured. I've had plenty of injuries in the past and they're no fun, but we weren't upset about it during the game."

On how practice differed from previous weeks
Structure was pretty much the same. I guess we emphasized things like picks, not letting those to the ground if we had the chance, not letting the ball off. Not letting people just run down the field and saying, 'Oh, it's no big deal. It's just the scout team.' I think the focus was great. We were locked in. Obviously this is a big game that we really needed to have and I think that you could kind of tell in the way people prepared throughout the week that it was a big focus for everybody and I think that it translated tonight."

On if the coaches led the change
"I don't think it was really the coaches having to leash it as much as just all of us understanding the gravity of the game and taking it amongst ourselves to focus and not let anything like that go on."

On what this game meant

"Obviously, with the Big Ten standings, it was kind of a must-have. Not that it wasn't still possible to get to the Big Ten championship, but it was out of our control if we lost it. We kind of talked about how we wanted to control our own futures and winning tonight took us one step closer to that. Obviously, that doesn't seal any deals or anything like that. Now we just keep it up against Michigan State and just take it one step at a time."





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