Nebraska vs. South Dakota State
Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013
Memorial Stadium (Lincoln, Neb.)
Senior Quarterback Ron Kellogg III
On how he played
"I thought I played pretty well. Basically, I wanted to get the ball to our skill guys so they could get some yards and we could make some progress on the field. But more importantly, I wanted to end drives with a touchdown or field goal. There was one throw I missed. I kind of underthrew Quincy (Enunwa), but I didn't want to get him murdered. He should thank me later."
On having a better rhythm this game
"The only difference was that it was on TV instead of practice. Coach (Tim) Beck has faith in both Tommy (Armstrong) and myself to run the offense with the ones and twos. It all came down to nerves and who wanted it more. I think our team wanted it more from the get-go. We were able to pay attention to detail, which meant studying film this week and preparing for a good team that was 3-0. We wanted to jump on them early and leave it that way."
On rotating with Armstrong every two series
"It was fine with me. We all know that he's probably going to be the starting quarterback, or at least competing for it next year, because Taylor (Martinez) and I are leaving. Tommy (Armstrong) starting was A-OK with me. I'm still going to support whoever goes out onto the field. That's my job. If he has questions, I'll answer his questions and vice-versa."
On how Martinez handled being on headset
"He was awkward for a little bit because he's never really had a headset on. He didn't even know how to turn it on in the beginning. It was awesome being able to come onto the sideline and talk football with him. He's the number one stat leader in Nebraska history, so it was kind of surreal. Plus he's my roommate, so I get to tease him about it later. I'll give him some tips on how to work the headset next time."
On how his touchdown felt
"The touchdown felt great, as you could see in my celebration. I didn't really know what to do, so I just shook a little bit. The touchdown felt great, and that comes from preparation throughout the week and trusting my receivers out there to make a big play at the end of it."
On working together with Armstrong in preparation
"It's basically what we do all the time, whether it's Tommy (Armstrong), myself or, usually, Taylor (Martinez) playing the entire game. We usually coerce with each other and help Taylor out, but the only difference was that one of us was going in the game. We had to watch what the other guy was doing and help him out by giving him tips when he came to the sideline."
On the protection from the offensive line
"It always helps when you don't get sacked. That's always a nice thing. They always work hard. They've been working hard from fall camp until now. I give all the thanks to those guys for working hard the whole game and being dedicated to the little things in the game plan and the details to keep Tommy (Armstrong) and I dry the entire game. All the credit goes to those guys."
On how Martinez handled seeing his games-started streak snapped
"I think he handled it like an adult. We knew he was injured, and we're not going to force him to go out there and make it worse. He has confidence in Tommy (Armstrong) and me, and he was a big, big fan and supporter on the sidelines today. I really appreciated that he did that for us. Some guys would turn off and not associate with other people because we're technically taking his spot, but I think he handled it like an adult and he was a great friend today."
On what his place is on the depth chart
"I really don't care. Whoever is the better quarterback during the week should go out and play regardless of Taylor (Martinez) being the starter or not. The worst case scenario is that Taylor (Martinez) gets hurt. We have to rely on Tommy (Armstrong) and me to go out there and work the offense to get a victory. In my opinion, it doesn't really matter to me. I'll be a supporter of anyone who goes out there."
On the importance of the bye week
"I think it's important for people who have little nicks and dings to get healthy, because we're about to be in Big Ten play where it counts. To me, that's the most important thing. It's also important to really study film and correct the mistakes we may have had the previous three games so we can come together as a unit and be one defined team to make a statement in the Big Ten."
Senior Wide Receiver Quincy Enunwa
On the relief in light of events this week
"I don't think it was a relief. I think we knew what needed to happen. We knew that with all the drama and the stress of things going on that we needed to have a good practice. I think that's the relief. Just being able to go practice with our brothers and with our coach. We know our true identity and our true attitude of the team, of the head coach, and of the coaches around him. So we knew we just had to go out there and rally for our coach."
On the biggest difference for him compared to last year
"I think I just kind of took this offseason and told myself that nobody was going to work harder than me. Some of the things I did in the offseason I didn't do before, and it definitely helped me out this year. Like I said before, I got a big confidence boost by becoming a captain, knowing that guys are looking up to me and guys are knowing that I've been doing well and are able to depend on me when it's a tough situation. So that helped me out a lot as well."
On the difference in the rhythm of the offense
"It wasn't much different at all. And that's kind of what we harp on, to always make sure that they're ready. With myself I have (Sam) Burtch behind me who is a reliable backup. So I know that if I'm tired, I can get out for one rep, and he'll come in and do the same thing. With our quarterbacks it was the same situation. You never want to have a backup that's not ready to play. And both of our backup QB's did well today.
On what Quarterback Tommy Armstrong Jr. brings differently offesensively
"I don't know really. I couldn't say that there's anything different. He has his legs and has his arm. He's an athletic QB, and we have an athletic QB at the starting position. It's always great to have one behind him. Ron (Kellogg III) is more of a sit back and throw it deep, and Tommy has more athleticism. He definitely has a confidence with him. When you go out from high school winning all your games and being a great competitor, he kind of brought that over. And that's why we have confidence putting him in because we know he's going to compete."
On the confidence of the offense
"We saw the mistakes we made last week knowing that it was a lot of little things. It wasn't even a big-picture thing, it was just little steps and things like that. We just kind of focused on the bigger things in order to make big plays."
On his evaluation of the offense
"I think our offense is doing pretty well, but we can do a lot better than what we are. There are certain things we can get fixed. We have to look at the film, but I'm happy with where we are because I know that we have a lot of time to improve."
On the importance of today's game
"I don't know. Myself, we tried to stay out of that kind of stuff. Coach Bo told us 'I'll handle it, you guys play football.' And that's exactly what we went out there to do. We didn't want to put any added stress on ourselves, and he didn't want to put any added stress on us. So we just kind of played our game and had fun."
On if the team had more fun
"I try to have fun everyday. There are some guys who can't find the fun sometimes, and I don't blame them. It's hard to find the fun sometimes. I'm glad Coach Bo made it a point to let us have more fun. I think guys definitely had more fun this week. With that day off that we had, we got time to relax and just be regular students. You always need that, especially as a young guy \who isn't used to college. And I think it's going to be a great idea going forward. I think the guys appreciate it."
Redshirt Freshman Quarterback Tommy Armstrong, Jr.
"It felt great. (Head Coach Bo Pelini) told me that I worked hard for it and that Ron (Kellogg III) and I were going to switch out. It was a fun experience for us both. We just went out there and both learned and took it out on the field."
On his first drive
"It all goes back to this summer when coaches were saying we have to capitalize. When our number is called, we always have to set the tone. That's the one thing we did. We set the tone for the defense. We went out there and capitalized on whatever we could do."
On when he heard he'd be starting
"I actually found out over the media by Coach Bo (Pelini). I personally didn't think we were going to know until game day but I was told by Coach (Tim) Beck that they were going to put me out first to set the tempo, run the offense and do the best I could. That's what I was aiming to do."
On if Taylor Martinez gave him any advice
"He just told me to be patient and stay level-headed and run the offense. (He said) don't try to rush the game. (He said) don't try to win the game by myself. Just trust in my teammates and be a leader."
On the deep balls
"It was pretty fun. It was just reads. Reading the safety and buzzing up for the deep ball. At the same time, it was the reads. It wasn't necessarily the deep ball call but it was just the concept of the routes."
On getting hit
"Honestly I probably got touched once or twice. I give credit to all of our offensive linemen. They pretty much gave me a pocket present to step up in and make the good throws and have some good reads."
On the coaches' message to him
"They told me to do what I did in practice. (They also said) to just run the offense and be a leader. (That's the) same as what the older guys have been telling me."
On the huddle
"Back in high school I was one of the young guys that was put in to start. Learning from those guys, like Malcolm Brown and Marquis Anderson. Those guys taught me how to be a leader. Coming up here it wasn't anything new for me to be a young guy and have a bunch of seniors on the offensive line as well as juniors and seniors out wide at receiver."
On commanding players older than him
"We are all a family. We can take criticism from each other. That's just what a team is about. You can't really get emotional when someone tells you 'this is what we are going to do.' It's just the family issue thing with the team. We just have to be able to talk to each other."
On his favorite play
"Honestly I liked every single play that was called. We put Coach (Tim) Beck and the defense in these situations. Our offensive line gave us some protection. We were running the ball. We got four or five yards every time we ran the ball, so that was a good thing."
On his throw to Sam Burtch
"I was pretty much reading the corner. Honestly, we wanted to play the field and that's what we did. He ran a good route and I put the ball there to be catchable. I give all the props to him for coming down with it and being able to catch it."
On today's excitement
"Honestly, I couldn't sleep last night. It was a pretty good experience just coming out and making the coaches happy and doing my thing just because Taylor (Martinez) couldn't play. I think I did a really good job."
On how long he waited for today
"Honestly since I've been here. My whole objective is pretty much to compete to be the No. 1 guy. They told me one day Taylor (Martinez) might go down and I might have to play one game. It may have to happen whenever he leaves. 'Your number can be called at any time, so that has to be the mindset.' You just have to come out and prepare like you are going to play this week."
On giving coaches confidence
"Honestly with all the quarterbacks it's the same. We just have that connection with the offensive line and the offense. It's just certain guys you get along with or have a better connection with. Me, I talk a lot honestly. I like to talk to the offensive line. We go back and forth when things go bad. You just have to be a leader and be able to speak to them. You have to let them know that even though the defense scored, we have to go down there and score. That's pretty much what I was saying out there. They scored right after we did and I told them 'Hey, don't worry about it. We are going to go down and score and (the defense) is going to get a stop.' That's pretty much the mindset about everything."
Senior Cornerback Stanley Jean-Baptiste
On his interception
"That's what we've been working on throughout the week. (South Dakota State) likes being in man. I just anticipated and jumped the route."
On his streak of interceptions
"I'm just trying to keep it going. Hopefully they keep giving me one every game."
On the defense's weaknesses
"(We had) missed assignments. We had a whole bunch of missed assignments and missed tackles. We have to get back to the fundamentals and fix that."
On the bye week plans
"We are going to go back to the basics. (We) are going to do a little more tackling I think and going over more assignments. (We are) trying to get everyone on the right page."
On why there are struggles
"I think everybody is just trying to make a play. (They are) not doing what they have to do. (They are) not playing with the call."
On the killer instinct
"(You can get it) by doing your assignment and trusting that everyone is going to do theirs. (And) knowing that someone is going to make the play."