Nebraska vs. Northwestern
Nebraska Player Quotes
Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013
Senior Cornerback Ciante Evans
On the defensive adjustments
"We basically adjusted to them. (It's) what we were doing all fall camp. We went back and did the basic things we know how to do. We were able to play fast and execute."
On the final play
"I was praying that we'd get the win. I was praying that we'd get to catch it. God deserves all the glory tonight because that was a remarkable catch by (Jordan Westerkamp). I'm just glad we got the win."
On the defensive series before the final drive
"I told the guys, especially the guys up front that we need them. It was a big series. I feel like every series is a big series for us, especially in the second half. We couldn't allow them to score. I told those guys to dig deep and find a way possible to do everything you can to not let these guys get inside."
On if the final play can change the mood of the season
"I think so. I think coming off a loss last week and just fighting. We fought today. We kept fighting. Our backs were against the wall. A win can give motivation. You can't look forward to anything else. We just have to take care of Michigan next week."
On the postgame locker room
"We were just jumping up and down, having fun. The things you would do after winning a game like that. We were just celebrating and having fun. It felt good."
On who was the most vocal after the game
"Everybody. I can't really say anybody. Everyone was just celebrating and having fun. We were celebrating like you would after you win a game like that with a Hail Mary touchdown. It was remarkable."
On when the realization hit him
"It probably hit after we took our prayer. After that final prayer we just said, 'wow, we really just won that game.' Our guys were happy. You can't really describe the feeling. It's just crazy. Guys were happy."
On if he's ever been apart of a game like that
"This is my first. At first I didn't know how to react. I was just running all over the field. It was just crazy because I've never been apart of something like that. It felt good as a team getting that win and grinding it out."
On the defense's mindset
"We were just playing to create some pressure. Teams want to spread you out and have no running back in there to protect, you have to get some pressure so he can't just have unlimited time back there to drop back throwing the ball. We wanted to create a lot of pressure and force those guys into making tough throws. Just go in there with the mindset that you want to get the quarterback. Get off blocks and let's go have fun."
"Going into the game I didn't know we were going to blitz that much. We had a lot of blitz packages set in this week. I didn't know we were going to blitz as much as we did. I think we would've blitzed regardless of who the running back was."
On the defensive play calling
"I thought it was supposed to be something else but (Coach John Papuchis) was like 'no.' It was an outside blitz. I guess he kind of got a feel of what they were doing. It was a great call by him and the defensive staff. If he wants us to do it, we'll continue to do it."
Redshirt Freshman Defensive End Avery Moss
On if his interception was like rebounding a basketball
"That's what a lot of the offensive coaches who recruited me, like Coach (Ron) Brown and Coach (Barney) Cotton said. It's just like hoops when we played. They were talking to me about moving to tight end. (Laughs)"
On his interception
"The lineman had cutblock that play and I remember pushing him down on that play. I was watching the quarterback. I knew he was going to throw it. I just put my hands up and it fell right in."
On what it did for the defense
"It was a morale boost. We all got hyped and after that it got contagious. (Northwestern) couldn't hold us at all. I felt like that took a lot of their momentum away. It was just a good play for us. We just rolled off after that."
On the defensive front switches
"We thought it was better, especially because (Northwestern) was spreading it out at first. It didn't work there. They were just running it up. We couldn't handle it. It was the first time I feel like Randy (Gregory) was playing linebacker. It was hard knowing who we have to read and what to do when we fall back and stuff like that. I think it made it easier to go back to a four-man front and just play football."
On talking with Coach John Papuchis
"He asked us what we thought would be better and we just thought that would be better."
On Vincent Valentine's performance
"We couldn't move into the middle. It was a great presence that he was there. He's too good to block."
On the goal line stand
"It was crazy. We saw the interception go and Coach (John Papuchis) just came up to us and was like 'I know you guys can do this. We are going to get three stops and then we are going to try and stop a field goal. We'll see what happens after that.' Sure enough we came out and gave him three stops. That was a good play that Randy (Gregory) made. We know that he always likes to cut back. Randy played his cutback good and just blasted him."
On the final play
"I immediately just rushed the field. I jumped on the nearest person I could see."
On what he was watching during the play
"I was watching it on the field. It was truly amazing. That's (John Westerkamp). He can catch anything. He was at the right place at the right time."
On if this win can be a boost moving forward
"Especially defensively, we see our capabilities. Like the talent that we have when we put our mind to it. We just feel like we can't be stopped and we need that type of imagery going into Michigan."
On Northwestern running back Treyvon Green
"I felt like we had bits and spurts every now and then. Tonight I think it was our best performance at that. In the first quarter, (Northwestern) was just running all over us. We finally just strapped down and after that I think he had only 50 rushing yards after that. We had clamps on him. Now we just realize what we can do. I think hopefully we can bring that every game."
On what changed
"First, I think it was going from that three-man front back to a four-man front that helped us a lot. We were tired of talking and said we can't have this happen to us again. We have to go. We refused. We did not want to lose at home. Everybody just bulled up and we did it."
Senior Quarterback Ron Kellogg III
On the final play
"What I saw was Ameer Abdullah checked in with the right tackle. I thought I could buy some time over there. And then I noticed that the guy that was on our center went to the left, so I though I could go back inside. I basically wanted to draw as much attention to myself as possible to let those guys get down there, then just heave it."
On the last time he threw a pass that long
"I didn't even know I could throw it that far. But thank God for Jordan Westerkamp. I think everybody busted their butt on that play, so it was great to get a touchdown off of it."
On the crowd's reaction
"It sounded like thunder. People were just in awe when I was running in the opposite direction. I didn't even know what happened. I really don't know. I'm still stunned by it myself."
On practicing the Hail Mary pass
"We mess around with it. Tommy (Armstrong Jr.) and I mess around just heaving the ball trying to hit the goal post. Never do we think that we'd have to do that in a game to win the game. Thank God we were practicing I guess."
On if he was aiming for a specific spot
"Basically I wanted to aim it for Quincy Enunwa so he could tip it. Again, I didn't see who hit it or what happened. I assume Quincy tipped it to Jordan Westerkamp. What a play."
On if he knew he would be the quarterback for the final drive
"No, I didn't know. They told me after their offense kicked a field goal that I was going in. Basically I just wanted to collect my mind and thoughts and pick out who I was going to throw the ball to in a pressure situation. Ameer Abdullah came up big for me. So did Quincy (Enunwa) and Sam Burtch. We practice the two-minute drill every Wednesday and Thursday against our defense, and it helped out today."
On if he was going for a touchdown or a field goal on the final drive
"Yeah, I was thinking field goal, especially when I threw the ball to Quincy (Enunwa) and he dropped it. I figured we would go into overtime."
On the atmosphere of the locker room
"Insane. People are still asking me if I know what I did, and I still don't know. I'll have to look at it on all of your news reports tonight to see what happened."
On the embrace from Taylor Martinez after the game
"He said 'Great play, that was amazing.' And I said 'Yeah, I guess it was.' He said he had faith in me and knew I could do it. I thought Tommy (Armstong Jr.) played a great game today, minus the couple interceptions. But I threw an interception too, so that's something we can fix coming up here Monday."
On how big the final play was for the season
"I think that was huge for our offense and our defense. Especially for the defense. They played a great game today. They made a lot of good stops. It was just difficult for us to get any movement and put points on the board. But after a play like that, it can change the whole momentum of the season. We still have four games left before the Big Ten Championship Game, and we have to win them all. So we just have to keep driving."
On his emotions before the final drive
"I was extremely nervous when (Bo Pelini) said I was going in the game with a minute left. But after talking to Coach Bo (Pelini), he calmed me down a little bit. He said that I've done it before. The two-minute drill is my forte, I guess. They just had faith in me. That's all I needed."
Redshirt Freshman Wide Receiver Jordan Westerkamp
On his perspective of the final play
"We had a huge conversion. Then the clock ran down to four seconds. It's a play at the end of the game. We practice it. Quincy (Enunwa) usually runs down the field and the other guys surround him to get the tip. I just remember all the guys on defense running up to the beginning of the end zone. I'm not sure who tipped it backwards, but someone tipped it back. I was just kind of there by myself, and I was able to make the play. It was a crazy play. Ron (Kellogg III) was able to throw that ball 50 yards in the air."
On what it felt like to make the game-winning catch
"It still really hasn't hit me. It's crazy. It will be a really memorable play. But we'll take it for what it is. Now we have to focus on Michigan."
On when he knew it was a touchdown
"I didn't really know I was fully in the end zone. I just sort of reach backwards. But then after a few seconds the pile came. It was a great team win today."
On if he will celebrate
"Yeah, I'll enjoy it. But the 24-hour rule: enjoy it and move on. Get ready for Michigan. We've got a lot of football left to play."
On his feelings about the catch
"I was happy my family was there and able to see it. I love them, and they're always here to support me. I knew I just had to go right over there to give them all hugs."
On living close to Northwestern
"Being close to there, it was a special game to me. I live very close to Northwestern, so it was a special win."
On if he considered Northwestern
"Yeah, early on. They were probably one of my first offers being from the state. But during the recruiting process when I saw here (Nebraska), it kind of changed things."
On his coaches' predictions
"(Rich Fisher) said that one of us receivers were going to win the game. Make a big play. The last play we thought Quincy (Enunwa) was going to make it, but it got tipped. Like I said, I was just fortunate to be there. It was a routine catch. Just had to catch it and bring it in. It was a great play."
On the game-winning football
"I kept it. I held onto it. It will probably go back home. I'm not sure yet. I haven't really thought about it. But it will be a memorable one."
On his thoughts with the football in mid-air
"I just thought to catch it. Catch it and bring it in. Don't let anybody hit it out."
On Bo Pelini's response
"He just told me 'great catch.'"
On which teammate was the first to congratulate him
"It was Sam Burtch. He was the first one on the dog pile. He said 'I love you.'"
On what this win means for the season
"It's a big team win. Defense played great. Hopefully we'll take all that momentum and bring it back this week to get ready for Michigan."