Photo by Scott Bruhn/Nebraska Communications

Ben Cotton Quotes

By NU Athletic Communications

Nebraska Football
Weekly Press Conference
Memorial Stadium (Lincoln, Neb.)
Monday, Nov. 26, 2012
Pre-Wisconsin (Big Ten Championship)

On lessons learned from 2010 championship game
“Not settling until you hear that final whistle. I think we got up by so much so quickly that I think we kind of took our foot off the peddle and we didn’t finish that game. Oklahoma won three-and-a half quarters of that game. We won half a quarter, but they won the other three-and-a half and that’s why they were the victors. I think that’s something that we have to keep in the back of our minds. We have to keep our foot down no matter what happens, no matter what the score is, no matter who’s winning at any given point in that game.”

On what the coaches have said in the last couple days
“We’re still going to finish cleaning up the stuff that we had happen on Friday and we’ll move right on to Wisconsin. A lot of guys have already started watching film. I think a lot of these guys aren’t too worried about things that have happened in the past. We’re trying to treat this just like the next game, not trying to get too excited, too fired up or anything. The mistakes that we had the last time that we played Wisconsin, a lot of guys were extremely excited, extremely psyched up and I think it kind of dulled us down at the beginning of that game until we were able to settle in and be who we really are.”

On the impact of the conditions at the Iowa game on Taylor Martinez
“He did really well, I thought. He spent extra time before warm ups, during warm ups, trying gloves, trying sleeves, trying no sleeves, trying to find what balls were going to be his best balls for the game plan that we had. I thought he did a very good job of executing that. When you’ve got conditions like that, when you aren’t able to practice with him like that all week long, it’s hard to predict what can happen. Taylor did a great job of doing what he could to prepare once we realized the conditions we were going to be playing in.”

On what it says about the team that they’re playing in the Big Ten Championships after their second year in the conference
“I think that’ll depend on how the game goes on Saturday. We can better answer that question once the game’s over.”

On the importance of finishing out the season strong on Saturday
“We’ve kind of taken the attitude each week that everything we’ve been able to do, everything that we’ve been able to accomplish so far won’t mean anything without a win on Saturday. I think that, especially as a group of seniors and the guys that have been a part of this on this team, we’ve realized that each win became more important. Each week, the stakes have gone up and it truly has. This is the highest they’re going to get and I think we’re going to do everything we can this week to make sure that we’re properly prepared to play our best game on Saturday.”

On Wisconsin’s weaker second half of the season, as opposed to Nebraska’s stronger half and who gets an advantage going into Saturday’s game
“I think regardless of who it gives the advantage to, it gives both teams experience. We’re both going to know how to handle a situation through successes and failures. I think it just adds to how good of a game it’s going to be.”

On the extra days the team got this week
“I think a lot of guys used it to spend a lot of extra time watching film, both of our previous game against Iowa and our game against Wisconsin earlier in the year and then some of their more recent games. You can see a lot of drastic improvement by them. They’ve come a long way, also. A lot of guys, I think, mainly use it to catch up on sleep. Try to stay off your feet as much as you can so you can let your body rest. This is week 14 and that can take its toll on your body a little bit, so to have that extra day, I think it was a huge benefit for us.”

On if Wisconsin’s defense is similar to Ohio State’s
“In some areas, yeah. Every team plays different percentages of coverage, different percentages of blitz. They both use their best players, their assets very well.”

On how Wisconsin played on Saturday
“I know, offensively for them, they’ve really come around, especially running the football. They’re running the football a lot like we saw last year. They’ve done a lot of good things on defense. No matter who’s in the game for them, though, they’ve been playing a number of guys maybe due to injury or rotation stuff, but they’re playing hard and they’re very clued in to what they’re supposed to be doing. They’re very assignment-sound, it seems like and we know we’re gonna get their best game they’ve played yet on Saturday, like we can hope we can give them.”

On Wisconsin linebacker Chris Borland
“We, as an offense, have a lot of respect for him. I think No. 53 (Mike Taylor) is their other linebacker and they’re extremely, extremely active. Always around the football, always around the pile, always in on the tackle. Those guys, I think they stand out as leaders for that defense. They really step up when plays need to be made and make a lot of plays in space. Those guys are extremely, extremely active and I remember that from playing them last year, playing them this year. They’re to very good, solid leaders for that team.”

On the running game’s trouble against Iowa
“They just caught us and made some good adjustments to the things that we were doing. We needed to kind of see how they were adjusting before we could adjust. I think we made some good adjustments at halftime. It was kind of like one of our games earlier this year. We’re kind of like a ticking time bomb. We just needed a drive to explode a little bit and it was finally good that we got Rex (Burkhead) in the end zone.”

On the impact of Justin Jackson’s injury on the Iowa game
“I think all three of our centers, between Justin, Cole (Pensick) and Mark (Pelini), they all are good on their feet. With Cole and Mark, they also play some guard at times, whether we need them to at practice or, if the occasion were to arise in games, if Mark needed to be over there, but Cole does play a lot of guard too. They’re both very good on their feet, just like Justin is. I don’t think we drop off much at all, no matter who we have in the game there. We’re just as confident with Pensick and Pelini at center for us.”

On having Rex Burkhead back
“I think it’s nice just to know that he’s added back into our arsenal of weapons that we’re going to try and use. When you’ve got Rex, Ameer (Abdullah), Braylon (Heard), Imani (Cross), Andy (Janovich), C.J. (Zimmerer), all those guys in the back field, whether it be fullback or running back, it makes things easier. I’m sure Coach (Tim) Beck would agree that it makes play calling a lot easier when you’ve got that stable of running backs that he can use.”


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