Nebraska Football
Weekly Press Conference
Memorial Stadium
Pre-Purdue
Monday, Oct. 7, 2013

Junior Wide Receiver Kenny Bell
On the response to his catch
“SportsCenter is the only one that really surprised me. That was kind of cool. College Gameday and SportsCenter are the big ones that surprised me. Kirk Herbstreit showed us some love today. That was cool. I’m not used to that. After the catch I said, ‘Oh my God, the ball’s in my hand.’ I was surprised I caught it. I was just blessed to make the play.”

On how many times he’s seen his catch
“I actually haven’t watched it that many times. We watched it yesterday in film and people have tweeted at me, but I’ve seen more pictures of it than I’ve seen the clip of it.”

On playing the season’s first road game
“It’s going to be a challenge, but it’s going to be fun. I remember my first time going on the road. We went to Wyoming and it was a pretty hostile environment. You get flustered a little bit, but I think we have a lot of guys who are great competitors on both sides of the ball. I’m excited to watch Tommy (Armstrong Jr.) play on the road this week and see how he handles it. I have nothing but confidence in him. He’s one heck of a competitor and one heck of a football player. It’s going to be difficult. You might see us struggle at the beginning of the game with communication. I don’t know if Taylor (Martinez) is going this week or not, but if he’s not, that communication will be a little bit different. We’ve been with Taylor for so long that it’ll take us some time to adjust. I’m looking forward to it. It’ll be nice to get on the road with just the team and go play a football game.”

On the communication challenges
“Sometimes, when you’re on the road, you get a little bit rattled and you don’t remember exactly what you see. It’s a little bit easier at home because we can come to the sideline and tell exactly what we’re seeing and what to expect.”

On facing Purdue instead of Ohio State or Wisconsin
“I respect Purdue as a football team. I think they’re going to give us their best shot along with getting our best shot. We play college football, where anyone can win on any Saturday so I’m not going to say, ‘Thank God we’re playing Purdue and we’re not going into Madison.’ I don’t think it makes a difference at all. We’re going to play a pretty good football team that’s going to give us their best shot. It’s the same as if we were walking into the Big House on Saturday. We have to prepare and get ourselves right before we start worrying about what the stadium or fans are going to be like.”

On playing the first five games at home
“It helps that we got to play at home, especially with the young guys. At the same time, we do wish we could’ve taken a road game. It’s going to be a sharp turn for us now. We’re going on the road two weeks in a row. I’ve never been to Purdue. I don’t know what type of environment it is or what to expect. I’ve been to Minnesota, and it’s a pretty tough place to play. They’re playing good football this year. These two road games we have coming up are going to be a test of how we handle it, because we have some huge road games later down the road. It’s a big week for us. Coach Bo (Pelini) has been harping all week that we have stuff that we have to fix ourselves. We left a lot of football out there on Saturday after watching the film yesterday. It was a fun game. It was a lot of fun to watch the defense Saturday, but we have stuff that we need to improve on. We have a big road game this week.”

On the blocking Saturday
“It was the best blocking day we’ve had as a wide receiving corps since playing Michigan State in 2011. I think it was effort. What we did in our first Big Ten game is something that every team we play is going to watch. It’s our personality and it’s what we want on film as a wide receiving corps. It’s not just about catching the ball; it’s how we do everything. It’s hard to find a wide receiving corps these days that will run 60 yards all the way across the field and block a safety out of bounds and into their sideline. It was what we wanted to see effort-wise.”

On inspiring the team with the blocking
“It’s nice to set the tone a little bit on the perimeter. Our running backs are great at acknowledging it. They come to us on the bench and tell us we had great blocks. That’s all we need. Stuff like that isn’t going to get noticed by the media or people in the stands. They’re not really going to notice a big block by a wide receiver, but that’s not a big deal to us. When we can get a back to go for 225 yards on the ground, we’re pretty proud of it.”

On avoiding a letdown
“You try and prepare like it’s any other week. That’s the same thing we do next week, the week after that and the week after that. We try to find a way to avoid all the outside noise that tells us if we’re playing a great team or not. Like I said earlier, in college football it doesn’t matter who you’re playing. You see it every week. There have been a ton of FCS schools who have won this year. If you don’t prepare the right way during the week, you’re preparing to lose. The way to avoid that is to have a great coaching staff and great guys around you. I think we do. They’re going to get us ready for Saturday. We’re going to keep getting better every week. That’s what we strive to do. We’re going to lay it all out there on Saturday.”

On the defensive progress
“It’s been awesome. The defense is really making strides, and they’re dodging bullets from everyone as they’re going. I love Coach Bo (Pelini) and Coach (John) Papuchis. I think they’re great guys, and I love what they’re doing. We have a young defense, and it was great to see those guys start having fun like they did on Saturday. I loved it. If you watched me, the second we got done making adjustments for offense, I went straight to the sideline right by the defense to cheer them on. Watching our defense play well is a lot of fun. Obviously, I don’t get to watch the offense because I’m usually playing, but I enjoyed watching our defense fly around and make plays like that on Saturday. I was proud of those guys. They played one heck of a football game. Obviously, there were mistakes and letdowns because no one plays perfect football. But when you have 11 guys flying around, hooting and hollering and having a good time, it’s fun to watch. It’s contagious. Hats off to the defense this week. They inspired the offense and let us have a great game. They gave us some good field position. They made some big plays, including that fumble. That was a great play by Ciante (Evans). It’s fun to watch our defense operate when they’re doing well and bringing energy to the football field. It really complements our offense well.”

On blocking a safety
“It’s tough because you can have a rule that says you need to go block someone across the field, and then Ameer (Abdullah) or Tommy (Armstrong Jr.) cut back the other way and my man makes the tackle. That can be frustrating, but I trust their instincts and their vision. The cool thing about that is if you bust your rump and go get the guy you’re supposed to, there’s a good chance that Ameer (Abdullah) will make a cut off of you. On Ameer’s long run, Quincy (Enunwa) did a great job blocking. I think Cethan (Carter) was over there too. I was coming across the field to get the safety, but our pulling guard got him so I turned back on the corner. I knocked him down, and it just happened that Ameer cut back right where I blocked the guy. That’s the beauty of it. There’s nightmares to it, too. On Imani Cross’ fumble, I went in there to get the safety and I got him. If I wouldn’t have gotten him, I could have jumped on the fumble, so there’s good and bad to it. You just have to keep working hard.”