Weekly Press Conference
Monday, Nov. 11, 2013 (Memorial Stadium)
On the offensive line injuries and him having to step up
“I put a lot of pressure on myself regardless of the situation. Guys know that they have to be ready. They have been stepping up and couldn’t be any happier.”
On this weekend’s game
“Every game is big. But this game is big because they lead the division and we need to beat them to move on and do what we want to do.”
On the importance of the final drive on Saturday for Tommy Armstrong Jr.
“I’m sure it can do wonders for his confidence. I don’t seem as a young guy anymore, he’s been playing all season. He does an excellent job. He isn’t a young guy anymore, he’s a leader. He knows how to handle himself in situations. He (Tommy Armstrong Jr.) and Ron (Kellogg III) have done an excellent job on and off the field of keeping the team together.”
What has impressed him about Tommy Armstrong Jr.
“He’s a vocal leader. He says the right things when they need to be said. He leads by example. He has everything you want from a good quarterback, and more.”
On Michigan State’s defense
“I’m looking forward to it. Every time we play Michigan State it’s a fist-fight. Those guys are tough. They are a great defensive bunch. They are very sound and talented. We’ve gotten the best of them last two years. We need to watch film, find their weaknesses and try to exploit it.”
On does he need to say anything to the team
“I don’t like to hype up a situation or downplay a situation more than it is. It’s another game and every game you should have some type of motivation no matter who you’re playing or what the circumstance is. Obvisouly this is a big game – with the division - but we have two games after this. You can’t think that this is make or break. Work hard in the film room. Work throughout the week and earn it.”
On the option as part of the offense
“We check to it in certain situations. Coach (Tim) Beck is doing a fine job of checking to it when we need to.”
On the chemistry with Tommy Armstrong Jr.
“Each running back and quarterback works with each other. We get a lot of reps. It things that you do so when the game comes around, its second nation.”
On if he should be an All-American
“That’s great, it’s cool. There are a lot of running backs that are deserving, including in this conference. At the end of the day, like my dad always tells me – it only takes one team to like you. It’s not about the accolades you earn in college. It’s all about what you can control. I can’t control what people in the media vote for. It’s all about the next game.”
On if he looks at stats
“It’s just numbers. A lot of people see stats for a running back, but for me it’s about the team. Look at the o-line, the receiving corps and the fullbacks that are under appreciated, guys like Andy Janovich and C.J. Zimmerer. They never get their names in the highlights, it’s always me, Imani (Cross) and Tommy (Armstrong Jr.). That is something that goes unnoticed and you can’t hold yourself above anyone else. Football is the ultimate team sport. Without all 11 players working together on the field, nothing can be achieved."
On bullying and hazing
“I haven’t been in that situation. Especially at Nebraska. There are guys from California, Texas and I’m from Alabama. We are family-oriented here.”
On the coaching staff making sure that doesn’t happen
“One thing I really appreciate our coaching staff is that they aren’t just coaches, they are like fatherly figures. You can confide in them or vent to them if there is something going on in your personal life.”
On the team taking Bo Pelini’s personality
“Coach Bo has been though a lot during his coaching career. At the end of the day we always pop up in shape. Coach (Ron) Brown always says to be like a rubber ball and not a piece of paper. When you crumble a piece of paper it stays crumbled, but when you squeeze a rubber ball it pops back to shape. We want to be rubber balls here at Nebraska.”
On his family
“My father and mother are great people, humble people. I’m the youngest of nine kids, so I had to earn what I got. I appreciate everything I got. My brothers and sisters are my biggest supporters, always pushing me to be the best. I come from a successful family, I have lawyers in my family, future physicians. It pushes me to be the best.”
On your message before the final drive
“I told them we owed it to the defense. They were playing their butts offense. We were going 3-and-out and that’s not our job. Our job is to move the ball, change field position and scoring points. I just reminded them who we are. That last drive was a testament of what our offense is.”