Nebraska Football
Weekly Press Conference
Monday, Nov. 18, 2013 (Memorial Stadium)
Pre-Penn State

On the turnovers
“I thought I prepared the right way, I just didn’t hold onto the ball. We made little mistakes here and there, and most of those were my fault. I have to take the blame for it. I just have to take care of the football. You can’t win the game when you have turnovers.”

On the first turnover happening so quickly
“It got to me a little bit, but at the same time you just have to move on to the next play. Our defense got us some stops, we just have to control our own destiny. I felt like we were in control the whole game, we just shot ourselves in the foot and gave them points. That’s how it was the whole game. Up front, we created blocks for Ameer (Abdullah) and we were in control the whole game. But when you have five turnovers, you can’t expect to win the game against a team like that.”

On the fumbled snap
“It was my fault. I got a little antsy with it and pulled out a little bit before the snap because we were on the 1-yard line and I was trying to get the ball to Ameer (Abdullah). I just can’t do that. I have to stay in there and trust in my teammates.”

On his nerves before the game
“I treated it like any other game. I feel like I prepared the right way and my teammates prepared the right way, so I don’t know what happened. We just did our thing, but when you have five turnovers, you can’t expect to win the game. Most of those were my fault, and I take the blame for them. Our team just has to move on to the next week and prepare for Penn State. That game is a game we can’t look back on now. We just have to finish strong.”

On Michigan State’s defense
“People say they’re the No. 1 defense in the country, but at the same time, we have a great offense. We showed that, but at the same time, we can’t have turnovers. We put up 182 yards rushing, and they don’t allow that too much. We just have to hold onto the football. That’s what killed us.”

On his past experiences with a lot of turnovers
“That’s something I have to work on. I haven’t really gotten to the point where things are spinning out of control like that, but that’s my fault. College is totally different from high school, and those are some of the bumps and bruises I’m going to have to get over as a quarterback here. Those are some things I’m going to have to work on.”

On the coaches’ confidence in him
“My teammates and my coaches trust me, and that’s something I have to live up to. These guys trust me no matter what. Imani (Cross) sent me a text message a few days ago saying, ‘It doesn’t matter if you’re a quarterback who throws 100 touchdowns and zero interceptions or one who throws zero touchdowns and 100 interceptions. We’re still going to trust you, and we’re still going to have your back.’ That touched me a lot and told me that no matter what the outcomes of our games are, I know my teammates trust me and have my back. No matter what goes on, they’re going to be there for me. It helps me move on and helps me focus on next week.”

On the speed of the game for him
“It’s not moving too fast at all. I just have to hold on to the football. I have to put the ball on my receivers. I saw everything and made the right reads here and there, I just had to put the ball on Kenny (Bell). Maybe I should have thrown to (Sam) Burtch. At the same time, I have to put the ball on my receivers. If my coach wants me to run it, I’ll run it.”

On working on ball security
“It’s about having the right mindset in practice and working on option drills more seriously. I have to make sure I lock the ball here and there and run more physical. I just have to make sure I hold onto the football.”

On being prepared for Penn State’s crowd
“I think I’m ready for it. Michigan was loud, but at the same time, I know how to key into the game and stay focused on what I’m doing. I need to communicate with my offensive line and my receivers, but I feel like it’s going to be a great game and I think we’re going to do well.”

On being too hard on himself
“I can be too hard on myself sometimes, but that’s part of being a leader. It’s something I need to fix sometimes.”

On having someone to talk to after a bad game
“Honestly, I talk to my roommates and my dad and my mom called me. Sometimes it’s just good to talk through things with them because they’ve been there with me through tough times and they’ve been through good times with me. Sometimes, it’s not about having a good game or bad game, it’s how you respond. That’s what I did last week for Michigan State, and we thought it was going to be a close game. We have to fix what happened and try going from there. We just have to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”  

On getting any advice from Joe Ganz or Taylor Martinez
“They just told me, ‘Hey, it happens. You’re going to have a bad game, but at the same time, you have to respond the right way.’ Mistakes killed us. Most of those start with me, and I have to fix that. Most people say it’s part of being a freshman, but no matter what year you are in the game, you have to protect the ball.”

On getting help from Taylor Martinez
“He hasn’t really told me anything, but I’ve seen him respond to the critics. It helps because he’s been there and done that.”

On the team’s motivation the rest of the season
“We want to finish strong. Last week is last week. We have two more games and then a bowl game against whoever they put up against us. We’re going to prepare the right way for them.”