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Head Coach Bo Pelini Quotes
Courtesy: NU Media Relations
11/25/2013
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Nebraska Football
Weekly Press Conference
Monday, Nov. 25, 2013 (Memorial Stadium)
Pre-Iowa

Opening Statement
“We’re preparing for the last week and the last regular season game. This will be the last game and we’ll honor 23 seniors plus three guys that have gone on or are going on medical in (Donovan) Vestal, (Tyler) Wullenwaber and (Walker) Ashburn. So that will be 26 guys that have given a lot to the program. Hopefully we can honor them by beating a very good Iowa football team. (They are) a team that we have a lot of respect for. I have a lot of respect for their coaching staff. They do a really good job. They are a sound group. They play hard. (They are a) well-coached football team.”

On the senior class
“They’ve meant a lot to me. It’s a good group. Guys have done a lot. Won a lot of football games. I think 16 of them are fifth-year seniors. Obviously when you spend a lot of time with guys you appreciate them and it’s a good group.”

On Taylor Martinez’s career
“I think he’s had a helluva career. He’s broken a lot of records. He’s done some great things. He has nothing to hang his head about. You can’t say enough about him and what he’s done. He’s been through a lot. I don’t think he was appreciated as much as he probably should’ve been while he’s been here. I think that’s to be said. I think it’s unfortunate the way this year has played out for him and I feel for him.”

On why Martinez hasn’t been appreciated enough
“I don’t know. You guys answer that question. I really don’t know.”

On if Ron Kellogg III will get the start on Friday
“We’ll see how the week plays out.”

On his contact with Martinez
“I see him every day.”

On how he decides whether or not to take Martinez on road trips
“We need bodies. We’ve been probably more beat up than any football team I’ve ever been around. We’re able to bring some guys because you get exemptions. Taylor still has a chance to play in the bowl game. His (injury) isn’t a season-ending injury, so you can’t get an exemption for him. If we could afford to bring even 69 guys, we need every able body right now. His situation is a little bit different.”

On what makes him think Martinez might be able to play in the bowl game
“I don’t know. I can’t look into a crystal ball and figure that out. There’s a chance. Yeah. There’s a chance he could play in the bowl game.”

On if Martinez could play this week
“No. I don’t think so. Not right now. He’s not healthy enough right now. The bowl game would be a long ways away. There’s a lot of weeks between now and then.”

On Tommy Armstrong’s status
“Questionable.”

On depth
“I know you can never have enough. That’s what I’ve learned. The thing that’s been odd for us is that it seems when you get hit at a spot it’s been one spot. Like you said, the defensive line a year ago. This year offensive line and wide receiver. If it’s spread across your football team, it’s a little easier to manage. When it’s one spot, especially with the way we’ve been hit on the offensive line the last couple weeks, it’s difficult. I think it will bode well for us for the future because it gives guys opportunities to get in there, grow, play and gain some experience. I think our offensive staff have done a remarkable job of managing ourselves through it. Really there’s been a lot of guys that have stepped up and really done a nice job. You have to give a lot of guys credit where credit is due. There’s some young guys that have stepped in and done a really nice job.”

On this week’s schedule
“We’ll have a meal for them on Thanksgiving. We kind of have that meal on Wednesday and the day before on Thanksgiving Day we kind of stick with what we would normally feed them as far as pregame meal and the day before and all of that.”

On the personal foul call from Ameer Abdullah’s run on Saturday
“I looked at the film. All I can say is we all make mistakes. That was an unfortunate one.”

Reporter: “Did you submit that in to the Big Ten?”
Pelini: “I did.”
Reporter: “Any response back from the league?”
Pelini: “That’s between me and the league. I’m not talking about that. That’s over.”

On if he’s ever seen a call like that
“Unfortunately, I’ve seen it all.”

On the less-recognized seniors
“We’re a team. Every young man that walks out there on Saturday has given a lot to this program. Made a lot of sacrifices. Worked their tails off. We don’t distinguish. Just because your name is in the paper doesn’t make you any more important than anybody else. They’ve all given their heart and soul to this program and will be recognized as so.”

On Iowa
“They’re a physical football team. They are well coached and in all areas of the game. They are sound in what they do. It’s nothing fancy. They execute. They are very fundamentally sound. It exudes the fact that they are a well-coached football team. They are very sound in what they do. I have a lot of respect for them. (Coach Kirk Ferentz) is obviously a guy that’s been known for his offensive coaching. (Defensive Coordinator) Phil Parker, I have as much respect for him as I do for any coach out there. These guys do a good job and their players play the right way. It’s a tough group. It’s a physical group. And they are very well coached.”

On Iowa Offensive Coordinator Greg Davis
“He’s had some success against us too. He’s a good coach like I said. His guys are physical. They play hard. They are a well-coached group. With Iowa and with most good football teams, it starts with the running game. They are good at it. They are well-coached at it. They do a lot of things offensively that are somewhat similar to what we saw last week. There’s obviously some differences and some other wrinkles and things. I think they’ll learn a lot from watching our film from last week and we have to be ready to make adjustments. They are always going to throw in a couple new wrinkles and new routes and that type of thing. It will be a good challenge for us.”

On Mike Moudy’s status
“I think it’s a possibility. Probably doubtful, but you never know.”

On the offensive line coaches
“I think they’ve done a great job. The players have responded. It hasn’t been easy to practice. That’s been a difficult aspect of it, especially because we like to practice two groups. There’s guys that have to play have to practice in multiple spots. It’s hard to get a good rhythm going. It’s been a challenge. It has. But I think our guys have worked through it. Like I said, I think Coach (Tim) Beck and the staff have done a really good job as far as managing that. It’s not an easy thing to manage. And really the same can be said at the wide receiver spot. That has not been easy in itself. Guys have been banged up. At that spot, it’s hard. It wears down on your legs. There’s some guys that can’t take as many practice reps. You look at a guy like Sam Burtch and Quincy (Enunwa). We actually had to sit Quincy last week and force him to take some time off because I think he was getting a little leg wear. That puts notice on some other guys. It’s not the ideal situation. I’ll put it that way.”

On the rumor of resignation
“A couple of the older guys came to me and talked to me about it. I wasn’t even aware of it at the time. I said, ‘Yeah absolutely I’ll address it.’ That was the most craziest thing I’ve ever seen. It’s not even worth talking about that somebody would go down that road. A grown man who would go down that road and the way it came out. The way I saw it come out. He ought to be ashamed of himself. That’s just too bad in this day in age that you can’t hold someone accountable for acting like that and doing something like that.”

On Abdullah’s status
“He’s had to deal with some pain. Sometimes you wonder why he had to come out a couple times. It was biting at him. We’ve had to manage it a little bit. He’s done a really good job. I’ve said it. Ameer is a warrior. Come game time, he’s going to be ready to go. He has not been 100 percent. And that’s been going on for weeks.”

On him coming back in after limping on Saturday’s game
“We communicate well and I said, ‘Are you O.K.?’ You can see he might just need a second to deal with it and go back. He’s not going to go back in if he doesn’t feel he can do the job and be who he is. He’s a tough kid and a mentally tough kid. You have to be mentally tough, not just physically tough, but mentally tough to do what he does every week in and week out. He’s a pretty special player.”

On injuries
“Not these types of injuries. These are ligaments and structural things. Some things you just can’t control. Like I said, I’ve been around the game long enough to know there’s some things that are just a little bit out of your control. Freak of nature. Something that is just part of the game that you have to deal with. It’s unfortunate. Believe me, if there’s something I thought we could prevent, you take every step to prevent it. We have however many MCL injuries in the last month. These are the same knee braces everyone is in across the country. Things happen. If anything these knee braces do a good job of preventing them from being any worse. It’s an unfortunate part of the game, but it’s part of the game.”

On reviewing this season with Director of Athletics Shawn Eichorst
“No he hasn’t (given me a timetable). Shawn has a process he goes through. I have respect for that process. And I expect everyone else to have respect for that process. As far as I’m concerned, it’s business as usual. It’s a short week. I’m just concerned with football. That’s all I’m worried about.”

On the possibility of winning nine or 10 games
“For me, no, it’s not satisfactory. I expect to win them all. Our goal will remain as long as I’m head football coach here to win a conference title and a national title. I’m not into looking for reasons why or make excuses or anything else. That being said, I like our football team. I think we’ve overcome a lot. I’m proud of this group. It’s not for lack of effort or lack of toughness. Am I happy with being 8-3? No. I’d be lying if I told you I was. If you ask anybody in our locker room, they’d tell you the same thing. We have high goals and those goals will remain high and the standards will remain high as long as I’m the head football coach.”

On what people think
“That’s for other people to decide. I’m not going to sit there and go down that road. The situation is what it is and I let people decide for themselves.”

On changes the offseason
“I think there’s some things as you go. You make notes as you go along. You sit there and look at things. I like the direction of this program. I like where we are. I think that the future is bright. I think we are very close. I really do. If there’s some things I think we will tweak along the way, I’ll worry about when the season is over and into the offseason and work on some things that I think will make us better.”

On changes he has in mind
“Not that I want to share right now.”

On the threshold of 10 wins
“Our goal is to win championships. Period. End of story. That’s not going to happen this year, so our goal is the next game. Our next game is Iowa and we are going to do everything we possibly can to win that football game. I’ll worry about other things when the time comes.”

On moving the football against Iowa
“We’ll run our offense and execute well. They are a well-coached team. It’s a good defense. We’ll have our work cut out for us. Are we going to try and recreate the wheel in five days? No. We’re not going to do that. We’re going to do what we do. I think we’ve done a pretty good job of moving the football around here. We’re going to have our work cut out for us and have some young guys in there in a number of spots. You can’t outthink yourself in a situation like this. At the same time, you have to give yourself enough bullets in the gun to give yourself an opportunity to play the best you can.”

On Jeremiah Sirles
“He’s a special guy. He has tremendous character. He’s a leader. I can’t say enough about him. Forget about football and everything else. He’s going to have a lot of success in his life. He’s a pretty special guy who comes from a tremendous family. You can’t say enough about him. The way he’s been in the community, the way he’s been in the locker room, the way he’s played football for us. He’s a pretty special human being.”

On Ron Kellogg III
“I think the beautiful thing about Ron is he’s the ultimate team guy. I’ve said it before. He’s meant a lot. He has tremendous energy. He has a great attitude. He’s what in this day in age is a tremendous team guy. Obviously he’s always wanted to play. He always kept a great attitude. He’s always helping the younger guys. He’s done everything he can with whatever role we’ve asked him to do. He’s done everything he can to help this team move forward. There’s a lot to be said for that. He’s a pretty special guy.”

On his favorite recruiting story from this senior class
“I’d have to think about that. You put me on the spot. We were laughing about it a week ago. When I went to see Ciante (Evans), he had a neighbor down in Dallas – and this is just one that comes to my mind – a neighbor who was a big Nebraska fan. Obviously almost anywhere you go, you are going to find someone in the neighborhood that’s almost knows you are coming to do your home visit and is there. I think Ciante had told me he had a neighbor that was a pretty big Husker fan. I was walking up the driveway and I think I was with Coach (Tim) Beck. It seems that every time I’m with Coach Beck, something really weird happens. I was walking up the driveway and it was kind of dark. It was like 6:30 or 7 o’clock. I look in the corner of my eye and I see this guy coming through the bushes. He had his Nebraska stuff on and just wanted to wave. I was a little frightened for a second. So I go in and we are doing our home visit. And we get to talking and I’m with Ciante and his family and whoever else was there that day. And they are like, ‘Coach, there’s a guy--’ and I said, ‘I think I met that guy. I think he was outside your house.’ And they said, ‘He would love to come over and get a picture with you.’ So I said, ‘Yeah, call him up. That’s no problem.’ So they start calling his number and he doesn’t answer. The phone rings, he doesn’t answer, doesn’t answer. I was sitting there like, ‘Maybe he left or whatever.’ And somebody said, ‘Let’s go walk over and see if he’s home.’ And we open the door and there he is. He and his family. I can’t remember who he was with. When you go on the road, you find out how widespread the passion is in this program. You really develop an appreciation for it. It’s almost anywhere you go. You are going to find someone who works in a school in the neighborhood. It might be a janitor. You just don’t know. The passion is kind of what you would expect at this place.”

On managing this week’s distractions
“I think we’ve handled it pretty well. We’ve had success on this date. It will be a good challenge for us. I like our schedule and how we are handling it. It’s a short week, but it’s a short week for Iowa too. It’s nice to be at home because it’s nice to be home on Thanksgiving. At the end of the day it should be a heckuva football game.”

On what Kellogg said to him after his first touchdown pass
“I don’t know.”

Reporter: “He said something like ‘Keep feeding me the ball?”
Pelini: “What did you tell me, Ron? Speak of the devil. He just walked in. What did you tell me after you threw that first touchdown pass?”
Kellogg: “Keep giving me the football.”
Pelini: “And I said, ‘Keep throwing touchdowns, brotha.’”

On if it’s hard to believe this is the final regular-season football game already
“Maybe for you. It seems like this season has been about 10 years old to me. You get wrapped up in it. In ways it goes quick. In ways it’s been going on. One thing that’s been different and I think it’s going to be that way next year too is the two bye weeks kind of really makes the season go long in some ways. I think it’s the same next year. I don’t know whether that’s going to be the way of college football. I’m glad for it this year but it sure feels more like an NFL season than a college season. It is what it is and we’ll deal with whatever the schedule makers go with.”

On the offensive line’s injuries
“They are phenomenal kids. I can’t say enough about the character of those kids and the leadership they bring. How they’ve grown and men, and to me that’s most important. From Spencer (Long) to Cole (Pensick). You go right down the list to (Brent) Qvale and really throughout that whole senior class. There’s a lot of young men in that class. (Andrew Rodriguez). There are a lot of guys in that class that have come a long way in a lot of different ways that will never be talked about. There’s a lot of things that have happened behind the scenes where they’ve grown. As a coach, that’s where my satisfaction comes from. Not just what they’ve done in the football program or what we’ve done for them in the football program but through Life Skills and Dennis Leblanc in Academics. What this place does, I think it shows what we do as a program and as an athletic department works when you look at these guys and the way they’ve grown since the time they’ve gotten here to the time they’ve left. In the end, that’s the most important thing.”

On Pat Smith
“I knew he was accurate. But no, there were some things we had to learn along the way. I’m really happy for Pat. It’s not easy to do what he did. To make that decision to come in and compete for a job. It’s not easy and I’m happy for him. That was tremendous moment that he’ll remember for a long, long time.”

On if Mauro Bondi needed competition
“Yes. I think competition brings out the best in everybody.”

On the future of the program under his leadership
“I don’t really concern myself with that. I’m not coaching to save my job or anything else. At the end of the day, I want to be here. And I want to be here if they want me here. If they don’t and somebody doesn’t want me here – and I’m not saying Shawn does or doesn’t or whatever – if they don’t want me here, then I’ll move on. I’ll go on my way. Until that day happens, I’m going to do everything I can and everything in my power to make this football team the best football team I can.”

On if his case for progress in the future is strong
“That’s not for me to decide. I can say this. I can look myself in the mirror every night and feel good about what I’ve done for this program.”

On the coin flip confusion in overtime
“There was not confusion. They came over and talked to me about it. I thought that conversation went on for a while too and I started to get concerned. I don’t know if you noticed. I started to walk out there and make sure because I knew we had won the toss.”

Reporter: “Fans were kind of having a mini panic attack.”
Pelini: “Well so was I. Because I had just talked to the referees about it. It seemed like the conversation was going on for a while. I think they were just explaining it to the players. I think it ended up being about what end of the field we were going to be playing on. At the end of the day, it worked out the way we wanted it to work out.”

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