Nebraska Football
Weekly Press Conference
Nebraska vs. Kansas State Game

Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2004

Head Coach Bill Callahan
Opening Statement:

"For players of the game against Baylor, we gave game balls to the entire offensive unit for their performance. On defense, Stewart Bradley only played a half of football, but he was the MVP of Saturday’s game and well-deserving of it. He did an excellent job for the time he was in there for the first half. He created a lot of havoc, a lot of TFLs, and generated a lot of big plays early in that game against Baylor. On special teams, Brandon Jackson; when you look at his all-purpose yardage from Saturday’s game, you see the emergence of a young player, not only as a running back, but as a quality special teams player and returner for us as well. He created a lot of positive field position for us in that game."

"Scout team player of the week on offense – we gave it to Joey Ganz, the young quarterback who continues to develop. He continues to improve on a weekly basis. There are bright signs for his future – positive signs in every respect when you watch him practice and prepare our defense. Our defensive scout team player of the week was Andy Kadavy, a linebacker who has contributed on special teams and served in a backup role."

"We’ve watched three days of film, and I can say we’re very impressed in every aspect of [Kansas State’s] play. They are a quality football team. They have depth at each position, and they play an outstandingly physical game. Everything about their presence on the field captures your attention, not only from an offensive standpoint, but from a defensive perspective. They are the best defense we’ve seen to date in terms of their physicalness, strength, talent, size. They have the full package, so we’re going to be well-tested as we go down to Manhattan. We’re excited about the challenge and the opportunity to get back to work today."

On why Kansas State has struggled this season:
"Watching the film and looking at their record, their record is not indicative of their performance. They’re a very well-coached team. They’re very athletic, and the game is going to come down to two or three plays during the course of any contest that’s going to be highly competitive. They’re a couple plays away just like we are, and the thing that stood out in my mind that was so impressive was the way they competed against the No. 1 team in the country. You watch their players and their level of competition elevate to that level. It challenges you, and that’s what you see on film. You see an equalness there in the way they play the game. They’re a very good team, and we’ll be up for the challenge."

On preparing for Kansas State quarterbacks:
"I think the big thing is that we continue to improve on our pass coverages in terms of the deep ball. We’re going to have to play the vertical ball this week. They’re a team that likes to feature the vertical stretch, and they’re going to stretch the field. They’re going to try to get three or four receivers down the field and stretch you out, try to find the one-on-one match-ups they want to go to. In that regard, we’re going to have to be well-schooled and compete for balls in flight down the field. That’s the biggest improvement we have to attain this week as we go down to Manhattan and play the Wildcats. They’re a good pass offense. When they get a hot hand, they can do some damage, and they’ve been known for their ability to stretch the vertical."

On sensing a rivalry between Nebraska and Kansas State:
"I have followed this game from afar for many years. I know the level of competition between the two schools, and especially within the division. Whenever you get into divisional competition, every game takes on increasing importance. Everything becomes more magnified as the race becomes tighter. This is an opportunity for our team to reach some of the goals we set at the beginning of the year, and it all happens within the division. Within our little division here, we have some great teams. Despite what the records show, there are quality football teams in this division. You look at teams like Kansas State, and it’s amazing to me that you look at the record and watch the film, and it doesn’t match. It certainly doesn’t match, and I’m sure their team feels that way as well. We have to continue to improve, and we’re not so worried about what they do or what rivalry is. We have to be prepared mentally and physically for this game."

On Kansas State Coach Bill Snyder:
"He’s a great coach. He’s put a number of players in the National Football League. Scouts have gone through there a lot of times and spoken highly of their team. I know a lot of people who have worked with Coach Snyder personally and have nothing but great things to say about him and his program."

On the importance of the four-game stretch:
"Every game is big. I think our players understand, and we have reminded them about what’s important and what our goals are, so there’s a constant reminder of where we are and what our goals are. That never changes. We’re always focused in on what we have to get done and the goals we’re trying to achieve. You try to make a big deal out of every game. This program is renowned for being in big games. We want to be in big games. This will be an exciting weekend for our team, and we need to rectify some of the road errors we displayed a couple of weeks ago. It will be a great challenge for us to go back on the road and see if we can meet that challenge."

On I-back Cory Ross returning punts:
"We’re looking at that closely. We still have a great amount of confidence in [Santino Panico’s] ability to catch the ball and field the ball, and obviously we’ve changed a little bit of our return game in that respect. But if Cory is ready and able to go, we’re certainly going to utilize him."

On breaking the season into quarters:
"Our expectation is to win each quarter. We broke it down into the four quarters, and in our first two, we ended up 2-1. We’re now entering the third quarter, the second half of the season. We’re just trying to focus in on what we need to do for that particular phase of the season and how we improve and get better and work and where our focus lies as we go on the road and play at home. We try to bring up the importance of those small details of the schedule and give some insight to our players as to what could occur and what could happen within the divisional race and how we can meet our goals. That’s something we’ve always done and will continue to do."

On Kansas State’s offense:
"I think the key is everything, not only (Darren) Sproles, but their ability to push the ball down the field vertically in the passing game. That will be a huge test for our back end. As you look at last Saturday’s game, we need to improve that phase of our coverage element as we continue to mix man and zone coverages. The other key for us is to put points on the board on the road. This will be a contest where you’re facing a defense that’s pretty stingy. Even though the numbers don’t reflect that, what we see on film is quality defensive backs, quality coverage schemes, and a strong front four that can generate a pass rush that forces you to get the ball out of your hands quicker than you want to. All those things – it’s not just going to come down to one player."

On the number of players on the field during pre-game warm-ups:
"What we really wanted to focus in on was trying to get the players who are going to play in the game warmed up and get them heated up so they can perform. We want them to have the necessary time to get prepared for the game. In that capacity, you’re only working with a 50-yard field, and there are a lot of bodies on the field, and we want to get the players warmed up. We seemingly run out of room because of the nature of what we do. We need a little bit more room, so we’ve asked the guys to comply to not bring everybody on. In the past, from what I understand, a lot of those players were in the stands. I’ve elected to suit everybody up for the game, and deservingly so because of their efforts during the course of the week. The only thing we ask in the pre-game is that we have a little more room for our starters to get warmed up."

On the secondaries working with Kansas State’s vertical passing game:
"Technique-wise, we have to play the ball in flight much better. I think we had ample opportunity to pick some plays off during last Saturday’s game. Unfortunately, we didn’t come up with those plays, but again, the deep ball is a play that will challenge your corners and man-to-man. It’s a match-up where we won last weekend. Obviously we didn’t do quite as well on our defensive side of the ball. But playing the ball in flight – getting your head around, getting your hands up, squeezing a receiver into the boundary as a defender – those are key techniques that are critical for defensive backs in man coverage. When you’re out there in space 30, 40, 50 yards downfield and you’re running full speed, you’ve got to be able to make those plays. We’re pretty close. We just have to tighten up our technique and come up with those plays. We’ve demonstrated that in the past. We just have to get back to better play in that perspective."

On seeing some traditional Big 12 venues:
"I’ve been to those places as a pro coach when we were scouting particular players in the off-season, so I had a chance to see those venues when they were empty, but not full. This will be interesting as we go across the Big 12. I understand the rivalries and the passions of the fans in the Big 12 Conference, and we’re going to have to do a great job handling the noise situation and the crowds, but more importantly, focusing in on the details of our game. That’s what I’m encouraged about. I saw some positive signs on Saturday. They were exhibited throughout the week in practice. We need another great week of practice, and hopefully that will carry over into this Saturday’s game."

On Joe Dailey’s performance statistically and on film:
"There is always room for improvement, and one of the things we saw in Joe’s game was that he was comfortable managing the passing attack. He made quick decisions. He found primaries; he found outlets. I thought our coaching staff did a good job putting our players in position to make plays, and to our players’ credit, they came up with the big plays. I feel Joe is getting more comfortable in what we’re doing. We’ve changed up a lot of things in terms of play action. We’ve increased that type of role in terms of the passing game to complement our run, so we’re trying to balance everything out between the three-step, the five-step, the play action. That’s a lot on a young man, and I thought he handled it well."

On the offensive line:
"They’re coming along. There’s a veteran group there in Jake Anderson, Mike Erickson, Brandon Koch, Seppo Evwaraye. All those players are continuing to emerge. They’re learning and getting better every day. I see an increased development across the board in the run technique. I see the pass protection improving. Those are great signs to see, especially teams that like the blitz, as Baylor did. They like to bring pressure. When your line is capable of picking up pressure, that sends a solid message to your quarterback. It gives him pocket confidence that no matter what comes in terms of pressure, we’re capable of picking that up, and we’re capable of making the play with heat in his face. I thought we took a major step Saturday in that respect."

On the defensive pass coverage:
"It all goes hand in hand – pass coverage and pass rush. Your coverage is going to be exposed when you don’t have the rush. When you take some gambles and blitz, that’s football. That’s the risk you take when you leave a corner out there on an island. The opponent tends to pick up the pressure, and the corner gets out there exposed more than you would expect. They have to come up with those plays, and I think our guys have done that pretty well. You’re going to have those types of plays when you don’t get to the passer and when you don’t get the pressure that’s needed to make your coverage effective. Each area – the back end, the rush, the coverage – they all complement each other. We’re constantly looking at ways to improve ourselves in that capacity. I was watching us on film from the Baylor game, and for the first half, we played very well. In that second half, the only thing we need to do better is come out of the tunnel a little faster on the first drive, make that stop, generate a three-and-out, get off the field, and make our opponent worry. The only concern I have is that we start fast in both halves, and we didn’t do that well enough on Saturday. We were scored on twice in the opening drives of the first half and in the second half, so that’s one area that will be key for us this week."

"You have to go back and look at everything from a structural standpoint. Maybe we’re putting too much pressure on people when we shouldn’t be; maybe we should be a little more conservative in our play. Then it just comes down to making plays. We have to be able to make tackles and make plays and do the things that good defenses do. We’ll continue to do that. We increased our tackle practice last week. We went a little bit more live during the course of the week. We’re trying again to increase our production with our ability to tackle in the open field."

On the speed of the outside linebackers:
"In zone, you’re going to have some opportunities, and the ability to close windows and close zones is always critical. It complements what type of pressure you’re getting on the quarterback. If we’re getting that type of pressure on the QB, those windows become a little bit tighter. If there’s more time, the lanes are a little more open in terms of the coverage. Again, the rush has to be there, the coverage has to be tighter, and we have to play the ball in flight a little bit quicker."

On replacing Joe Dailey during the Texas Tech game:
"Again, he wasn’t ‘benched.’ That’s a tough word to use. We elected to put a young individual there. I don’t want to go back all the way to Lubbock; that game is out of my memory. But I thought our quarterback handled his situation and managed the game quite well last week."

On Nebraska’s standing in the Big 12 North:
"We’re not counting anything yet. We haven’t played, so it’s going to be important every week to center our focus a little bit tighter, a little bit more energized as we prepare. Every week is different. It’s a game-to-game, week-to-week business, and that’s how we live. It changes from one week to the next – the set of circumstances, the situations, who you’re playing, how they’re playing, what you have to do to adjust to a particular team; it all changes. I think it’s important that you realize that and you adapt quickly. The teams that don’t adapt don’t do very well. We’re not counting our eggs before they hatch, that’s for certain. We have great respect for the opponent we’re playing, and it will take a great effort to beat this team."

On no television coverage of the upcoming game:
"I haven’t really looked into that; It’s not really my area. All I know is that if you win, you’ll be on TV. If we do our part, the rest will follow."

On the "payback" aspect of the Kansas State game:
"I look at this season completely differently than how I have in the past. I’ve made that statement several times. I don’t look back in the rearview mirror in terms of what teams have done or how they’ve responded. This is a fresh start. We’re excited about the opportunity to go down to Kansas State and play them. It’s a football game. It’s that simple. It’s a divisional game, so it’s important and it has implications. These games are crucial games. What was done in the past was done in the past. I can’t help that, whether there are records broken or no records broken. I can’t control that. All I can do is get better and try to get our team better for this weekend."

Kevin Cosgrove, Defensive Coordinator

On Kansas State’s quarterback situation:

“I think there are two different types of quarterbacks. Dylan’s (Meier) a very good thrower. He’s completing over 60 percent of his passes right now. The other quarterback, he’s a good thrower, but he’s a bigger threat, I think, at running the football a little bit. They seem to run the same offense whichever quarterback is in there.”

 

On why teams have been able to shut down Darren Sproles easier this year than last:

“I don’t know. He’s a tremendous back. He’s got 700-and-some yards. He has tremendous speed, he could be nicked up a little bit, but I don’t know that. That could be a factor.”

 

On the need to stop Darren Sproles on Saturday:

“I don’t think there’s any question about that. He’s the one that makes their offense go. He is a tremendous running back, he’s got a big and physical offensive line and a big tight end. I think people have been trying to do that, and when you do that it opens up other things. But he’s a tremendous back.”

 

On Kansas State’s spread offense against Oklahoma:

“(Sproles) was in the game when they were doing that, they just spread him out, too. They have showed a lot of emptying in the past, not quite as much as they did last week, but they were looking at what gives them the best chance to have success. They went into the empty formation quite a bit in that game trying to spread Oklahoma out, and they had success doing it.”

 

“I think we’ll see a mix of formations from them. I don’t know exactly, but you do have to anticipate they will be in some empty, because they did have some success. But they’re going to do what they do. They run the option and power, and the quarterback is involved big in their one-back running game.”

 

On the NU defense’s problems with pass defense during the past two games:

“It comes back down to definition of technique and fundamentals. We have to improve, it’s obvious.”

 

On his concern with busts in coverage during the past two games:

“We did have a few busts in coverages, didn’t get the proper checks. I think once they saw how easy it was (to correct), I don’t think we’ll have a problem with that again.”

 

On which Kansas State quarterback he anticipates seeing play:

“I think you have to anticipate (Meier) will be in there. He’s their guy, and I’m sure they are going to do anything to make sure he can play. I think they’re comfortable with their backup situation if he has to be the man.”

 

On problems with the transition of the defense this year to a new system:

“They’ve had three coaches in three years, so there is going to be some transition. Last year they were a big zone team, and we incorporate our zone with man coverage, so there is some change with terminology and things like that. There’s going to be some transition, but not as much as you would think.”

 

On Kansas State’s 0-3 Big 12 record:

“I think they’re a mad team right now. They are a better team than being 0-3 in the league, I can tell you that.”

 

On if there was a lack of focus on defense against Baylor during the second half:

“I had two concerns, one that in the first half we limited them to 115 yards, but they did drive for a field goal on that first possession. Then the first possession in the second half they scored a touchdown. We felt good at the half that we had things under control. But you have to come out (in the second half) with the same fire you started the game with, and we didn’t do that.”

 

On the defense’s confidence:
”I think they’re going to be fine. The guys have played a lot of football. It’s obvious after meetings that they knew exactly what was going on. They know what they need to do, now it’s about execution and taking care of responsibilities.”

 

On the upcoming game’s significance:

“I think that should be obvious to our players. We’re 2-1 right now in the conference. I think they understand what a win would do here. They understand it’s a tremendous challenge, that Kansas State is a very, very good football team. When you watch them on tape you’ll see they have a lot of weapons on offense. They have very good receivers, their tight end is a big physical tight end that runs well and gets open, and Sproles is a tremendous back. And their quarterback is very good. So they have a lot of weapons and they’ve been able to move the ball on people. We have to take care of our business.”

 

 

Jay Norvell, Offensive Coordinator

Opening Statement:

“After reviewing the film, Kansas State will be the best team that we have faced this far in the season. We are really anxious to begin preparing today. Our kids are going to have to be ready to play their best football. The way Kansas State played against Oklahoma; they will really present a challenge for us. This is a good football team, and their record does not reflect the type of football team that they are or what they can be. We are really anxious to go to work today offensively. They are very athletic on defense, well-coached, disciplined, and in a lot of ways are similar to us. They are not the same team they were three weeks ago. They have improved tremendously, and you can see that on tape. So you can throw the records out. They are a very talented team, very well-coached, and they are a physical defensive bunch. They have got rangy athletes up front, and they’ll give us a stiff challenge and we’ll have to be ready to execute this weekend and get the job done.”

 

On how the team works together:

 “We are a team. Our job on offense is to do what it takes to win. Regardless of what the situation is you do what it takes to win. If you get the ball on the 1-yard line, you have got to go 99 to put it in. I just think it is a mindset. I know Coach Cosgrove would tell you the same thing. Whatever you have to do you have to be prepared to do it. When your guys get into that frame of mind that is where you want to be. We are striving for consistency. We want to be a consistent football team, and on the offensive side of the ball we haven’t gotten that yet. We want to be consistent. We want to perform every week at a level that we are cited for, and we are not there. We continue to strive for it, and continue to work for it, and in the course of that we have got to stay humble. We have got to keep our eye on the prize, and continue to work for what we are trying to get to. We have to work hard, and put ourselves in the position now to play some meaningful games if we continue to improve. So this is kind of the stretch run of that.”

 

On how the opponent’s defense effects how NU plays offense:

“We try to score. That is what we do, we try to score points, and move the ball. We try to control the clock; we try to protect the ball. There are certain situations in games where it changes the game. We have been in games where we had to score quickly. At Texas Tech we put ourselves in that position offensively by turning it over. We go out and try and move the ball, control it, and score points. Regardless of what happens on the other side of the ball we are a team first, and I think the defensive guys would tell you the same thing.”

 

On I-back Brandon Jackson's improvements from the first game until now:

“His overall understanding and feeling comfortable with what we are doing. Some I-backs just have to get their hands on the ball, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 times before they really get rolling. Brandon is a physical I-back, and is a guy who is starting to understand our blocking schemes. He is feeling more comfortable. Coach Randy Jordan works his tail off everyday, and has really pushed him and stretched him as a player. He is really contributing. He made a major contribution last week in his play. This is a physical conference, and you have got to have physical runners to win tough games down the stretch, and he has given us that kind of play. We are real pleased with his progress.”

 

On comparing Brandon Jackson to Oklahoma’s Adrian Peterson:

“I have not seen Adrian Peterson in person, but I have seen him on film. He is a talent, and like our guys, our talent. They are both physical style runners, and we will see as time goes along how we compare those guys, but we kind of like our guys.”

 

On Joe Dailey’s performance in the Baylor game:

“He played well.  He did the things that we asked him to do, and we were real specific with those guys. They kind of challenged each other. The biggest and most exciting thing is when guys start to take over ownership of their play. That is when you know you really have something. I think our guys are starting to take ownership offensively of this offense. They understand what we are trying to get done, and they understand the techniques. We saw it in the film study this weekend. Guys were talking back and forth about what was supposed to happen, and taking a lot of pride in different situations. When you have that you start having real consistent play, and that is what we are striving for. We are striving for consistency day in and day out, and a standard of performance on the offensive side of the ball, and we are not there yet. We have a lot of work to do, and Tuesday is the day we go back at it. That consistency and standard of performance is what we are striving for.”

 

On the health of Isaiah Fluellen:

“Isaiah has got some athletic ability, and he can stretch the field. The thing with him is that he hasn’t been healthy enough to be consistent in practice. You can’t just go out and play games, you have got to practice, and get timing and run your routes at the right depths. He is starting to be able to get that consistency in practice, and it is starting to show up on the field on Saturday’s. It is just going back to practice and being consistent, and getting repetitions. When guys work together, then you see the results on Saturday.”

 

On the balance of running and passing the ball:

“There is no magic number. We do what we feel we have to do to win games, and that doesn’t mean that it will be that way every week. It could change. We will do what we feel we have to do this week to put ourselves in the position to win. Whether that’s throwing it 42 times or running it 42 times, we will come up with that mix as we go through it.”

 

On Kansas State’s defensive strengths:

“I think they are extremely well-coached. They are in the right spots. They are a physical bunch, and are very rangy on their ends. We think they are very talented in the back ends as well. They are starting to come together as a unit. Like all good teams this time of year they start to gel, and start playing together. You can see that on film. I was very impressed with how they played against Oklahoma. They played them toe to toe, like you would expect from the reigning Big 12 champions. They played with a lot of heart, and we expect the same kind of effort from them this weekend.”


Quarterback Joe Dailey:
On getting back on the road after Texas Tech:

"We’re more excited about just being able to play another team and live another week.  We’re were excited about last week. We thought that we had a good opportunity to exploit their defense because they like to play a lot of man-to-man coverages, and that’s what we did. Now this week is going to be an even bigger challenge because they know a big front and big linebackers and they’ve got a really good secondary. So we’re just really excited offensively to be able to exploit their defense as well."

On seeing the offense come together:
"We see this all the time in practice so it was just a matter of time before it happened in a game. I believe we have a chance to establish a rhythm. Now we’ve just got to continue to do that when we get in a game. It started off rocky at first, but after that we went to work and it shows."

On what a win might mean in the Big 12:
"A win every week can give us the inside track. We’ve put ourselves in position to capture the Big 12 North and that’s our biggest goal right now."

On what the past few weeks have shown:
"I’ve learned that it can get ugly fast for either side of the ball. If the offense doesn’t get on top, the defense is going to struggle a little bit. And if the defense doesn’t get on top, we may struggle a little bit. It goes hand in hand."

On taking ownership of the offense:
"The senior leaders like Jake Andersen and Mike Erickson and myself, and other core players and we’ve taken a liking to our play in this offense and how big a role we contribute. It’s extremely important for us to get out early and establish a rhythm. That’s exactly what we wanted to do last week and that’s what exactly what we did and now this week is just going to be a continuation of that."

On his field vision against Baylor:
"We’ve seen those looks so many times in practice so that once we see these looks out there it’s almost like second nature. It’s not very difficult. You just know exactly where they’re going to be on certain plays."

On Kansas State’s victory last year:
"Teams like to stick it to you no matter what. We don’t go out there just to win by a touchdown, we go out to win by as many touchdowns as we can. Teams like to stick it to us just like we like to stick it to them. We’re going to go about our business this week trying to stick it to everybody."

On comfort with the run-pass balance:
"I don’t see any big difference. We can run the ball on teams or we can pass it depending on what kind of defense they’re playing and the strengths and weaknesses of the defense."

On playing Kansas State:
"It’s just another game that has to be won. That’s it. It’s just another game."

Offensive Lineman Jake Andersen:
On playing for payback:

"The past is the past. You can’t look back at that kind of stuff. Yeah we want to be able to come out and win this game, but you can’t talk about revenge. It doesn’t do you any good. What happened, happened last season and we’ve just got to worry about this season and handle our business."

On the Kansas State defense:
"I think they have got a great defense. They’re real good up front. They’ve got some good linebackers and back there in the secondary they’ve got some good players too. 
But I think our offense can score points against any defense if we play our game. We’ve kind of been off and on with that this year and hopefully we’re going to start being a little more consistent."

On Kansas State’s record vs. actual abilities:
"That’s football. They’ve played some great teams. When you break it down, you’d be surprised at how many games are decided by two plays. You can either win or you can lose by a couple touchdowns depending on those two or three plays. 
They are always just a few plays away in the games they’ve lost. They’ve got a good team and we’re going to have to go down there ready."

On Kansas State-Nebraska rivalry:
"They are a good football team and we’re going to have to go down there and play well to win. We respect them and I hope they respect us because they should."

On offensive progress:
"I think the offense played well. It’s kind of hard because it’s just one game. You have to put games together if you want to decide if we’ve turned the corner or not. Hopefully we’ll come out and play well this week and come out with a victory."

On importance of the game in the Big 12 North race:
"It’s a Big 12 game so it’s huge. Every time you play a Big 12 team in your conference and your first in that division you have to win in order to keep that position. Any game is not any bigger than last week’s game or the game before that, it’s just each week is our biggest game."

Free Safety Josh Bullocks:
On a revenge factor vs. Kansas State:

"They’ve beat us the last two years and especially this week since we’re tied for the Big 12 North lead, it’s important that we go out and try and get this victory. That’s pretty much the most important thing, trying to stay on top of the Big 12 North."

On making improvements in the secondary:
"They’re a good football team and we’re a good football team, too. We’ve just had some mental breakdowns the last two football games against Texas Tech and Baylor. Overall, we’re getting better and we’re minimizing our mistakes, and players are starting to come around more with the new system. I think we’ll come out and do a good job this weekend. We have to come out today and have a great practice and be mentally focused and prepare ourselves better than we have been."

On adjusting to a new defensive system:
"It’s pretty much been minor things. You’re not going to have a perfect season, and sometimes things are going to go the way you don’t want them to go. It’s been difficult at times, but we’ve gotten through it, and we’re going through it now. We’re just looking to play against Kansas State, and they’re going to try and test us. We just have to go out this week and prepare well during practice and hopefully carry it over into the game. Last year was last year. It’s a new system, but we all have to go out there and play hard. Fabian (Washington), my brother (Daniel Bullocks) and Lornell (McPherson) are all getting interceptions. Our defense has been playing well, except for the last two games. We’re just looking forward to practicing hard today and playing K-State."

On breakdowns vs. Baylor:
"It’s a team thing on defense. Sometimes the offense made some adjustments at halftime, like Baylor, and they just completed some passes and we made some mental errors on the back end."

On Kansas State running back Darren Sproles:
"He’s a good player. He has good footwork and he’s short so it’s hard to see him in the hole. He has some pretty good offensive linemen, and some big guys, so it can be pretty hard to spot him in the backfield. We’re going to have a great game plan, and coach is going to prepare us well, and it’s all about us just going out there and executing. We have a good defense. We have guys up front that get some push and we have a good linebacking corps and a good secondary. We just need to go out there and outplay them and execute. If we go out there and play our type of game and execute, things will work better for us. He’s a versatile guy who will catch passes and is hard to tackle. A good running back is not going to allow a defensive back or a defensive player to get a good lick off of him. He’s a good guy, but it’s going to take a team (effort). As long as we go out there and play together, it’s going to be a good night for us."

On K ansas State’s quarterbacks:
"It boils down to our execution. If we go out and play our best game, then I think things will happen on their own. When we lost these last two games, it’s because we didn’t go out there and execute and didn’t play as well as we have."

On blame being placed on secondary:
"It doesn’t bother me because it’s a team thing. There are 11 guys on defense working hard, and if one guy doesn’t show up it’s going to affect the whole team. Everybody just has to go out there and give it their all, minimize mistakes and play a good game."

On Nebraska fans making the trip to Manhattan:
"The fans are going to be there, but we just have to make sure that we’re going to be there mentally and physically. We just have to prepare ourselves this week and just start out having a good week and finish the week strong and go down there and take care of business."

On Nebraska’s offense and defense:
"Our offense is going to take care of the offense, and the defense is going to take care of the defense. The offense has done a good job and last week they came out and played well against Baylor. We’re not worrying about the offense we’re just worrying about ourselves. Defensively, we just have to go out there and do our part, and we know the offense will too."

On defensive pride:
"Everybody is not going to have a perfect season. Thankfully we still have this week and we’re still in the middle of the season and have games left. We’re still in the hunt for the Big 12 North and that’s the most important thing. Right now that’s more motivation and confidence that we just have to go out there and practice hard and we still have a chance to end up on top."

On Nebraska fans making the trip to Manhattan:
"The fans are going to be there, but we just have to make sure that we’re going to be there mentally and physically. We just have to prepare ourselves this week and just start out having a good week and finish the week strong and go down there and take care of business."

On Nebraska’s offense and defense:
"Our offense is going to take care of the offense, and the defense is going to take care of the defense. The offense has done a good job and last week they came out and played well against Baylor. We’re not worrying about the offense we’re just worrying about ourselves. Defensively, we just have to go out there and do our part, and we know the offense will too."

On defensive pride:
"Everybody is not going to have a perfect season. Thankfully we still have this week and we’re still in the middle of the season and have games left. We’re still in the hunt for the Big 12 North and that’s the most important thing. Right now that’s more motivation and confidence that we just have to go out there and practice hard and we still have a chance to end up on top."

On Nebraska fans making the trip to Manhattan:
"The fans are going to be there, but we just have to make sure that we’re going to be there mentally and physically. We just have to prepare ourselves this week and just start out having a good week and finish the week strong and go down there and take care of business."