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Huskers Continue Mastery Over Kansas

By NU Athletic Communications

Nebraska Coach Frank Solich
Opening Comments
It was a very pleasing win for our football team and our program. They played with a lot of enthusiasm, a lot of energy. I thought they played a very physical football game and from that standpoint they played four quarters of really tough, hard-nosed football. At times they executed very, very well. What we were after was trying to put together a game where we played four quarters of very good offense, very good defense, very good special teams. I think for the most part, that was done today. Anytime you're in a physical game like that, both teams seem to have a lot of guys who came off at times with what appeared to be minor injuries that won't keep them out of games next week. We did have one injury where Jon Rutherford had an ACL injury. He'll end up having surgery on that. That was really a tough blow, certainly for Jon, and also a tough blow for our football team because he's one lineman that you could feel very comfortable lining up at center, guard, or tackle and knowing that he's going to do a great job for you.

On moving past last week's loss to Oklahoma
It feels much better than last week, there's no question about it. We needed to put that behind us and to move forward and I think they did that. They showed that they were about that all week long. It was not a deal where we had to battle them to get out to practice, where we had to battle them to perform well at practice. It was very pleasing.

On game plan of running the ball
That was really the plan and then to make them stop our power game, make them stop our option game. If they were doing that, then try to look for ways to move the ball through the air, through play action-passes, whatever it would take. But our intent was to definitely try to use our big running backs, who I thought ran very, very strong today. I thought our line blocked well, our receivers blocked well and, in general, just came off the ball well. Typically that's the approach we like to take, is to try to run the football. We were definitely intent on doing that today.

On making a statement
I think our team has played well for most of the season. They've responded in most cases this season whenever they've needed to to make it work. They wanted to get back to doing that. I felt very pleased, as did the rest of our coaches, after the game with the way they went about playing this football game. They went about it with a great deal of energy, with wanting to play great football. They went about it by encouraging each other and being very unified out there. Anytime that occurs, you feel good about it. Statements need to be made. I don't think there's any question about it. Teams involved in trying to get as high a rating as you possibly can in the national rankings need to make statements.

On improvement in offensive execution
I thought that in our power game, it looked to me like we really had people coming off the ball and if there were creases, our backs were hitting those creases quickly and they were doing it in a physical style. That's what we want to be all about. That's what our intent is. I think our players feel pretty good about how they went about that in this ball game. We probably didn't see enough of the throwing game to really tell where we need to be with that or not. On the other side of it, we had a good week of throwing in practice. In any case, you have to be somewhat balanced when you play great teams and, of course, we'll try to make sure we're ready to go on that end of it versus Kansas State.

On Jon Rutherford's injury
You don't replace a guy that's able to come in and give you what a starter is giving you at any one of those positions. That's a blow to us. We have some young players that will need to step up and fill the void. The problem is, you're not talking not about just one player needing to do it. When you lose a guy that does what he does at all those positions, you need a guy at both the guard and tackle spots to really step forward. We have some players that are playing pretty well, but they're going to have to step it up a notch for this next week.

Rush End Kyle Vanden Bosch
How bad did you need this win?
We really needed this. All week we couldn't wait for Saturday to come around, because we wanted to get back on the field and prove to everybody, and to ourselves, we're still a good defensive team. We let one get away last week so we felt we really needed to convince ourselves, convince our fans and people around the country, that we're still capable of coming out and dominating a game for four quarters.

Was there any doubts coming into this game?
To me there wasn't any doubt on Wednesday or Thursday in practice, coming into the game. I could see it in the players' eyes. We wanted it bad. After we lost we had was a sense of urgency again. We knew we weren't where we needed to be and today we took a big step in the right direction. We still have to improve and have a good week of practice.

This game was was a ton of fun - in front of our home crowd. To me it was like Texas Tech. Everytime we came out somebody was making a big play, people flying all over the place. The quarterback didn't have time to sit in the pocket. He didn't have time to pick us apart and find the open receiver. We're not doubting ourselves and we're real excited about where we are and the big game next week.

Cornerback Keyuo Craver
Everybody had the mindset that we wanted to get the job done. As far as the defense, we knew it was going to be hard to get back on track after the loss. But we kept pushing ourselves the entire week to get the job done. The main thing is just going in and getting the win. We've got a big game next week and I think we rose to the occasion.

Center Dominic Raiola
Were you surprised about the success of the power rushing game?
We knew we had it in us, we just didn't come out and establish it all four quarters last week. We were really determined to come out and hammer it at them.

What was the mindset coming into the game?
We know it starts up front. If we're not going to get it done up front it's not going to happen. Our backs our to the wall now and all we can do is come out and keep punching at people and pushing them around.

On losing Jon Rutherford
It's a tremendous loss. It's going to be tough this late in the season to get somebody ready to play behind the tackles. He meant as much to this team as every starter on this team.

Quarterback Eric Crouch
Our offensive line did a good job after the loss last week. Coming out and doing what they did today shows a lot about what they're made of. We put that behind us. It was hard to do, but we did it.

Was there an effort to be more aggressive offensively today?
The tempo in practice picked up a great deal this week as far as getting in and out of the huddle, and that begins with me. It gets everybody's adrenaline going to push up and get to the ball. You get in this rhythm and you get in a zone and I think that's what happened today.

How bad did you need this win today?
It was really big. We put the loss behind us. In a way I think it shows a lot about the character of this team. It's a huge win for us to get back on track and reestablish ourselves as a running offense.

Kansas Head Coach Terry Allen
On the game:
“In my four years, that was the most dominating Nebraska football team that I have seen. They just totally took it to us offensively. We did not force them to punt all day. They had three guys rush for 100 yards. They just physically dominated us. Their defense got after us enough early, that we were not able to complete enough passes, get enough first downs to offset the dominance of their offense.”

On the possible NU revenge factor after the loss to Oklahoma:
“I am not sure. All I know is that I am very impressed with that football team we played today. Physically their offense, the way they came after us. They just dominated the line of scrimmage. They got Crouch and the things he is capable of doing. Their defensive front was a lot better that I thought they were last week against Oklahoma. I don’t know if revenge is an appropriate term, but they stepped it up a notch, programs of this caliber do.”

On the positives:
“The fortunate converse to that is we are going into our 10th football game. After getting beat 56-17, you don’t often have things to play for. We certainly do have that. We have Texas coming to town. The one thing we talked about with our football team is that we want to go into playing Iowa State with a purpose. To do that, we need to take care of business against Texas next week.”

Junior Defensive Tackle Nate Dwyer
On Nebraska’s execution:
“Honesty I don’t even know what was going on. We would go up there and line up and Crouch would come to the line and audible into something different. They just seemed to be one or two steps ahead of us the whole game.”

On the mood of the team after the game:
“It hurts, it really does, no doubt about that. We have two games left, two must win games to get six wins and accomplish the goal we set out for us in the beginning of the season, which is a bowl game. We will look at film, correct what was wrong and forget about this game and begin to focus on Texas.”

Junior Split End Harrison Hill
On Nebraska’s defensive:
“We felt we could move the ball today, especially the passing game because some teams have had some success doing that against them this year. We felt that we were ready to go. Nebraska just came out and dominated us today.”

Senior Quarterback Dylen Smith
On Nebraska’s defensive scheme:
“They blitz a lot. They got to me some today. Our receivers did a good job of getting open. I just didn’t have anytime to get the ball to them because the scheme they were throwing at me.”

On KU’s game plan:
“We had a good plan coming in today. They did what we expected them to do, they really didn’t do anything different, and they just beat us today.”

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