Huskers Run Over Spartans, 49-13
Coach Frank Solich
We're glad to get started and we'll certainly take the win. It was not an easy day to play football out there for either team. The heat and humidity was rough on everybody. I thought we played through that pretty well. We got through the game, as far as I know, without any serious injuries, so certainly that's encouraging. We played well at times. Trying to put together four complete quarters of what you want, offense, defense, special teams, is probably not all that easy. It's not especially all that easy in the first game. I'm going to look at it from the positive side, and the positive side is that we did a number of good things out there on both sides of the ball and in the kicking game. There are certainly areas we need to improve in. I think some of those can jump out at you as you think about them from watching the game, some of them with surface when we watch the tape. I'm very pleased with the effort of our players. I thought San Jose State played hard. I think they're coaches did a good job preparing them. Deonce (Whitaker) certainly was a lot of trouble, especially early on in the ball game. He's got excellent quickness, you can see why he was touted coming in as an excellent running back. I was pleased with a lot of things that we did, but we'll need to get to work on Monday and start to improve in some areas.
I thought early in the game we did not tackle very well. In fact, I'd say it was poor. But then as the game went on, we did a better job of tackling. I thought we started pursuing better, and we started to look more like the defensive team that we expect our guys to look like. I think inside, we did go with some defensive linemen who have been limited in practice time for a number of reasons as far as injuries go. But I thought they held in there fairly good, and certainly we'll be stronger in that area than what we were today after we get guys in a little better condition and get a little more strength back to some of those inside guys.
the power game
That was the reason for taking the opening kickoff, rather than deferring. The strong part of their returning team was on the offensive side of it. The wind early in the game didn't seem to be that much of a factor, so what we wanted to do was take over offensively and see if we could get some points in the game. We wanted to do it in a manner that would control the ball, maybe try to have a long drive and that is what basically happened. The power game seemed to hold up pretty well today.
revealing all the plays
There's a lot of stuff we did not show, but some of that is because as we got running the ball, if you have success with plays, you probably come back to them. You don't try to veer off too far from what you're having a lot of success with. We did throw the ball well on a few occasions, certainly three interceptions is not what we're looking for. We need to work there.
Dan Alexander's performance
I think he's an amazing back. He's a guy that if you go back to the Colorado game, that didn't seem to tire. He played that game and when other people seemed to tire some, he just kept going and was as strong at the end as he was early in the game. He's a guy that's in great condition and he's just able to keep going. He took a lot of hits, gave a lot of hits, had a lot of big runs and did about all you could ask a back to do today. I was exceptionally pleased with how he performed.
Nebraska's fumble problem
It's gone. I hope forever. I thought they did an excellent job of taking care of the ball when they had it in their hands. We executed the option game very well. There were signs of that coming through fall camp, that we were doing a good job pitching the ball, catching the ball, that we were doing a good job of taking care of the ball when we had it under our arm. I was hoping it would play out like it did today on that end.
Notre Dame winning over Texas A&M
I really didn't know if it would be a close game. I know that Notre Dame has excellent players returning. They feel very good about their football team, very confident about their football team, so I figured they'd play well. The first game of the year, it's always hard to determine the outcome when two good teams meet up like that.
Jammal Lord's performance
With the number of snaps that he got, he played well. The pass down the middle, anytime you throw a late ball down the middle, you're usually asking for trouble. That's part of developing in an offense when you're a young player. He handled things very well on the field. He got out of some plays we wanted him to get out of and got into different plays. So I felt pretty good about his performance.
Eric Crouch's performance
The two interceptions is something that's not typical. He took great care of the ball last year and he's a little disappointed about that, but I still though he led our team very well. He made some big plays when they were crucial and when the game was still on the line. I was pleased with his performance.
I thought he ran pretty strong last year. He is a little bigger. Usually, if you maintain your speed or even increase it a little bit and you're a little bit bigger, you've got a little more punch to you, and that may have shown to people today, I'm not sure. I thought he ran well last year and I thought he ran well today.
San Jose's yards
It's always a concern when a team rolls up yards, but we've had that happen before. We knew they had the style of offense where that was a possibility. They split people out in one-back sets and sometimes no back sets. When you do that, you have the ability to move the ball up and down the field. But the bottom line is how many times you get it in the end zone and how many points you get on the board. I thought we did a pretty good job on that end of it. But they do have good offensive personnel and they utilized them well.
Nebraska's pass rush
We'll take a look at the tape and see what all played out there. One on one, you hope that you'll be able to be a team that will be able to get pressure on the quarterback without having to design blitzes to do it. It may be an area that we need to continue to work on. It didn't seem at times, that we were getting a good pass rush.
Crouch, Nebraska quarterback
ON THE I-BACKS:
"We have so many great backs. They definitely helped me out. I remember one pitch, I got hit pretty good and Dan (Alexander) took it the distance. It's kind of a double-edged sword - you get hit pretty hard, but you score a touchdown."
ON THE CONFIDENCE LEVEL OF
"It's just a different confidence level. The confidence of the offensive line, the running backs and just the whole offense in general - that's what's going for us. There's a lot of motivation out there to be on the top of our game all the time. With the experience that we've all had together, it just makes it that much easier for us."
THE OFFENSE AS A WHOLE:
"There weren't too many trick plays, it was just option football - power football. To me, it's not a boring offense. There's high risk involved when you're running the offense. It's an exciting offense to run."
Vanden Bosch, Nebraska Rush End
ON SAN JOSE STATE'S FIRST DRIVE:
"The first drive, when they broke that big one, it was a little frustrating - but we're not going to make any excuses. I was real happy about the way be bounced back. We showed signs of what we can do. It was a little frustrating because we worked draws and screens all week. It basically came down to fundamentals. We're on our way. You don't have to worry about the defense. We have some warriors."
PLAYING NOTRE DAME NEXT WEEK:
"We know what kind of game we have next week. The tradition they have - it's always tough for opponents to go in there and play. A lot of people have been looking forward to this. We're going to go out there and give it our best effort."
Alexander, Nebraska I-back
ON SUBSTITUTING THE I-BACKS:
"They did a really good job of substituting us in. We were giving our best effort and we weren't wearing down. Everybody really gave a great effort."
Raiola, Nebraska Center
ON THE GAME OVERALL:
"It's just one game out of our way. To be a great team, we have 12 more to go. We can't be great yet - we have a whole season to play. It's a great start for us. We're going to use this to propel through the rest of the season."
THE HUSKER OFFENSE AS A WHOLE:
"I saw a lot of good things. People were going hard. That's the main thing. I saw everybody flying around the field. I thought we played well today."
PLAYING NOTRE DAME NEXT WEEK:
"Once that clock hit zero, I was already focusing on the Irish. I can't wait to start watching film, start going over their defenses in practice."
Jose State Head Coach Dave Baldwin
On Nebraska's Crowd:
"I think the tradition is in the crowd and the people around here. It is the classiest group of people I have ever been associated with. Do they know when to cheer at the right time? Yes. Do they know when to applaud a team that loses when they come off the field? Yes. With the class that this community shows, no wonder Nebraska is No. 1. It starts with their fans and our hats go off to them."
"That offensive unit of Nebraska is very, very dominant. We couldn't stop them. I think we stopped them two or three times all game. I know we are a different defense. I can't measure our defense when you are playing against (Dominic) Raiola and the offense that this team produced against us."
San Jose State's Secondary:
"I was very, very pleased with our secondary. Three turnovers in a game is great for us. That is the first time we have had three interceptions in a game in many, many moons. And that's a very big positive for us."
San Jose State's Red Zone Offense:
"I was disappointed in our offense when we were in the red zone. I think we got anxious. I think we got in the end zone four times and only came away with two scores. We knew we could move the ball. We have been in situations where we have talented wide receivers. But we self destructed and stepped on our own toes down there. We have to stop making those mistakes if we are going to make it to the next level."
"Deonce Whitaker: he is special. We have known that. He has done this against LSU and Colorado. If we can keep the young man healthy, he is the smallest unknown secret in college football. He is a dynamic person and a better football player."
SJSU's Ability to Compete:
"There are teams that get blown out. Maybe it was lop-sided on the number of yards and everything, but I was very, very pleased with the way our kids competed. They never stopped competing. And that was our motto. Even on the last play, I think our kids were competing. We will walk out of here now and go to our next game. It was a tremendous experience."
Jose State Quarterback Marcus Arroyo:
On NU's Defense:
"What's not good about Nebraska's defense? Every thing they do is fundamental. What you see on film is what you get on the field. Awesome athletes, great players and good guys as well."
heat and humidity:
"At first couldn't get a handle on the ball. Players where cramping up in the beginning. You really can't reproduce this type of weather."
Jose State Tailback Deonce Whitaker:
On His 69 Yard Run in the First Quarter:
"First of all, I have to give credit to my offensive line. They opened up the hole and I just ran through it."
His 5-6, 185 Pound Frame:
"Deonce Whitaker shouldn't be judged on his size. I can run like a person who is 6-1, 200 pounds. Every time I step on the field I prove every one different."