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They Said It: Illinois

Emptying the notebook with some quotes from the Huskers 39-19 win over Illinois.

Nebraska coach Bo Pelini on the play of quarterback Tommy Armstrong:

Tommy played well. He made some mistakes that I think he’ll learn from. Overall, I think he did some really good things. He was throwing off his back foot especially early on. When that happens, your ball sails on you. I thought he corrected that after a while. Dealing with the wind, I thought, was a good experience for him because you’re going to have to do that going forward. I thought he managed the game very well. He brings a calming, confident presence to the huddle. But there were some times where we left some points out there and a couple of those were on him. He was going the wrong way when we probably would have walked it into the end zone and one of those final drives. He made some mistakes, but I thought he played well and I think he’ll learn from those mistakes.

Running backs coach Ron Brown on how Nebraska progressed during the off week and into Saturday:

We’re not the same team that we were two weeks ago. You either get a little better or a little worse, and I think our football team was a little better. We’re not an extremely well-oiled machine in every realm; there’s still some areas that we need improvement on. We’ll watch the film and find those areas. Without a doubt, nobody stays the same. I think our players, we were hungry to get back out there. There was a tremendous amount of emotion in our football team.

Illinois linebacker Jonathan Brown on Huskers’ I-back Ameer Abdullah and his career-high 225 yards rushing:

He’s no different in person than on film. He made a couple of great plays. He’s everything that he was on film. Kudos to their offensive line. They definitely got some movement up front which allowed (Abdullah) to skate through, but he’s a good back. He made a couple good plays. We missed a couple plays. It’s just something we have to improve on, our tackling being probably one of the most important things. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a really good running back.

Wide receiver Kenny Bell on his one-handed catch and run for a 32-yard touchdown in the third quarter:

It was lucky. Tommy placed the ball where only I could catch it and I threw a hand up there and it just stuck. The only people more surprised than me that I caught it were (the Illinois’) defensive backs. They didn’t tackle me. It was just one of those crazy plays in football that turned out pretty good for us. That was probably the best catch I’ve ever had. And the luckiest catch as well.

Bell on his celebration following that catch that drew a 15-yard penalty:

I’m going to pay for that. I’m going to be in trouble for that one. I didn’t know what I did. I didn’t think I celebrated any differently than before. With big plays in football, if you can’t celebrate, then why are we playing? It’s a fun game and you’re in the moment. I didn’t think it was too out of hand. That’s how it went.

Wide receiver Quincy Enunwa on catching his sixth touchdown pass this season:

Coaches are calling the plays and I’m executing them. The quarterbacks are finding me in the endzone and I’m catching the ball. That’s about it. I worked in the offseason to be better than I was last year, and so far I’m doing pretty well.