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They Said It: SDSU

Compiling the most interesting quotes from Nebraska’s 59-20 win over South Dakota State.

Bo Pelini on Nebraska’s offense, which put up more than 300 yards both rushing and passing for the first time in school history:

“I thought they played fast and aggressive. On the offensive side of the ball, we had an attack mentality, which is kind of the opposite as what we played defensively. We played on our heels and indecisive deffensively, where as offensively we had an attack mentality. A big part of this game is your mental approach. It’s a huge part of this game. I think that our offensive coaches did a lot better job. I think that we condensed what we were doing. I thought it helped us. I thought we played fast offensively.”

South Dakota State running back Zach Zenner on if he expected to top 200 yards rushing — he had 202 — against Nebraska:

“Yes, I mean you need to expect a win every week. You need to believe that you can win every week and believe that you can move the ball every week. Like I said, I think we did a decent job today and then hurt ourselves.”

Defensive coordinator John Papuchis on the defense, which allowed 465 yards on Saturday:

“Number one, we’ve got to get fundamentally better. I mean, it doesn’t matter what you call if you’re not tackling well, if you’re not getting off the blocks…Number two is, we gotta figure out what the identity of this defense is gonna be. We may have to play a little bit different than we have in the past. We may have to be a more pressure team or a more gapped-out team. That’s gonna be our job – is figure out what our guys can do, what we can do well and what we can hang our hat on.”

Defensive line coach Rick Kaczenski on defensive end Randy Gregory’s interception return for a touchdown:

“Bo called it during the week. We threw that same route and passed to him on Wednesday or Thursday and he dropped it and Bo was joking, saying ‘hey, we can put Vincent [Valentine] back there if you’re gonna drop it.’ He said “I’ll tell you what Randy, you’re gonna pick one off Saturday and run it in for a touchdown.’”

Gregory on getting the call right on his interception:

“Bench Thunder, that’s the call. I was supposed to drop back and [Kaczenski] thought it was some other pressure [where] I’m supposed to blitz and he was happy, but you could tell he was a little confused on why I was dropping back in coverage. He was ready to get on me, I think he was ready to go off on me.”

Jackrabbits’ head coach John Stiegelmeier on going ahead 17-14 only to have Nebraska score 37 unanswered points:

“Well we never stopped them on defense so I don’t know how many games you can win when you don’t stop a team. That to me was the huge factor, we did go ahead in that situation and I was proud of our team that we didn’t hang our heads and we weren’t gitty when we were ahead. But we didn’t respond the way we needed to defensively in that situation. Again credit their staff and players. Just really disappointed in our guys not giving us a chance.”

Quarterback Ron Kellogg III on going to the sidelines to talk to Taylor Martinez instead of vice versa:

“He was awkward for a little bit because he’s never really had a headset on. He didn’t even know how to turn it on in the beginning. It was awesome being able to come onto the sideline and talk football with him. He’s the number one stat leader in Nebraska history, so it was kind of surreal. Plus he’s my roommate, so I get to tease him about it later. I’ll give him some tips on how to work the headset next time.”

Quarterback Tommy Armstrong on his poise in his first start at Nebraska:

“Back in high school I was one of the young guys that was put in to start. Learning from those guys, like Malcolm Brown and Marquis Anderson. Those guys taught me how to be a leader. Coming up here it wasn’t anything new for me to be a young guy and have a bunch of seniors on the offensive line as well as juniors and seniors out wide at receiver.”

Running backs coach Ron Brown on the week that was:

“It’s a special week. Probably the most special week since I’ve been at Nebraska, the 23 years I’ve been here. I think there was a lot of authenticity, a lot of great talks, great communication between coaches and players.”