Nebraska Football Defensive Lineman Deontre Thomas Tries to Knock Down a Northwestern Pass
Photo Credit: Eric Francis

Nebraska Players React to 56-7 Win Over Northwestern

October 03, 2021

We heard from several players on Saturday night after the Huskers 56-7 win over Northwestern. Adrian Martinez, Nouredin Nouili, Deontre Thomas, Jaquez Yant and JoJo Domann all met with the media.

Here are selected questions and answers from the player’s time with the media.

Quarterback Adrian Martinez

On the light show and the night game:

“It was nothing short of amazing. I’ve had a few night games here in my career, I’ve played a lot of games, and that was a special environment right there. I remember telling someone on the sideline: He said, ‘why are there so many people here still?’ and I said ‘well, one, there’s a pride thing, there’s a lot of people still in the stands. Two, I know there’s going to be a great light show in the fourth quarter.’ It was awesome.”

On the O-Line’s preparation in practice:

“They did a great job. Obviously, they did a great job tonight, but all week. They have to build confidence with us and build trust and they did that. The way they prepared and continue to work, I have all the faith in Coach Austin as well to get those guys right.”

On freshman running back Jaquez Yant:

“‘Haul Yant’ that’s what I said. It’s just nuts. ‘Yant’s homecoming’, I was saying all types of things on the sideline. I’m really excited for him. He’s a guy who sprints during walk-throughs. He’s just a stud. The stiff arm and all the little things. The guys loved it and he performed really well today. I do know he’s putting in a ton of work to be where he’s at right now. Part of that was weight loss and part of that was playbook stuff. He’s earned tonight.”

On next week’s game against Michigan:

“For tonight I’m going to enjoy the win, but obviously that’s going to be a ton of fun. You get a big-time ranked opponent in here, we’re going to pack the place. I know Memorial is going to be crazy.”

Offensive Lineman Nouredin Nouili

On stepping onto the field for the first time and his first snaps:

“It’s an amazing experience. I’m just running out to the field and seeing all the fans going insane with the lights and everything and just being out on the field. The first play doesn’t really shut everything out, but then once you get into the rhythm basically you get that tunnel vision. You don’t see anything but the field. That first play was a little exciting, because hearing everybody screaming and going crazy about us is something I’ve never seen before.”

On him and Teddy Prochazka making their first starts together:

“There’s a couple of scenes, I would assume that the cameras caught, of us celebrating together, because we’ve been practicing together for a while. We were the twos together for a while, too. We had our connection already so coming to this game, we just kept doing our thing.”

On people watching back home:

“I know there’s a couple. The problem was it was like 2 a.m. there. Games like these are kind of hard to watch over there, especially in college. NFL games are more common, but I think two years ago or three years ago was the first college game that was live without paying. So, it’s kind of hard to try to find the time to watch games like these.”

On the goal to get a scholarship:

“There definitely were some doubts every now and then, but like I said, with the group around me, it doesn’t matter if you’re a scholarship or a walk-on. Everybody hypes each other up to the point where it feels like you’re a scholarship player and you’re running around with players around you that don’t care if you are a walk-on or not. And like I said, it’s amazing to be able to say that I’ve made it from a point where I came in starting off as a lineman from my old school, Going from a scout player to now starting is an amazing, long journey with ups and downs.”

Defensive Lineman Deontre Thomas

On playing a little bit more aggressive tonight:

“We knew we were going to have to stop the run. Once we stopped the run they were really pretty much one dimensional. So, we were all trying to race each other to get a sack.”

On the confidence of the team:

“Yes, I definitely sense that because we had a great week of practice. When we prepared the way we did we knew exactly what we needed to do and what we wanted to do so we were super confident.”

On night games:

“Playing a night game is a different feeling and a different environment. When they turn the lights off, the stadium goes wild. It just makes us play even harder. It is a great feeling, a whole different feeling.”

Running Back Jaquez Yant

On getting his opportunity:

“I mean it was worth it. It was worth the wait. I got the opportunity, took a chance and went out and balled out.”

On getting on the field after putting in the work:

“It was amazing. I continued to work, got my weight down like my coaches wanted, went out and did what I was supposed to do each and every day.”

On challenges at the start of fall camp with cutting weight:

“The coaches get paid for what they do, so if they feel like it would be better for me to lose so much weight whatever they feel like is best for me I just listen. It made me upset, but you have to do what the coaches say.”

On what he expected for playing in a major game:

“The competition was there. I am not going to take anything away from Northwestern. It was amazing. Once I got out there and started moving around a bit I was like ‘Yeah this is what I expect.’”

Nebraska Linebacker JoJo Domann

On the challenging week:

“I have never been a part of a game like that versus a Big Ten opponent here. It felt good. It felt like if you just execute on all cylinders like we are capable of, and that we do from time to time, but then putting it all together it was great to see. Unbelievable atmosphere tonight. I feel just so blessed to be in this position really trying to soak it all in like I only have so many of these left.”

On the night game atmosphere:

“Literally the best. No place cares about football as much as Nebraska. That is why I am here. That is why I was drawn here, so it is great to see it all in full force. The light show going into the fourth quarter was different. Unbelievable atmosphere. Bring it next week.”

On the Michigan night game next weekend:

“That is literally what you live for. Like you cannot draw it up any better. They got a piece of us last time. I was not there. I was injured, but I watched the game, still have a sour taste in my mouth. So we are playing for respect. We are playing to represent Nebraska. We are playing to win.”

On walking away with a win:

“I was saying in the locker room, like we are going to recover better, like your body recovers better after a win. Just emotionally you are in a lot better place and it feels good to reap the reward of all the work we put in. This one feels good, but next week is going to feel better.”

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