They Said It: Husker Players Talk Nebraska's 31-27 Loss To Purdue
Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

They Said It: Husker Players Talk Nebraska’s 31-27 Loss To Purdue

November 02, 2019

Nebraska players met with the media Saturday afternoon following the Huskers’ 31-27 loss to Purdue. We heard from cornerback Braxton Clark, tight end Austin Allen, cornerback Dicaprio Bootle, defensive back Eric Lee and quarterback Adrian Martinez.

Here’s the transcript from his question-and-answer session postgame. 

Redshirt freshman cornerback Braxton Clark

On how he thought he played

“I feel like I held up pretty well. Us as a team, you know we can always do things better. We are going to get back to it this bye week. We will work on this. It’s not a personal game, it’s a team game so I’m not worried about that right now.”

On the difference between the good quarters and bad

“Just being locked in the whole time. Having that laser focus and just being assignment driven. Doing your job. I feel like that’s what hurt us. Not being focused and locked in the whole time.”

On the end around for a touchdown

“It was a good play. We could have done some different things. Set the edge better, run with that motion. Things you have to work on the film room to get better at everything.”

On difficulty covering their tight ends

“Their tight ends made a couple of plays but I feel like we did pretty good against them. They made some plays. It’s a football game, they are going to do that. At the end of the day it’s about who capitalizes on the opportunities. They made a couple more than we did.”

On watching the offense struggle in the first half

“We don’t worry about that. We don’t think about those things. At the end of the day we have our jobs and it’s to play defense. To put the offense in a good position. If they don’t capitalize they it’s ok. We want to make another play and then hopefully they can do it.”

On what young guys need to get out of stretch run

“Just growing and gaining that confidence. Getting that swag of playing on the field. Learning how to be good football player. Learning to be assignment sound. Listening to your coaches, bringing energy and being a leader on the field.”

On staying patient for his shot

“It’s all for the better. Coaches know what they are doing. If they see something to change, I’ll believe in it. I’m just always coming in to work. Whatever the coaches are wanting to do with me or my teammates, we feel like it’s the best decision.”


Redshirt Sophomore tight end Austin Allen

On Scott Frost’s message

“Same as every week. We hurt ourselves. He hurts for us. We hurt for him. There were mistakes made on the coaches’ end. There were obviously mistakes made on the players end. We haven’t really played a full game yet and it shows.”

On what he was most frustrated with today

“I’m frustrated with at certain times the offense is clicking. At certain times the defense is clicking. At times the special teams is clicking. We had two blocked punts today. The defense had two interceptions. We drove the ball but had turnovers.  It seems like we can’t put it all together. I really can’t tell you how to fix that. We are clicking at different times. It’s going to lineup one of these weeks and I’m looking forward to it.”

On red zone play calling shift

“So to say. I didn’t really feel anything. I trust the coaches will put us the right situation. They did. It seemed like we were efficient late. Obviously those fourth downs we have to give ourselves a chance on those.”

On keeping the right mindset heading into final games

“Obviously stuff will be said on Twitter and people will hate on us. I’m going to get on the bus and follow all the crap out there. They don’t have anything good to say to us. It is what it is. We have to attack every week. Wisconsin, Illinois went up and beat them. Anyone is beatable. We are going to try to win the last three games.”

On the second bye being different

“We just have to attack it every week. We have to practice our butts off. It seems like we have been. We just have to click as a whole unit. Like I said before we are clicking at different areas of the team at different times but we have to put it together.”

On added confidence with Adrian Martinez back

“Yeah, Adrian is a great player. I trust he’s going to get the job done. I trust he’s going to watch film and see some things he missed. I’m going to watch film and say hey you did a great job on this play. Hopefully he can critique me too. He’s going to go back and look at film and learn from it. So am I. Adrian is a leader and we need leaders on this team.”

On frustration at halftime

“Yeah there were two drives in the first half we should have finished off. We were confident in the fact that we were putting ourselves in good position to score. We were frustrated that we couldn’t finish it. We were doing alright. We just needed to finish it.”

On what can be said or done to salvage the season

“I’m not going to rule out anything post-season. If we take care of business these last three games, lets go bowling and look forward to next season. This week will be huge for us for recovery. With the limited practices we will have to attack it. I want to see more guys unleash, attack and go play football.”

On team feeling pressure of this season

“I feel like we have the right mindset. We all need to put it together. We’ll work on it this week. Coach Frost is going to put us in situations where we work more as a cohesive unit. As a full football team. We’ll work for it.” 

On why there is timidness out there

“Fear of failure I guess. Just go out and make plays. We are all football players. It’s what we came here to do. We just have to go out there and do it.”

On offense getting better when Adrian ran

“It seemed like it. It definitely adds an element to our offense with a quarterback who can run. If he’s not running, he will make plays downfield. I trust him to do that.”


Redshirt junior cornerback Dicaprio Bootle

On when he knew about his role being different

“I knew from the beginning of the week. They came and told me I’d be making the change this week. They did a good job of preparing me and getting me ready to do it. As well as being able to flip back to corner if I needed to. I knew all week.”

On Cam Taylor-Britt’s involvement this week

“Cam’s currently sick but he’s coming back.”

On last time he played safety

“Ohio State game my redshirt freshman year.”

On what it’s like to change roles

“Back then I played more man. I was in the post a lot. This game I did everything a safety would do. Obviously, I was a little more prepared this time. With growth and experience, knowing the defense we play I was able to go out there and compete.”

On how secondary performed in different roles

“I think we did well with everyone in different roles. Guys answered the call. We had guys go in different spots today. I think it shows how versatile how room is. You can put everyone in and we can depend on them. It doesn’t matter from walk-ons to scholarship guys. We depend on everybody.”

On if moving to safety was all injury related

“I don’t even know. The coaches told me to slide to safety and I said, ‘OK, I’ll do it.’ I wasn’t scared or anything. I knew most of the calls and what to do. I had to get coached up during the week and they did a good job preparing me.”

On the final drive challenge

“Of course, I like the challenge. Any time we have a chance to do that, I like us over anybody. I still like us over anybody. It wasn’t the result we were hoping for. That last play they hit us with a really good play. Some guys got out of their fits or take their man. They already knew they could hit us with the play. They were banking on it working it and it did because of the type of play it was. Our offense went out and didn’t score so we ended up losing. I’ll take my guys over anybody. I’ll take my offense over anybody. I’ll my defense over anybody. I’ll take the whole special teams unit. I’ll take everybody in that whole locker room any day.”

On frustration losing games you should win

“It’s been frustrating. We haven’t had the outcomes we wanted to. You always want to walk off the field home or away with a win. We haven’t been doing that. We have to find a formula to win them. How do we win these close games? How do we step on our oppoenents necks early? Maybe we have to put them away later in the game. We have to keep the enthusiasm up. A lot of people get down and sad about this but every day that you wake up and get a chance to play football its great. It’s a blessing. Who’s to say tomorrow I might wake up and not be able to play football. A doctor could say I can’t play football. Maybe life takes me on a different trail and I can’t play. So in the meantime you get an opportunity to strap up in a practice or a game. It’s a lesson. It can’t be taken for granted. Guys have to be aware of that.”

On second bye week feeling

“I wouldn’t say it feels different. The last time we had one we were coming off a loss. This time we are coming off a loss. We know what it takes. We have to do everything in our power to keep it going. To get these wins and put these games in a positive category.”

On if positive mentality is in the locker room

“Yes, I do. I definitely do.”


Senior defensive back Eric Lee

On going after the punter

“I mean every week we don’t know who is going to get free. But someone has the ability to get free to make the play. Everyone rushes and hopefully someone makes the play.”

On going through a lot and navigating tough times

“You have to keep the same mindset. We are focusing on our bye week. After that we will focus on Wisconsin. Just taking things day by day one week at a time it helps us get through. Hopefully we can end the season on a good note.”

On the difference between good play and bad

“We just have to do our jobs. Guys weren’t doing their jobs. Being undisciplined. Those are things we are going to correct in the bye week. I trust Coach Frost and all those guys are going to help us get those corrections so we can be successful so we don’t make them later in the future.”

On keeping the team going after the bye

“We have three games left. We need two to go to a bowl game. That definitely keeps driving us every day.”

On Cam Taylor-Britt decision

“I know he was a little sick but I’m not sure how much that played a part in it.”

On Dicaprio Bootle playing safety

“I think the beauty of Coach Fisher is that he expects us to play different positions. He executes it very well. It wasn’t a concern of anybody.”

On Braxton Clark’s play

“I’m definitely proud of him. They tried to go at him deep a couple times. He didn’t let anything happen. We knew they’d try to test the young kid. I’m proud of him to keep working to perform the way he did.

On doubt for the final drive

“Based on all the principles we learned in the offense, this is why we play defense. To make those critical stops. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get it. We live for those situations and next time we will get it done.”

On shuffling being injury related versus game plan

“Some of it can definitely be injury related. Some can be game plan things. Like I said a lot of our guys are interchangeable. Being able to put D-cap (Bootle) back at corner or have him go to safety then I can slide wherever. I think it’s a testament to how much Coach Fisher trusts us.”


Sophomore quarterback Adrian Martinez

On his health

"I felt good. I was excited to be back out there. Feel 100 percent healthy, ready to go. There is no excuse to miss on some throws early in the game. I felt like I was ready from the start.”

On getting more comfortable as game went on

“You could say that. I was full throttle though. I also got a few more opportunities later in the game.”

On his play during the game

"I try not to think of the elements and I never want that to be a reason. For my errant throws or missed throws, there's no excuses. I made the correct read and the throw wasn't delivered where it needed to be, you know and that's on me. I think the game could have started out a lot differently if I would have executed my job better and that's on me."

On what can be done to salvage the season

“There isn’t a whole lot to be said at the moment. It’s a tough loss and a game I think we should have won. It’s really just about heart and having faith each other. We are playing for each other at the end of the day. If the guys in the locker room truly believe that there is a lot to play for.”

On the shovel pass in redzone

“I think I could have out ran the guy to the pylon. There was a guy trailing Wan’Dale and I didn’t want to take a negative play or anything crazy to happen.”

On being down at halftime

"I think our defense played really well. I believe we might even have had a block punt in the first half and we were putting good field position. Again, I take the blame. A lot of those plays should have resulted differently if I would have done my job the right way and would have executed to the fullest of my ability and I didn't do that today."

On the offense heating up in the second half

"I think we know what we're capable of as an offense, it's just a matter of piecing it together. And along with that, I feel like I started making some better throws and executing my job. The guys around me had a good game. You know, I think offensively the guys around me did their job well. It was me, you know, I missed some throws, and I'll take the blame."

On offense getting going with his running

“I think it allowed us to use more tempo here and there. It provided us that option. Part of my job is taking what the defense gives me. At the time, that was part of that.”

On asking to run more

“No. Honestly, I leave that stuff up to Coach Frost. I have all the faith in the world in him and the rest of our staff offensively.”

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