Notable quotes from Nebraska’s 31-16 win over the Illinois Fighting Illini.
Head coach Mike Riley on the team’s performance against Illinois:
Did you all stay around for the fourth quarter? It didn’t look like much up until then. I’m really proud of this team because it was also pretty obvious that they had the edge early. They were on top of it earlier than we were, they were making more plays and they were tackling well and making us miss. There was a lot of hard stuff, but I’m really pleased with our ability to stay in it and then play better and make big plays to win the game. That’s great stuff. We obviously have a lot of work to do to improve those other things, but that part of it is a great quality to have.
On going for it on fourth down:
I knew we’d get it. No, the way that game was going I just thought ‘we better do this right now’ because I felt the more confidence we gave them the worse it was. We kept giving them life throughout the game, and I didn’t want to do that one more time.
Defensive coordinator Mark Banker on the defense
The one thing I was most disappointed in out of everything, I thought we tackled very, very poorly for a good portion of the game. I don’t know it was. I don’t know if we were running through… I saw a few guys really overextending themselves and not wrapping and things like that.
On the defense staying with it in the fourth quarter:
That tells you that the players are determined to stay with it, to grind through the good and bad times and they’re starting to learn how to finish. I think Mark Philipp and the strength and conditioning crew have done a good job too because obviously, their stamina is good. Today we didn’t take many plays but still, you’re out there and time gone by and they’ve done a good job with that too.
Offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf on the importance of the bye week:
I think we are a little beat up and I think it will be time to really regroup and get some guys healthy and get some rest.
Wide receiver Stanley Morgan Jr. on the team’s leadership:
That’s what’s about this team. We have great leaders and great captains, don’t get me wrong, but everybody around us is leading each other. That’s what this team is all about. Leading each other and picking up each other.
On whether he likes catching the ball better or blocking:
50/50, maybe? 50/50.
Safety Nathan Gerry on what the defense did to stop Illinois in the fourth quarter:
Toward the end of the game I think we started to see things a little bit better. I think our coaches kind of understood what they were trying to throw at us. Just the adjustments we made from halftime, I think that allowed us to maybe line up a little better. I think we just covered things toward the end a little better and made plays.
Linebacker Dedrick Young on being 5-0:
It feels good, you know what I mean? We just have to keep doing what we are doing and get better and better.
Erin is the Deputy Editor and Digital Marketing Strategist for Hail Varsity. She has covered Nebraska athletics since 2012, which has included stops at Bleacher Report, Cox Media Group’s Land of 10, and even Hail Varsity (previously from 2012-2017). She has also been featured on the Big Ten Network, NET’s Big Red Wrap-Up, and a varsity of radio shows nationwide. When not covering the Huskers, Erin is probably at Chipotle.