MADISON, Wisc. — Nebraska players spoke with the media Saturday following the Huskers' loss to Wisconsin, 41-24.
Quarterback Adrian Martinez, linebacker Luke Gifford and wide receivers JD Spielman and Stanley Morgan Jr. all fielded questions from the media.
Here's the full transcript from his question-and-answer sessions postgame.
Freshman quarterback Adrian Martinez
On whether the game with Wisconsin was fun:
"Yes and no. I’m definitely excited when our offense is doing well, when we’re performing well, but losing isn’t fun. I don’t like playing from behind and I feel like we’ve done it too often this year. I definitely have more fun when we’re winning."
On whether a couple of things could have put Nebraska in the position to win:
"Yes. I really have to take that blame for myself there. There were a few decisions I’d love to have back, especially in the first half, where I feel like if I’d made the right choice, it would have been a different game. A team like Wisconsin, who doesn’t make a lot of mistakes, who’s a ranked team, that was on me. We knew we needed to be more precise and I made a few errors that I think cost us in the first half."
On what specific play stood out:
"It was man coverage and I looked up the wrong side. I should have thrown it to Maurice on a corner route and I think it could have been a touchdown, but instead I looked up the other way, rolled out and threw it away. It was a missed opportunity."
On Maurice Washington:
"I think the potential for the two of us is really promising but I’m really focusing on the now. Maurice is getting better day in and day out and I believe so am I. It’s just understanding what college football is about, what the work is about and I think we’re both getting better at that right now. I’m really proud of the way he’s playing. He’s a heck of a competitor.
“He has the ability to catch the ball, run down the field and catch the ball, and he’s also just elusive and quick and I think he has the potential to be really special in this offense. We just have to keep progressing and I think we’ll have more opportunities as we progress as an offense.”
"I would just say we’ve been through so much as a team already, the ups and downs, little things not going our way. We’re battling through adversity, we’re getting closer as a unit. Knowing we’re going through this struggle together and knowing that we’re going to be back, we’re going to get this thing turned around. We just can’t lose the faith. I feel like we just really adopted that idea whole-heartedly. We knew the guys that were there are there with us and they’re our guys and they’re in it for the long haul."
On if he's surprised to see how guys come and go:
"A little bit. Definitely something I’m not used to but I definitely understand. Those are those guys’ decisions and they want to play. They’re used to being able to play, being highly-recruited, you want to play and that’s why they’re transferring. I can understand their situations. Obviously I wish guys would stick around but it is what it is. I’m happy with the guys we have here now and you never know what the future holds in regards to other people."
Sophomore wide receiver JD Spielman
"For the atmosphere that we put him in, I definitely feel like he played really well. I'm really proud of him. You know, every day he keeps getting better and better. In a couple of years, I feel like he's going to be something crazy."
On the players that departed this week:
"It hurts when people leave. You really start to figure out who's there and who's not. I hope the best for all the guys that left and I hope they find a new home and that they make the most of their careers in the years they have left but you know, once you know who's leaving and who's not, it makes it that more special for the guys that that stick around. You just naturally form a bond. You don't even have to do anything. It's just the fact that theyr'e still there. It's a good enough reason."
Senior wide receiver Stanley Morgan Jr.
On Martinez and the future:
"I'll tell you guys all the time that the future is bright for these guys. I mean, I just today found out Adrian is 18. I didn't know that. I mean, these guys are young and these guys just keeping working and coming to practice every day and I like that."
On the mark he wants to leave at Nebraska:
"Just to show I left everything on the field and to be the leader my teammates like and just to leave my mark."
Senior linebacker Luke Gifford
On what the seniors are helping to build:
"You know, at the beginning of this season, we talked as a senior class and the one really big thing we wanted out of this was to change the foundation of this program. Sometimes that hurts, you know, being 0-5. But at the end of the day, we know that we're setting the foundation for Coach Frost. We're going to be able to look back on it and say that we were the first team that got to start that."