Three and Out: Nebraska 53
Photo Credit: Eric Francis

They Said It: Nebraska Players on Huskers’ Win Over Minnesota

October 21, 2018

Nebraska players met with the media Saturday evening following the Huskers' win over Minnesota, 53-28.

Quarterback Adrian Martinez, running back Devine Ozigbo, wide receiver Stanley Morgan Jr. and defensive end Ben Stille all fielded questions from the media.

Here's the full transcript from their question-and-answer session postgame.

Freshman Quarterback Adrian Martinez

On how this victory feels

“It’s definitely a nice feeling. A lot different than losing. Night and day. I’m thankful that we pulled this one out. It feels good, the hard work paid off there. But, we just need to stay level-headed here, put things in perspective. We haven’t arrived yet. As good as this feels, we need to feel more of this going forward.”

On if he felt nervous when Minnesota pulled within a couple of touchdowns

“No. I talked to the guys in the huddle before we ran out on the field. We all knew what we needed to do, we needed to put together a good drive, go down there and score, and that’s what we did. We never lost the faith. I was confident we were going to go down there a score and win the game.”

On if he purposely targeted Stanley Morgan Jr. more in this game

“In our offense it’s easy to distribute the ball to a lot of different guys. I think today it happened to be Stan and I’m definitely happy for him.”

On the first touchdown pass to Stanley Morgan Jr. 

“It was something the coaching staff drew up in a game plan going against these guys. The concept wasn’t necessarily new, we kind of meshed two things together, and it worked perfectly. There were a couple instances where Coach Frost just called the perfect play. I’m thankful to have a guy like that behind some of the plays we put out there on the field.”

On if he had fun playing in this game

“For sure. Every game I have fun. When you’re going out there in front of 90,000, it’s impossible not to. Anyone who doesn’t have fun playing the game of football in a place like this, I don’t think they should be playing.”

On how the team was able to finish this game compared to last week’s game

“Just having that faith. Knowing that we can score, that we’re going to score, and we’re going to pull this game out. Staying strong in our will, and knowing the work we put in during the week is going to pay off. Just stick with, know what we can accomplish and we went out there and did it.”

On if the game is slowing down for him

“I would say so, a little bit. Obviously it is an adjustment and some things you can’t learn without just playing experience. I feel really good right now, really a big credit to the coaches and the guys I have around me, they make it really easy. Guys like Stanley and JD, I mean I think I’m in a great situation. I’m glad that it finally came to fruition today.”

On how happy he is for the seniors

“They deserve even more, and I think we’re going to give it to them here at the end of the season. And Coach Frost and his coaching staff, we work so hard. Being here since January, I’ve been here since the winter conditioning and the summer conditioning. Things haven’t necessarily gone our way but I’m happy they did today. Just got to keep working.”

On what was working on the ground today

“I think everything was working on the ground. When you have three different guys who are running it, including myself, it makes it tough on the defense and how they are going to stop us. If they want to bring an extra guy in the box, then we’ll throw it out there. That’s what is so great about this offense, it’s having a lot of options. Our o-line was playing great today. I think they are incredibly underrated, the job they've done, the yards we’ve put up, and we translated those yards into points today.”

On how the offensive line has progressed this season

“I think as a whole we’ve gotten better. Obviously, with time we’ve learned the scheme better. We understand our assignments better. And I think you can look at me in the beginning and look at everyone on the team, and we’ve all gotten better. And we’ve known that as a team for a few weeks now, but to finally put it out there on the field was nice.”

On if this win feels like vindication for the team

“A little bit. I think you can describe it as a monkey off our backs almost. We finally got that first win. But, we expected to win week one. I’m thankful we are finally here, but we haven’t arrived. We have a lot of season left, lots of opportunities to win games here, so we have to finish.”

Senior wide receiver Stanley Morgan Jr.

On his last touchdown

"It hurt last year to see them run up the score on us, so it's a little bit of payback."

On the feeling of realizing they were going to win

"It was just a relief off my shoulders. We worked so hard in practice throughout the week. The guys deserved this."

On freshman quarterback Adrian Martinez

"That guy, from the summer, he's been so mature above his ears. To see that guy just out there running and I got a block for him and he sprang one, it's amazing. That kid is going to be real special in the future."

On how the team learned to finish after the Northwestern game

"We just came out there today and we weren't taking losing for an answer. We weren't going to take that L today. Not today. It's a certain point where you just have got to go out there and get that win. That's what we felt today and I felt the team was great."

On the relief from scoring the last touchdown

"We have freshmen on the team that never experienced a win this year. We worked so hard in practice. I'm very excited for those guys to enjoy this 24 hours and get that win, and then be ready to practice on Monday."

On the coaches getting him the ball

"They moved me around more. It's kind of tough being out there underneath over-the-top coverage. It's kind of tough to get the ball out there. So the coaches just moved me around more and just put more emphasis on that, and I appreciate them for that."

On his role on the team the past few weeks

"Just being that leader. Each week, it [doesn't] matter win or lose, I've got to come ready to go. Come ready to go on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. I've got to be that leader. These guys feed off me and that's the role I've got right now and that's the role I love."

On being prepared for Minnesota

"We prepared all week for that, so we [were] ready. Guys were on top of the game."

On how the running backs opened up the passing game

"My last touchdown, I don't even think the guy saw me run past him. We're running all those guys and it opens up the deep routes, and it's amazing. I love it."

On if the team has turned a corner

"I saw it [today], and I saw it all week. [Our] Monday practice was amazing. Coming off a heartbreaking loss, we thought we had it in the bag and last minute it went into overtime and we lost. These guys came to work Monday ready to go, and I felt it."

Senior running back Devine Ozigbo

On the love for the game

“As a running back, and just as a person who loves playing this game, I want the ball in my hands as many times as possible if it’s going to help the team.”

On slowing the clock 

“That was big. We needed to move the ball. The clock wasn’t our friend. We had to get it down to the buzzer, as small as we could.”

On going into the second half

“Go out there like it’s 0-0. Go out there playing hard. We have a game in a good spot, but we all know college football can change at the drop of a hat, so we had to go out there and finish like the first half never happened.”

On the team’s attitude 

“It was big. This team has kept an immensely positive attitude, especially with the things that we’ve gone through, that’s kind of surprising. But, to finally get a positive result, all that work, all that fighting through the losses, fighting through the downs is paying off. Practice on Monday should be exciting. Things like that give us a spark.” 

On his senior year

“I love playing the game and I definitely want to get as many opportunities to play as possible. It’s my senior year. God willing, I’ll get a chance next year, but this is it. This is all I’ve got, so I want to make the most of it.” 

On making the right calls

“If it worked then it really worked. We just kept calling the right things, the coaches in the booth. Everyone is making the right decisions. Adrian (Martinez) is making the right decisions.” 

On giving Coach Frost the game ball

“Coach Chinander, Frost got everybody quiet, about to talk and Coach Chins comes in and flips the ball, gives the speech, and you could tell it was a big moment. Everybody was happy for him.”

On momentum and practices leading up to the game

“Everybody kind of knew with the practices that we’ve had. Everybody is getting better, and you can just see that. The game we played last Saturday, the practices on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and how locked in everybody was on Thursday and Friday. Everybody had a pretty good feeling. We knew, ‘alright this is a team right here that is willing to fight, willing to work and if we do what we need to do, we can go out there and change this whole situation’. I definitely think it started earlier in the week in practice, but everyone has been getting better.”

On the win

“It’s good. It’s one of those things that coaches say, ‘you need to practice well, you’re going to be better.’ It’s kind of hard for some people to understand, to finally see that things are getting better, we finally came a little way. It just shows you how important practice is and how important it is to stay locked in.”

On both touchdown plays

“Both of them, our coach (Held) always talks about the way this run is blocked, the backside cut is going to be there. It just happened to work out, both front sides were there. You have to press it. Coach Held is always stressing pressing it and staying true to your eye and making the right reads when you see a hole made.”

Sophomore defensive end Ben Stille

On how he feels about the win

"It was definitely long awaited and definitely a good feeling after I don't know how long it's been since we won, but it's been a while."

On how the week leading up to today's game impacted the win

"Last week's game, we let that slip away, so we definitely came to practice this week with an urgency to get better and fix the things that went wrong."

On Dedrick Young's game-changing pick

"It's definitely something we've been emphasizing, turnovers especially. Trying to get turnovers, those change games. And we haven't had enough of those this year, so it was good to get one finally."

On if the team felt like they had the game in the bag

"When we jumped up 28-zip pretty quick there, I mean I'm sure. After that though just from last week especially we try not to let those thoughts, that mentality creep into our minds. We've got to fight that, just thinking it's in the bag. The game's never over."

On how the first win felt for Frost

"I think that was a kind of load off his shoulders, expecting for however many weeks to get one. Finally to get one for him. Now we can move on from that."

On the excitement for the Nebraskans on the team

"Definitely all the work that's went in since the new staff came in and everything we've been through in the offseason and just trying to change the culture and everything it was definitely a weight off our shoulders."

 

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