Photo Credit: Eric Francis

They Said It: Nebraska Players Talk 24-17 Loss to Minnesota

December 12, 2020

Nebraska players met with the media on Saturday following the team’s 24-17 loss to Minnesota. We heard from defensive back Dicaprio Bootle, outside linebacker JoJo Domann and quarterback Adrian Martinez.

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

Senior Defensive Back Dicaprio Bootle

On senior day:

“It was extremely emotional for me. I love each and every last one of those guys. I love just about everybody else that came through this building since I’ve been here that has come and gone. And you know that was just kind of thinking of all my memories here. Just being in Memorial Stadium. All the good times. The hard times. There was just a whole lot going through my head but you know more love than anything else and just feeling the love and just knowing that there was just a lot of love around me between players, coaches, faculty, staff, everybody.”

On the last drive of the first half:

“Ultimately we just want to put ourselves in better situations. I don’t feel like we played horrible today. A couple of things that we would like to have back. But in life you don’t get a rewind button so you know we just have to take what we got and learn from it.”

On Cam Taylor-Britt:

“We weren’t expecting it and when it happened I just went over to him just let him know that we got his back no matter what. That’s forever and that’s always. A guy like him who put so much into the game and so passionate about the game that I’m sure that hurts him to have the game taken away from him. We just let him know keep his head up and he’ll be back.”

On Minnesota’s offense:

“They just tried to bleed the clock. They did a good job of checking with their coaches. Getting into the place that they wanted and just trying to execute them against us. At the end of the day we just got to be better as a defense and I know we will be better going forward. Like I said earlier I don’t feel like we played horrible but some things just need to be cleaned up.”

On the rest of the season:

“As long as it’s still football out there the guys down in that locker room the coaches upstairs we are dialing in and we are going to get after it so no matter who the opponent is we’re going to attack it the same way each weekend and just work on getting better. Just being better versions of ourselves from the week before. And no matter who we have to face. Everybody down there just is ready for the next challenge ahead.”

On the last drive of the game:

“Some things we want to fix. We did have a chance to get them off the field and ultimately, we didn’t. That falls in our hands. We have to take accountability for that. Got to go and watch that film and watch where we can get better and emulate those situations in practice and just go ahead make ourselves better overall.”

 

Senior Linebacker JoJo Domann

On Nebraska’s performance:

“We’ve just got to find ways to win. You know, when your backs against the wall and things don’t go your way, you’ve got to find ways to win. That’s part of creating a winning culture and just being accustomed to winning and finding ways to win so that’s what I would say to that.”

On Minnesota’s final drive of the first half:

“It definitely influenced the game. I mean we were trying to get off the field, get our offense the ball, and then they bust one on the first play. Then with Cam (Taylor-Britt), losing a great player like Cam, and missing out on that interception, it’s just this is a tale of the game, right? Just missed opportunities. We’ve got to find ways to win in every aspect of the game at every point in the game.”

On Minnesota’s final drive to end the game:

“It was on us. We set the front the wrong way on the big run. You know, we’re just trying to make a play, trying to get the ball back. High intensity. They’re calling their best plays. We’re trying to play sound in every facet. All three levels. It’s tough.”

On the emotions of Senior Day after the game:

“We’re disappointed in the result today, but our time here at Nebraska hasn’t been about winning and losing. The adversity that we faced on this senior class and the guys that were able to make it through it to be here today. That’s why I’m proud of and the brotherhood that we formed and the men we’ve become in the process. That’s what it’s about, and we were just sharing that moment, last time in Memorial. Special.”

On his pass breakup late in the game:

“I’m basically, I’m in zero coverage on that post. I was playing catch technique. I was playing the sticks, so I did get beat with speed. I did see the ball thrown out of the corner of my eye, and I just, I mean those three seconds were just bliss. It was just, you know, find a way to knock this ball out. Thank the good Lord that he didn’t catch it.”

On the unique situation of this Senior Day:

“You just try to capitalize on every time you get to step out on the field, and the fact that it could potentially be the last one. It didn’t really hit me before the game, but definitely after the game started and then especially at the end of the game, it really started to sit in. You know guys have decisions to make. They’ve got to do what’s best for their future. But, you know, for all intents and purposes that was our last game and it stinks.”

On Minnesota controlling time of possession:

“We have to get off on third down, so we have to hold up our end of the bargain and get off the field, create three-and-outs, create turnovers, which we didn’t do today. Then just obviously our offense, just sustaining longer drives and moving the chains. It’s just the game of football, but when you’re stuck out there on defense, we like that chip on our shoulder. We understood as the game went on that we dictate the result of this game, because things weren’t really going our way on the other side of the ball. We had to create a turnover and we had to get off the field and we didn’t do either of those.”

On remembering this Senior Day:

“It really just emphasizes who has been in our corner the whole time, right? We love playing for Big Red Nation and we love playing in front of 90,000 but at the end of the day, our families and our close friends are what help us get to where we’re at today and who we really play for. I think it’s a little ironic, but you know, it is what it is. It’s a game and we played the game and it’s a beautiful game so it’s nice to have our family in the stands, even though we are missing out on the energy and the rest of the fan base that we cherish and that we enjoy.”

 

Junior Quarterback Arian Martinez

On the first play of the game:

“I wouldn’t blame it on that play specifically or really even put too much significance on that play. As far as setting the tone for the game but I feel like similarly another drives we would mess up one play messed up one thing here there and attention to detail and that’s on me.”

On Martinez’s performance:

“I would say I definitely did not play my best game. I need to be more efficient and effective and I missed on a few throws that I’d love to have back that I think could have been big plays. I have to go back on film and look over those and see where I can improve. Wind is a factor in Nebraska always but I’m definitely not blaming the wind today in my passing success.”

On the offense:

“Right now, I really can’t point to anything besides us as players needing to make things work a little bit more. I’d say I made a few mistakes some other guys made mistakes. Just all eleven guys as one unit executing and being detailed and I think a couple times we got a little unlucky and also just weren’t detailed enough in that and that’s Big Ten football and that’s on us.”

On the rest of the season:

“Yeah I would say so. I would definitely say so. This team’s been hungry since the offseason and I know there’s plenty of guys who want to go play. Obviously, we’re expecting to play a game next week. You don’t know who or at least I don’t right now but I know our guys will be ready.”

On his message after the game:

“It’s tough. I would say we missed our opportunities and we could have played a lot better especially on the offensive side of the ball. We have to be better and it starts with me there and I’ll take full responsibility for not executing at the highest levels that I know I’m capable of and that my teammates expected me so I have to own that and again we’re going to look back at the film and know the few plays that we missed on and have to take advantage of those things.”

On his frustration:

“Obviously it’s frustrating and my mindset in the game is got to move on to the next play and play within that. That’s football sometimes. You can’t always expect it to be exactly how it was in practice. That’s the game but again this week I agree with Coach in thinking that we had a good week of practice and I’ve got to hit on more of those throws and that’s on me.”

On the wind:

“It did not cross my mind during that game. I obviously I would know which direction the wind was blowing but it wasn’t something I’d think about when throwing or on a drive in the game.”

On his passing game:

“I would say there’s things that we need to execute better for sure. And that’s a process, and I think all our guys know that. I know that. We had some really good play calls today and I personally have to execute better. I think our receivers are really coming along. Tight ends are very solid. Again, I have to take responsibility there and that’s something we’re going to get better at and I have confidence in our passing game moving forward.”

On Minnesota’s last drive before the half:

“In this given game I would say no that didn’t really affect us. We knew regardless of the score we were going to have to come out and be ready to go and I think that’s the mindset regardless of what the score is and it didn’t really change much in that scenario today.”

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