Photo Credit: Ben Solomon

They Said It: Nebraska Players Talk 28-21 Win Over Rutgers

December 18, 2020

Nebraska players met with media following the 28-21 win over Rutgers on Friday. Running back Dedrick Mills, linebacker Garrett Nelson, defensive back Cam Taylor-Britt, wide receiver Wan’Dale Robinson and quarterback Adrian Martinez all spoke.

Here is the full transcript from the players:

Running back Dedrick Mills

On how rewarding winning the game feels:

“This is a big reward for all the seniors not just me. We all came out with the mindset of we got to get this win. Whether it’s our last game or not. We just knew we had to get this one for the seniors and for Collin especially because he’s not able to play football anymore. I really just went out and I gave everything I have for my team. Laid everything on the line and we came out with this victory.”

On wishing the team played with more of a physical style earlier:

“I mean, it is what it is. I mean, yeah I wish I had more of that earlier during the season but it is what it is. Whatever I need to do to help my team win although we had a few losses. Still anything I can do to help my team win I did it. In spite of all the talk about Nebraska we came out and did our thing tonight.”

On if he’s thought about returning to Nebraska next season:

“At the moment I haven’t really thought about. I was worried about this game. So I mean, that’s what I just focused on. After this we’ll see what’s next. You’ll probably see something in a few days, maybe another week or so. So that’s all I got.”

 

Outside linebacker Garrett Nelson

On the defensive performance overall:

“When you eliminate those big plays that’s when you become an elite defense. You strive for perfection but you don’t always get there. I’m proud for our defense. I’m proud for our team. Finally showing what you know, what we’re made of and what we do. So I’m really happy. But I mean it’s a team game. We keep each other in it, you feed off each other you get momentum together. It’s a good team and it was a good time.”

On what has changed to help the team get off the field on third down:

“Like I was telling you as well a couple days ago is that when you become elite and you start getting teams off the field like that. Two for thirteen is obviously a really good job. We talked about practice all the time. And that’s what we do in practice. We practice being perfect. We practice getting off the field. We practice not making mistakes and things like that. We’ve been practicing the way that we should be and now obviously shown on the field. I’m really proud for defense. I love playing under Chins and all our guys. It was it’s fun man, it’s fun to play with this defense.”

On the spirit of the defense not missing a beat during adversity:

“Go get the work, man. We love playing defense and we think of it as another opportunity to go show what we do. Go show what Blackshirts are all about. We love the opportunity to go on the field we love the opportunity to play. Once we get down what happens? What happens to our team? You can’t sit there and feel sorry for yourself. You got to go play football and you got to go be excited to play and play for each other. That’s the best thing is being excited to play with each other and I hope everybody saw that tonight. How excited we are to play with each other.”

On how he’d feel about playing in a bowl game:

“You know me man, I love playing football. But it’s been a long year and you know we’re talking about it among us boys and I’m sure you’ll know here pretty soon. But I would love to play another game.”

 

Wide receiver Wan’Dale Robinson

On what the offense overcame tonight:

“We had some turnovers. We had some miscues on offense a little bit with some penalties and things like that. But we were just able to overcome. The defense was able to get a lot of stops. So that helped us out a lot. But it was just really good to come out with that win.”

On if the team wants to pursue a bowl game opportunity:

“We’ll probably have a conversation with Coach Frost here in a little bit about what our decision is with that. He’ll get a bunch of the leaders together just to kind of talk. If we have to have to play another game, we’ll be fine with that. If we’re not, then it’d be nice just to go home and just kind of get back with our families.”

On needing another game for the offense:

“I feel like it’s a little bit of both. I think you can go both ways. So it’s just really a matter of how Coach Frost and the rest of the team feels about it.”

On what the team did tonight being physical running at Rutgers:

“It was really just coming down to making a commitment to really doing it. We had known going into week Coach Frost said that’s what they really wanted to do is be able to go in and just run the football. So that was one thing that we were able to do. It was nice for us to be able to do that.”

On Adrian Martinez’ performance in the game:

“I mean, he’s a warrior. I mean, at the end of the day, if you make a mistake, you got to forget about it. We’re all going to make mistakes, we’re going to have some turnovers. But at the end of the day you just got to keep fighting and that’s what he did. It showed up on the scoreboard. He led us down on some scoring drives.”

 

Cornerback Cam Taylor-Britt

On adjusting in the second half as a team:

“We just came in here at halftime and just talked to the team as a whole. Just ask them what’s your why? Why are we here? We got this game late in the season when we didn’t we’re going to have the game. Just to come in and practice having a short week. Play for the seniors man. They did so much for us and we had to go out there and put on for them and everybody just had to play together as a team.”

On the message for the offense when they struggle in a game:

“I go to the offensive side sometimes in their huddle. I just try to encourage them and tell them we got them. Because at the beginning of the season it was some guys that were down when the offense didn’t do so well and we had to go back out there. We just really flipped the switch on that and everybody hypes the offense up. We just try to get the ball back so they can get down there and try to score.”

On the defense being resilient after sudden change plays:

“We love pressure. We don’t fold when it comes. We just take it on and we know put our best foot forward. When the offense doesn’t do so well like I said we try to hype the offense up. We just try to let them know that we do have their back and we’re going to go out and try to get the ball back.”

On his interception that stopped a key drive:

“Well big-time players make plays in big time games. I feel like this is a big-time game. They called my number and I just had to make a play.”

 

Quarterback Adrian Martinez

On how the offense played overall and ran the ball:

“That just showed how well our offensive line was doing. Those guys were hungry and we could rely on them. Especially down the stretch. They were playing hard, following their assignments and got the job done. I have a lot of faith in those guys. I think that’s really where that success can be pointed towards.”

On physically dominating Rutgers:

“I think if we didn’t shoot ourselves in the foot specifically myself shoot the offense in the foot, we would have had even more success tonight. It really speaks volumes to the offensive line and their physicality tonight and their mindset. Really I just had to follow suit.”

On the keys to bouncing back after a tough start:

“Just fighting. No quit. That’s really the mentality of this team and been the mentality this year. 2020 hasn’t been easy. There’s been lots of ups and downs but our team hasn’t given up. I haven’t given up. I really had the same mindset today. I wasn’t going to quit on this team. I obviously made a couple big time mistakes. I was going to keep going out there and slinging it knowing that I was capable and that the guys had my back.”

On the locker room emotions after the win:

“Guys are excited. I think anytime you can get a win we appreciate it. We were fired up to get one here. It’s a long flight over to Rutgers and a long day in the hotel. It was worth it because we got the win.”

On his thoughts about playing in a bowl game:

“That’s definitely something as the Leadership Council and obviously the coaching staff and players in general, we’re going to have to discuss. It’s something that I don’t think has been completely decided yet. It’s been a long year. I think one way or the other we’re happy with the way that we played tonight. We’ll just have to see where things go. I’m not sure if this is the last game of the season or not.”

On the last time he spent time with his family:

“March. So that’s a big piece as well, obviously. For the coaches, for the players and everyone involved with this program.”

On Wan’Dale Robinson talents and performance:

“He’s a stud. We’re very fortunate to have him. I know it. I know the coaches know it and the guys really do appreciate him. He’s shows a ton of heart. He battled through injuries, a tough dude. One of the toughest guys on our team I believe. He’s able to carry the ball and catch the ball. I have a lot of faith in him and really excited for his future and what he still has to accomplish here as a Husker.”

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