Photo Credit: Iowa Athletics

They Said It: Nebraska Players Talk Huskers’ 26-20 Loss to Iowa

November 27, 2020

Nebraska’s players met with the media on Friday following the team’s 26-20 loss to Iowa. We heard from Wan’Dale Robinson, Dicaprio Bootle, Adrian Martinez and Luke Reimer.

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

Wide receiver Wan’Dale Robinson

On the quarterback play being better in today’s game:

“That was just kind of all-around effort. Whether that be receivers, running backs, quarterbacks, offensive line, we were just all kind of on the same page going through this week. We were able to do a lot more things and execute a lot better on whether that’d be with Adrian or with Luke.”

On how rotating quarterbacks effects the offense and how they played:

“I think they both played well. But it really doesn’t change for us because we get enough reps with each one of them to know exactly what one can do. But they both can really do about the same things. So, it’s really easy for you because they’re really interchangeable. They’ve repped enough with the ones each practice to know exactly what to do. So, we feel confident with both.”

On the feeling going into the final drive:

“Let’s go score. It’s that simple. We can go down. Let’s grab the ball and we’re going to win.”

Defensive back Dicaprio Bootle

On the mood in the locker room after coming up short again:

“Yeah its hard coming up short. We’re always so close. Like I say all the time we got to figure out ways to win close games. That is going to take us over the edge once we get that feeling and once we get those reps under us where we close out close games and know that it will be better for us. A lot of guys in the locker room right now are sick of that feeling, just sick. We want to do so much more to fix it. We want to start rebuilding the empire to where we say we wanted to be so we got to win those games.”

On how the feeling after the last defensive series that gave the offense another shot:

“I won’t even talk about the last defensive series, I can talk about the whole game. Just continuing to be the defense that we know we want to be. Guys out there scratching and clawing, jumping in their gaps and being sound on defense. Giving the offense as many opportunities as we can. The end of the game was was just like clockwork. Go ahead, go out there again. Give the offense another opportunity and defensively we played our hearts out today.

On getting his first interception of his career:

“I mean it felt good, you know? That was something that was on my mind this offseason. Just going out and getting the ball, get my hands on the ball. It’s not even just about me. It’s my first but you know, it’s my first for the team. Trying to get the ball back to them to set them up and get them a score. Just being able to get the ball back in their hands and help them.”

On keeping another close loss from draining the locker room:

“I’ll speak for myself, I’m not drained now. I’m fired up and ready to go. So are a lot of guys. This game, it hurt. Make no mistake, it hurts. You want to win those games especially against a team like Iowa with so much at stake. It’s a border war. That hurts so much more but I’m fired up. I’m ready to go get the next one.”

On the emotions of wanting to get things turned around:

“It gets us charged up. This one is done. We put in the work during the week and at the end of the day we fell short. Once that clock is zero, Coach Frost came into the locker room and said we need to be on to the next. We have to bring the same intensity to the next game that we did today.”

On the culture shifting since 2017 and what else needs to happen:

“It’s shifted a lot since 2017. Just it’s a whole lot different. Not to point out anything specific, but guys are playing harder. Guys are going out there with the will to win. Some weeks have obviously been better than others, but you know we just keep on fighting, keep on clawing. The guys in that locker room right now really want to win. We don’t lose sight of that and come out every day. During practice we just need to do better at paying attention to the details. Catching punts, tackling too. Wrapping up, instead of just trying to throw the shoulder sometimes. Knocking guys back. All that type of stuff. We just got to pay more attention to the detail and know we’ll be all right. Good thing about it is everybody in the locker room is wanting to work towards that.

On the difference between last week and this week:

“Even in the  loss last week, so much to learn from and so much to build on. That’s the beauty of it. As long as you are willing to work and as long as you’re willing to right those wrongs, then you got another opportunity coming. So even last week, and this week, we just got to take lessons and move forward. Make sure the bad plays don’t break us again.”

On what he said to Cam Taylor-Britt after the muffed punt:

“Yeah, keep your head up, man. We got you, we got your back. We love you. Most importantly. We know it’s not his intentions. Nobody wants to go out there and drop a punt. That guy right there, that’s somebody who really puts his all into the game since the first day he’s walked into the building. It’s one of the guys we’ve never had to question his effort. Never had the question whether he wants to win. Never had to question his intensity.We just got to put our arms around a guy. We let him know at the end of the day a football game is not won or lost on just one play. It’s won or lost on series or accumulation of plays during the game. We just let him know, man, we know where your heart is at. He was down on himself super hard. It’s our job as his teammates to really love that guy up and understand that you dropped it but we all dropped it.”

Quarterback Adrian Martinez

On how the week went for him and when he knew he’d start:

“All week, Luke and I were competing and splitting reps, just like other positions. I know Coach Frost has been pretty adamant about that. We found out later in the week and both guys were prepared to play and then that’s what happened today.”

On frustrations with coming close against Iowa again:

“Yeah, I think you hit it on the head. Very frustrating for us as players as coaches. I know we’re not satisfied obviously. We want to beat these guys and we’ve been in a ton of close games and close games against this team specifically year in and year out. We just have to be more consistent. That starts with me and the rest of leaders and we will be. We have a ton of faith in Coach Frost, I have a ton of faith in this team and these guys so we’re gonna find a way”

On how he felt playing this week versus last week:

“I feel good out there. I believe Coach Verduzco did a great job of preparing myself and Luke this week. We had a really solid game plan. I felt really good about my approach and mindset. And the guys around me. Obviously, there’s room for improvement. There always is. We could have put more points up on the board and finished a couple more drives but we’re going to continue to get better.”

On if practice was different this week for the team:

“I can only speak to the offensive side of the ball when it comes to practice and I know defense was locked in as well from what I heard from Coach Chinander. Luke and I were a lot more efficient this week. Guys were more dialed in. Just trying to detail our work and make sure that we were prepared. Especially with some of those young guys, I think we learned a valuable lesson the week before and we came out and got after it. Yeah, I believe we came with a certain amount of intensity today. We were ready to play.”

On playing with a chip on his shoulder the last few weeks:

“I believe you’ve alluded to it, just adding a bit more of a chip on my shoulder. And it kind of helped me with my mindset I’d say. Also continuing to try and do things the right way and be sharp and detailed. Regardless of whether I’m the starter, the backup, whatever role I have on this team. I want to be the best leader, the best captain and teammate I can possibly be. So I think it puts some things in perspective for me and allowed me to approach practice and each day with a better mindset.”

Linebacker Luke Reimer

On how the defense held up against Iowa:

“We knew what kind of game you were going to get into with Iowa. They’re just going to run the ball and we have to stop the run. I thought we did an okay job at it, but clearly not enough. So always room to improve.”

On the pain he is playing through right now:

“Yeah, I mean, it’s a long season. Everybody is banged up right now. I have a little ankle injury but everybody’s banged up right now. You just have to play through it.”

On what the team has left in the tank the last two weeks:

“I think a lot. We just have to come out and fight like we did today. You just continue to play hard like how we did, and prepare the way that we did for this game. Then the wins will start to come if we just keep grinding and keep our heads down and just keep working. I mean, that’s all we can do. I think there’s still a lot left in the tank for us.

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