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Photo Credit: Eric Francis

They Said It: Nebraska’s Players Talk 28-21 Loss to Iowa

November 26, 2021

We heard from a lot of players on Saturday after the Huskers’ 28-21 loss to Iowa. Quarterback Logan Smothers, tight end Austin Allen, defensive back Cam Taylor-Britt, linebacker Nick Henrich wide receiver Samori Touré and defensive end Ben Stille all met with the media.

Here are selected questions and answers from their time with the media.

Freshman quarterback Logan Smothers

On the last play of the game

“We had a miscommunication there and we cannot have that happen.”

On expectations for this game

“This is what I have dreamed of my whole life. What more can you ask for, playing at home against Iowa?”

On entering the offseason

“Take the good and bad from this game and work on those things and just move forward and get better each and every day.”

On the season record

“It just shows how close we are. We are right there. We just got to get over the hump.”

On advice from Adrian Martinez

“Yeah he gave me a ton. He has been here all week. He is a great role model to look up to.”

Senior tight end Austin Allen

On the attitude of the sideline after the blocked punt

“Football is a game of adversity and how you respond to that adversity is going to dictate a lot of things. I did not think it was too bad in my opinion. We faced a lot of adversity this year. That was just another punch in the face, but we have taken punches in the face, and we have responded. To answer that question, I did not see a letdown by any means.”

On the feeling of his last game at Memorial Stadium

“It did not really hit me until pregame this week. Practicing was pretty normal. The last one in the stadium the fans showed up and they were loud and proud. Them showing up every weekend on a Black Friday game means a lot to me as a player and as a guy in the state. The support that they showed for a three and nine football team was tremendous. I cannot thank the fans enough for that.”

On his emotion after the game

“It was a frustrating season. In my case there is a smile on my face because it happened. I have my faith to lean back on. The game of football is just a small part of your life. One out of one of us is going to die where we are going to spend eternity is what is up for question. I hope to show people with the way I play football that I glorify God in the way I play sports. I hope people saw that, but I am not sad. I do not smile because it is over, I am happy because it happened.”

On this year’s seniors

“That is a group of guys who have seen a lot and been through a lot. They are taking punches left and right. It means a lot for me to stand next to them and to look back and look at all the adversity that we faced and know where this thing is going in the future. Coach Frost is a great guy and he has great people around him. He is going to get it turned around. You just look around and smile at the guys because of the memories you have had. It all culminated today, and I will keep in touch with those guys for the rest of my life, with coaches and with everybody I’ve been involved with during my five years here. Like I said I am not sad because it is over, I am happy because it happened.”

Freshman linebacker Nick Henrich

On feeling after game

“I think it is important to remember how this feels, the sting. There is nothing like this feeling, it is the worst. When you do not feel like showing up for work you have to remember why you do and get better so this does not happen again.”

On message to players eligible to come back

“We need everyone back and would love everyone back. I think we built a good culture this season that everyone on the team can feel, so I think that will help. But at the end of the day, we support what everyone decides.”

Junior cornerback Cam Taylor-Britt

On the game as a whole

“Yeah. It is unfortunate that a team so great can do so many things good, just turns up bad. I have no answers for this game honestly. It just feels like an ongoing dream. It happens, you know, week in and week out. We hold some of the top teams in the country to a certain amount of points or yards you know, doing our thing. Just one player or one hiccup just knocks the whole tower down. I know for sure these guys will fix it in the near future and I do have faith in that with all my heart. There were many times where I could have gone anywhere but I decided to stay because I can see what they are building here and what we have built here as of being here this time. It is just tough to keep going out the same way. I know they will get there.”

On the blocked punt

“I would not say anything bad went through my mind or any other defense’s mind. Let’s get out there. Let’s get a turnover and get the ball back so the offense can go score. There was no bad energy everyone was up like it did not happen.”

On it being his final year

“I just grew up a lot while I was here. I have so much knowledge I have saved from all the coaches. We started from the bottom with this whole program just built everything. I just felt like it was that time. I did commit this last year to fulfill my dreams and help this team become better. I feel so bad that I could not help do that but I tried my hardest.”

On Keagan Johnson

“It was alright, he is cool. He is an alright player, I will say that. I did tell him after the game those catches were not going on me but maybe another defensive back. He is going to be a great player though for sure. You know, I hate that he went to Iowa. He could have stayed home and been a great Nebraskan and carried on the legacy here, but he will be something special over there and I pray he does good.”

On coming off the field the last time

“Everything. It is all I have known. I have been here four years I have not looked at any other colleges or tried to transfer or anything. Sat my butt here and dealt with the heartache and the pain and tried to change everything around. I feel like you can only do so much, and I feel like I have done my best here and it’s time.”

Senior wide receiver Samori Toure

On his final game at Nebraska

“Obviously it was really tough. We felt like we had that game. We felt like we were in control most of the game. Going into the game we said we have to get a lead and build a lead early and take advantage because they do not like to play from behind. That is what we did but unfortunately we shot ourselves in the foot and could not finish.”

On the future at Nebraska

“The future is bright for Nebraska for sure. Our record obviously does not reflect that, but I think everybody knows that. We could have won every game and should have won a lot more games. It just comes down to finishing and expecting to win. We cannot be satisfied with almost winning. It is just that last little bit that we need to work on. But I think the future is bright for sure.”

On his one year at Nebraska

“It meant a lot to me. Going into the portal I just wanted to go to a place where I would have a good opportunity to show what I can do and to help the program and I feel like I was able to do that. Like I said even though our record does not reflect it I think Nebraska took a lot of steps forward. And I think next year is going to look a lot different.”

Senior defensive lineman Ben Stille

On work over last six years

“A ton of the guys I came in with are no longer here. The guys I was closest with are no longer here. It provided a unique opportunity for me to grow with the younger guys and create new bonds with the younger generation of Nebraska players and it is definitely a blessing.”

On state of defense for next year

“They are going to lose a few pieces but I think they are going to keep a majority of the guys and the leadership of this thing will keep it going. It is really about keeping it going and simplify things on defense. We need to have mature dudes that are disciplined enough to do the little boring things. It is not flashy playing good defense, and I think they are starting to understand that.”

On his decision to come back this year

“Without a doubt I am happy I came back. At one point in time last year, I told my friends there was a 1% chance I was coming back. Over the course of the last few weeks of the season that swayed and there is a lot of things that weighed on me but ultimately, I am super glad about the relationships I have built and helped out this program.”

On playing in front of fans at Memorial Stadium

“I said this earlier this week, but the fans here make this university and they make the experience here and that is what makes it so great to play at Nebraska. It was obviously super weird last year not having that, and I am just glad to be able to come back this season and play in front of the fans and experience everything they incorporate into the program.”

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