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Nebraska Football

Deontai Williams on Pride and Restoring Nebraska's Winning Tradition

September 25, 2018
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During Saturday’s blowout loss to Michigan, Nebraska had its fair share of mistakes. 

That’s not surprising given the 56-10 final score. Still, there are things to learn from the game. And for the players, you dust yourself off and watch the film to see exactly what those mistakes were.

Safety Deontai Williams, who had the team’s only interception of the game, was asked on Monday if the mistakes he saw were more physical or mental.

“It was more pride. Individual pride," Williams said. "You can’t let anybody just beat you one-on-one every play. You have to have some sense of pride like, 'I’m not losing anymore.' That’s what I feel like it was when it comes down to the game. Nobody gave up but it’s just getting your behind kicked every play. 

"Eventually you have to think of something or you have to just be a dog. That’s what it comes to.”

That last line about being a dog is music to defensive backs coach Travis Fishers’ ears. He has long said that he is looking for players with that dog in them.

"So, I’m not going to let you turn down that tackle like I watched on film when I first got here," Fisher said in March. “I’m not going to watch you see a guy wiggle around and you not try to get an extra hit on him. I’m just not. I’m going to watch it in practice. It won’t slide in practice with me. I think with my demeanor obviously they will catch on pretty quick. That’s how I did it at UCF. Everyone has a little dog in them, you just have to bring it out.”

Williams said that he has never started a season like this and has always been on a winning team. Going back to little league through high school and even junior college, he has never had a losing season.

He doesn’t intend to start that habit now that he is in Lincoln. He's also not giving up.

“I’ll never throw in the towel because we got eight or nine games left," Williams said. "I’m not going to throw in the towel. I’m trying to win all those games. I’m not trying to be 0-12 or something. That’s not me. I’ve never been in a losing season. I’m not trying to go 4-8 like last season. That’s a losing season.”

Much has been made of the program being snake-bitten. Once adversity hits, things tend to snowball out of control. Getting that taste of winning could go a long way to helping get that pattern turned around.

“Oh yeah, that’s what I aim for," Williams said. “When I’m out there on the field, the seniors, it’s their last year. I try to give everything I’ve got for them so they won’t have a losing season and we go to a good bowl game. That’s all it takes but other than that I’m doing this for my team and for the seniors because I know how they feel.

"We are 0-3 right now so we have to bring it back up and bring that winning tradition back to Nebraska. That’s what we aim for every time.” 

The next opportunity to take a step in bringing back that winning tradition is Saturday against Purdue. The Huskers and Boilermakers kick off at 2:30 p.m. CT at Memorial Stadium.

 
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