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Nebraska Football

They Said It: Nebraska Players Discuss Huskers' Loss to Purdue

September 29, 2018
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Nebraska players spoke with the media Saturday following the Huskers' loss at the hands of the Purdue Boilermakers, 42-28.

Senior captains Jerald Foster and Luke Gifford took questions. Quarterback Adrian Martinez and defensive end Ben Stille also fielded questions from the media. 

Here's the full transcript from his question-and-answer sessions postgame.

 

Quarterback Adrian Martinez

On the offense's struggles in the first half

“I can’t necessarily point to one thing. Obviously we started the game with some energy came out and scored exactly how we wanted to, something that we had been lacking the previous games, we just didn’t get that train going. A couple silly mistakes, some other factors kind of held us back and a lot of it’s on me, certain decisions I made that could’ve made a difference there for sure.”

On if the offense was more open this week than last week

“I don’t know necessarily if that’s the exact case. I think as the game goes on we make adjustments obviously. I felt more comfortable. I think as we keep going, keep progressing, whatever Coach Frost thinks is going to work against a certain team, we’re going to do. This team I think I had a little bit more success throwing the ball than I had previous games.”

On Coach Frost’s emotion on the sidelines and how the team responds to it

“We don’t accept losing, Coach Frost doesn’t accept losing, I don’t, the players don’t, this is tough. I think it’s something I’m not used to, he’s not used to, and we’re not going to put up with it. He’s [Frost] given his heart out to us and we’ve got to respond, we’ve got to play. I feel like we let him down a little bit, we need to come back firing this next week.”

On setting an example for his teammates as a leader

“I think it’s a misconception there that it’s the quarterback has all of that responsibility, I think it’s a team thing. Obviously I have a voice and with my position I need to speak up and be that leader. But, when we as a team can hold each other accountable, not just rely on one guy, not just rely on our captains, the leaders. Everyone’s a leader, everyone holds each other accountable. Certain mistakes we made today, certain mistakes I made today are just not acceptable.”

On what plays he’d like to have back

“Obviously I’d like to have back the interception. I think that could’ve been a turning point there for us, we were obviously two possessions away for a little bit there. We had a couple opportunities, the defense did a good job at getting a stop for us, I felt like the offense was churning and doing what we were supposed to do there in that third quarter for a little while.”

On if frustration is setting in on the team

“No I wouldn’t say frustration. I think we just need to turn this thing around, see who shows up on Monday. We need to come out with some energy and I’m going to be at the forefront of that.”

On what he’s most happy with from his play

“I never gave up, I never lost faith in our team in our ability to win that game. I think that’s never going to fail I think that’s something that we all need to adopt. We need to have that mentality that we’re going to win the game regardless of the situation.”

On weeding out players that are doing things the right way

“I don’t necessarily think that’s my place to speak to. Those guys are going to make those decisions. We want the guys here that want to fight that want to compete, want to keep battling through this stress that we’re going through right now. I have faith, we are going to get this thing turned around and I want the guys who believe in that to be here.”

On if Devine Ozigbo is a prime example of the type of player he wants on his team

“Yeah, I expect nothing less from Devine [Ozigbo.] He’s a great player and a guy that’s always been a grinder in the weight room, on the field, and I’m glad he had an opportunity today to show that a little bit.”

On the teams reaction to penalties

“I think we as a team need to do a better job. Me personally I reacted a few times poorly. That’s going to happen and that’s something we need to realize. Calls aren’t going to go our way all the time and we need to react a little bit differently. Obviously it was bad timing a couple of times and sometimes it was on us, it was simply on us and that’s something we have to correct.”

 

Offensive lineman Jerald Foster

On Pediatric Awareness

“I would like to say thank to you to all the families who came out for the Pediatric Brain Cancer Awareness Game. That is something that is huge around here and is something that needs to be huge around this nation. The real fighters are them… when you get a chance to express how much you care about people I think you should take it. Those kids fight every single day, so why not give them the chance to be at a game and see us play.”

On the offensive line in the first drive

“It was fast, it was great. We were moving the ball. When we get that first first down it really does spring our offense. I think we showcased that. We got caught up in the next couple drives, but I think we showcased that well at the start.”

On frustration

“We are frustrated. We have penalties that we need to get corrected. Either you don’t do them or you don’t play. I had one…and we have guys that can play my position. They can come in. That’s what we have to do and that’s what we’re going to do. We can’t have the penalties and the mistakes we’re having.”

On offensive lineman Cole Conrad

“Cole is going to be fine. Again, we have a whole lot of players. Cole will be back. No worries.”

On Devine Ozigbo and the rushing attack

“I am happy with the production we had today. The outcome is not what I wanted, but we ran the ball well.”

On accountability

“It needs to happen right now. We are four games in and we have lost four games. We can’t go any farther. We are going to do what we need to do. If we need to take people out, that’s what it’s going to be. We’re going to figure it out here in the next couple practices. We played a great game with 500-some yards on offense and we still can’t get a win. That’s because we are making it too hard on ourselves. It doesn’t matter how hard you fight if you keep putting yourself in those situations you are not going to be able to keep grinding out of it.”

 

Linebacker Luke Gifford

On if frustrations on the field are fixable

“It’s been fixable and we haven’t done it yet. It’s mainly the penalties that have killed us on third down. We couldn’t get off the field. A couple blown coverages. So it is frustrating when it is fixable things you know. Makes it hurt worse.”

On if last week’s practice was an indicator of the play today

“Last week was a really good week of practice honestly. We had a good week. So now it’s taking it from the practice to carrying it out onto the field.”

On how the team responds after seeing Coach Frost so emotional after the game

“I mean for me it hits me right at home. He wants it just as much or more than any of us. That’s part of the problem. Guys played hard today, that wasn’t it. We just have to, like he says, need a bunch of guys that love football, and that’s what gets you through tough times like this. It’s not easy, no one wants to lose, it’s really hard, but if we’re going to change the way this season is going then we need guys that love football and want to go out there every day and work their butt off.”

On if there’s a common theme that causes penalties week after week

“It’s kind of hard to say when they haven’t seen them on film and stuff. Sometimes it’s effort. Block in the back, stuff like that, that’s crazy. There’s a technique we teach on how to avoid that, so don’t do it. Don’t be lazy and push the guy in the back instead of doing the technique you’re supposed to. Stuff like that, and then the other stuff is just discipline. Late hits and hits on the quarterback, you've got to be smart around the quarterback no matter what even if it is, you know… you just got to be smart.”

On penalties extending Purdue drives

“That’s a pretty good offense over there. The quarterback was throwing that around well and had good backs so you can’t give them extra downs. That’s anyone we’re going to play this year. You do that, you give them extra opportunities and you’re shooting yourself in the foot.”

On what it takes to not commit penalties

“It’s not easy. I think it just comes back to discipline and everything you do in your life. The guys who are disciplined and are going to class and getting to meetings on team and going to every meal are the guys usually doing the right things. And I’m not saying that’s the case on every penalty that we’ve had by any means but it definitely just starts with that.”

On what it means to have a coach that is so passionate

“It’s hard man. I know the guys feel the same way. All you can do is just try to get to a new level. I, myself have not played up to the standard that I hold myself to the last couple games that’s for sure. I need to have more of an impact. As a captain and as a leader and a guy that these guys look up to I have to find a way to impact the game more that I’m going to be doing this week in practice.”

On how to get more takeaways on defense 

“I think just being more conscious of it and we haven’t capitalized on a couple of opportunities that we’ve had. On the tipped ball, I couldn’t really see what happened from where I was at, but you know when you got guys flying to the ball, good things happen. Ball gets tipped up like that you've got to take advantage. Then just converting those things. We’ve had a couple hands on balls and stuff like that but just haven’t finished it off.”

On quarterback pressure

“I myself was terrible to be honest. Brutal. I have to do a much better job especially when we lean on me as a pass rusher. There’s no excuses and I have to find something that works and I’m going to do that.”

On Purdue’s talent

“Honestly they did do a good job. I thought they did a good job with their backs, chipping them and then I know for myself they had a tight end over me a lot of times. Which is no excuse. I got to find a way to get around that, but  they did do a good job. You have to give them a lot of credit.”

On if there’s a sense of frustration on defense

“It is frustrating, no doubt, but as a defender you can never let it go down you know. I think that is one thing we’ve done well is even when those things have happened we’ve continued to play hard and do everything we can to get off the field. It didn’t happen every time. I am proud of the guys and the way they responded after penalties like that.”

 

Defensive end Ben Stille

On attacking the quarterback

“I think we did a fairly good job. A few times we lost our rush lanes when he scrambled. A couple times early he killed us on third and long and we definitely can’t have that happen. They did a really good job with play action and seven-man protection which made it more difficult to get after him. I think we did all right.”

On the Purdue run game

“My initial reaction is we definitely could do better. I think we did an all right job shutting it down, but it definitely can be improved upon.”

On accountability and discipline

“That has been the missing part here for as long as I’ve been here. That is something that is getting worked on and needs to be addressed.”

On challenging peers

“As a leader it is something you have to do if you want to move in the right direction. You’re not here to make friends with everyone on the team. You’re going to butt heads with guys sometimes.”

On Coach Frost being emotional after the game

“He has lived this and it hurts him just as much as it hurts us. He puts everything he has into the game plan and everything. It is inspiring to see that. Knowing your coach cares that much it makes the players want to care even more.”  

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