Nebraska 31, Kansas 17 Postgame Quotes

Nov. 14, 2009

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Postgame Quotes

Nebraska 31, Kansas 17

November 14, 2009

Kansas Head Coach Mark Mangino

On the loss:

“It was a hard-fought game. We needed a stop there on the third down and we got a penalty, which set us back. Those kinds of things hurt you. You can’t do that against a good team. You can’t make those kinds of mistakes and let those things happen. We weren’t able to keep them out of the end zone.”

On the senior class:

“They’ve been great. They’re great kids who have worked hard and done everything we’ve asked of them. They are fun to be around. It’s been a little bit of a tough stretch for them, but they’ve done great things here. I’m proud of them and I’m glad to have had the opportunity to coach them for these years.”

On stopping Nebraska’s Ndamukong Suh:

“I think they (Kansas’ offensive line) did a pretty good job. He wasn’t as big of a factor as he’s been in other games. He’s an awfully good player. We just tried to neutralize him a little bit and tried not to let him dominate the line of scrimmage. Without looking at the tape, I thought they were pretty decent.”

On the performance of Kansas quarterback Todd Reesing:

“He played well. He ran the ball well, he threw well and he made plays. He did a lot of good things today.”

Senior cornerback Justin Thornton

On the facemask call:

“The ref made a good call. It definitely was one of those plays that you wished you had back. That’s why it’s so disappointing, because I felt like that’s one play I could have made in the game. They scored a touchdown on the very next play and that hurts.”

On whether or not he felt it was a personal foul:

“That’s not up to me. It is what it is and I could have made the play, easily, without having to go grab his facemask. So that doesn’t really enter my mind.”

On Nebraska RB Roy Helu:

“He’s a great running back; we knew what he was capable of. We’ve played against him for the last couple of years. It’s just something that we’ve got to get fixed as a defense.”

Junior wide receiver Dezmon Briscoe

On the game as a whole:

“At times I thought we played well. But unfortunately we didn’t make enough plays to help our defense out. So overall we were pretty average I think.”

On Kerry Meier’s fumble:

“Of course there was some deflation; we had the chance to take the lead. But stuff happens in the game and you’ve got to learn how to handle adversity and we should have bounced back better than that.”

On not getting a win for the seniors:

“It’s tough. We all wanted to come out and give all of our effort to try and get a win for our seniors in their last home game. So we all feel bad for the seniors.”

Sophomore offensive lineman Jeremiah Hatch

On what this game means:

“Every body was down. Every time you get a loss and you put so much in it, and you get a loss it’s easy to get down. Tomorrow we are going to forget about it and focus on the next game.”

On the five loss stretch:

“It’s very frustrating. A loss is a loss no matter how well you play or how badly you play. A loss is a loss and a win is a win, it works both ways. Hopefully we can pass this stretch and get on the right track.”

On Toben Opurum:

“Toben came in and we had been practicing all week on the run and getting the run game together, and Toben came in and did an excellent job. We couldn’t have asked for more.”

Sophomore tight end Tim Biere

On playing against Nebraska defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh:

“We had a few schemes to help take some pressure off of a single blocker. We didn’t do anything other than scheme to have two guys play against him.”

On the play of the offensive line:

“It seemed like we could run the ball well and our pass protection was good. They had a really good (defensive) line, so we were really proud of our offensive line.”

On letting the game slip away:

“It has kind of been the story of the last couple of games; we have been so close every single game and just couldn’t get over that hump.”

On the consistency of the offense:

“We definitely moved the ball well; we just needed to put more points on the board.”

Freshman linebacker Holden Tharp

On playing for the seniors:

“It was tough to see them lose. We were really hoping to send them out with a win. I especially wanted to do it for Arist Wright because he plays the same position I do and has been a great mentor for me. Also, seeing all of these other seniors who have worked so hard, I really wanted them to get a win.”

Senior wide receiver Kerry Meier

On the five-game losing streak:

“It has been one of the more difficult things in my life thus far. It has definitely been tough. Nothing I have ever experienced in the sports aspect of life has been so tough. Honestly, I am a frustrated guy right now. I think that a bunch of guys are frustrated and what we have got to do is keep our heads up, stay positive and keep working. All we can do right now is keep pushing our selves to do better and try to figure this thing out.”

On his fumble:

“The guy made a good play. I sensed the end zone getting close and I started to get excited and completely forgot about ball security which is the most important thing. I thought I had the guy beat, but he made a good recovery, got a hand in there and made a play. It turned out to be a pretty pivotal point in the game.”

Nebraska Head Coach Bo Pelini

On the game:

“It was a great win on the road. I give Kansas a lot of credit, they came out and played hard; they played their tails off. We found ourselves down one with about seven minutes to go. We won the football game; we did what we needed to do in the fourth quarter. I was proud of the team, I’m proud of the way they hung together and finished the game.”

On Roy Helu Jr.:

“It wasn’t just Roy, it was the offensive line, tight ends, the fullback. That’s just the way you finish, and that’s the way you come out and are able to put the game away – with the drive and the finish, the way we put the ball in the end zone in the end. They knew what we were going to do, they knew we were going to run the football and move the ball down the field and put it in the end zone.”

On if he was happy with the offensive execution:

“Absolutely, I thought we did a lot of things well offensively. I wish we could have finished a couple more of those drives and put it in the end zone for touchdowns. Overall I thought we played well.”

On the deep throws early in the game:

“The throws were there, so obviously that helps.”

On Zac Lee’s performance:

“I thought Zac played a damn good football game. He was a leader – he gutted it up when he needed to. I thought he made good decisions for the most part. There are a couple plays, just like any game, that I’m sure he’d like to have back. I thought it was a solid performance by Zac.”

On the kick return that turned the field around:

“That was huge. It was a big play in the football game, we answered back very quickly. The stadium was juiced. We got the momentum back, and got the points back on the scoreboard – not just to put it in the end zone – but to get the two-point conversion, too.”

On the defensive performance:

“I thought we started well, and did some things well to start with. We had too many busts; we did some things where we did not execute well. Especially in a couple spots, which I’m not going to name, but we didn’t play with correct leverages, we didn’t play to where our help was. We gave them some things that there is no way they should have happened. Sometimes we had shotty tackling, and all of those things together means we didn’t play our best football on defense. Believe me, we won the football game, we made some plays at the end, even defensively to get them off the field, but I’m far from happy about how we played defensively.”

Nebraska Place Kicker/Punter Alex Henery

On his performance:

“I thought I’d have another one there at the end, but I was glad we got another touchdown.”

On the kicking conditions:

“There was a good wind coming from the north, but it wasn’t too bad – just a little gusty. Some of my punts got stuck in the first half and my field goal yards weren’t as far going that way, but it wasn’t too bad.”

Linebacker Phillip Dillard

On Nebraska controlling its fate for the Big 12 North:

“It means a lot. We have to come out next week and Kansas State is a great opponent. I don’t know how they did today because I wasn’t focused on it, but I know we have to come back and come home. We’re going to have to play with higher intensity and come out ready to fight.”

On Kansas’ offense:

“We have to credit Kansas. They came out with a good scheme and they came out with a lot of plays we hadn’t seen before. We had to adjust to it too. We found a way at the end. They came out fighting and that’s what we expected from them. It was senior night and there was a lot of passion going into it and also for us though, coming off of last week – we have to rise to a higher level.”

On Nebraska’s offense:

“They did a phenomenal job, the whole line blocking down field. Roy (Helu) and Zac (Lee) connecting with Niles (Paul) and other receivers and making those catches and getting hit like that and still holding on to the ball and controlling the ball, that meant a lot. The played amazing.”