ON IOWA STATE GAME— “Had two turnovers not resulted in touchdowns, I think the outcome of the game would have been different. I really believe our defense was playing well enough that we could have withstood the turnovers. When they both went for touchdowns, it was more than we could handle. As we look back on it, we didn’t play well in a couple of aspects. Overall we didn’t have a great performance. As a result we ended up losing the game. It was disappointing in a lot of ways but we’ve had two weeks to get over it and harp on it. I think we’re over in now. We had a really good practice [Sunday]; we had to go out there since we lost Thursday’s practice because of the snow.
ON NEBRASKA GAME—“This game becomes huge. Every year it’s huge, but because of what is riding on it for us it makes it even bigger. It’s a big advantage for us having this game at home. We need to capitalize on that advantage. We seem to play really well here in front of our crowd. We’re 3-3 [against
“Statistically to me, two things jump out. One is that in every category they are ahead of us in special teams. And we’re a team that prides itself on [special teams]. We have a great punter, a great kicker and we’ve been good in every area except probably kick off returns. But
“You always know how big this game is for our fans. I thank [former coach] Bill McCartney for making it as big as it is. All summer, everywhere you go people say ‘you have to win two games—
ON NEBRASKA DEFENSE—“The second thing that jumps out to you is the number of sacks they have. They have three players that are all ranked in the sack category. They lead the conference in sacks and have three players in the tackles for loss category. We don’t have any players in either one of those categories. They have a defense that have put up a lot of good numbers and causes a lot of problems with their front four—they put a lot of pressure on the quarterback. They are a little different than they were a year ago. They were pretty complicated on defense a year ago. They have simplified a little bit—they are playing with a lot more confidence probably because it is a little bit simpler and because it’s their second year in the system.”
ON NEBRASKA OFFENSE—“Offensively, Zac Taylor is way ahead of where they were last year in the quarterback position. They aren’t running the ball as effectively or as well as they have in the past. I think it’s somewhat a matter of choice. I think
ON WHETRHER NEBRASKA WILL TRY TO ESTABLISH THE RUNNING GAME—“I think so, especially with [running back] Cory Ross coming home and playing in front of family and friends. I think [
ON WHETHER THIS REPRESENTS THE IDEAL SITUATION TO WIN THE BIG 12 NORTH— “I think I would have liked to wrap [the Big 12 North division] up last week and let all of the excitement still build because it is going to build up around this game no matter what. But we don’t have that choice now. I think our players are extremely focused on this game. What drives us are our goals. We want to get to the Big 12 Championship and win it. To get to that game it boils down to beating
“Those of you who have been to our practices [the week before playing Nebraska] know that [practice squad players] wear white jerseys, put white tape on their helmets and wear red ‘N’ helmets decals. We called the decal company to get a few this year and they said ‘that’s funny,
ON SENIOR DAY— “Its’ a big day for them and it’s a big day for me. I’ve seen these guys four to six years and I’ve been through a lot with these guys. It’s like having your son leave. Probably between each player and myself, we know all of the struggles they have gone through. Everybody has had issues because this is such a growing-up period in their lives. Each guy I know there is something where he and I are the only ones that really know what is going on and to have them step on that field and represent what they have accomplished and been through—to stand there in front of the crowd and be recognized in front of their teammates is a special moment for them. They deserve it. Every single one of those guys will tug at me, especially in light of the last two years.
ON DT JAMES GAREE— “He’s a captain and that tells you a lot. [Former