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Meet The Press: Nebraska

Oct. 27, 2009

Press Conference

Head Coach Art Briles

Opening Statement...
"Nebraska is a really good football team, their story and program everyone knows and they're certainly no exception this year. They've played really well at times, had some unfortunate things happen along the way in a couple games but they're a really strong, well coached football team. There is no doubt so it should be a great game Saturday."

On Nebraska's defense...
"They're really good up front. There are a lot of good defenses in the Big 12 and across the nation. Nebraska does a really good job. They are well coached, they have good people and you hate to single out guys but Ndamukong Suh is as good as anyone in America. He is a really, really good defensive lineman. He plays with a lot of passion, a lot of effort, a lot of confidence and a lot of ability.

On the importance of getting off to a good start...
"It's important every game, without a doubt. What you don't want to do is feel like you have to do that to play well. You have to be careful saying we have to get off to a good start because if we don't then what? Every game we would like to start fast without a doubt, we would love to get out of the gates and make good plays on both sides of the ball and with special teams. It's a lot easier to play ahead; the confidence and momentum factors there. We feel like we have a good plan and we have to go execute it. We have to be smart about what we do, when we do it and how we do it."

On Terrance Ganaway's journey to get to where he is...
"I think it's pretty well known, but Terrance is a great young man. He's a great ambassador for our football team and for the university by the way he conducts himself on a daily basis. He went through a difficult time about 18 months ago when his mother passed at a very young age. It took him a little time to settle down from that and now he has regrouped and is recharged and now he's back and playing for a purpose which I think is a really motivating factor for him."

On establishing a run against a defense like Nebraska's...
"It's important but it's more important to make first downs and put points on the board. What we'll do is try to take what they give us and be productive with it. Their front four are probably as good as anyone we'll see this year; they're good up front, without a doubt. That doesn't mean we can't run the ball, it just means that we are going to have to be precise in our execution and intelligent in our schemes to get yardage, so that's the part that we'll have to look at. A lot of that flows into the momentum and the feel of the game also; all of the stuff that happens Tuesday doesn't mean that it's going to happen that way on Saturday. You wonder how teams do this or do that and if you turn around and look at the previous six or eight plays, a lot of times that answers questions from a momentum standpoint and a confidence standpoint."

On Mike Hicks' success lately and what he brings to the team...
"He's a real smart player, his role increased when Mikail (Baker) got injured and Jordan (Lake) has been banged up a little bit off and on, so that throws him out there more. He's just a real heady player. (He is) Very intelligent, understands the game; he plays with a lot of emotion, a lot of high energy and a lot of intelligence. He has a real good instinct also. So those are the reasons that he's able to get on the football field. He understands the game and he sees things before they happen pretty easily and that's a good sign for any player."

Senior Linebacker Joe Pawelek

On the importance of getting off to a good start early in the game...
"It's crucial. Any time that you're trying to get some continuity from the offensive side with different quarterbacks the last couple of weeks, from their standpoint just to be on the same page and feel a little rhythm out there. That's something that our offense does well. When they find their rhythm they're able to push tempo and go out and make things happen. From a defensive standpoint, anytime you come out and stop them, it forces them to start making changes and then we adjust from there. It's big for both sides of the ball."

On what freshman Chance Casey and Mike Hicks bring to the team...
"I think that any time that you have a couple of freshmen coming in and playing in the Big 12, especially in the south, speaks volumes about what kinds of athletes they are. Chance is a pretty quiet guy; he comes in every day and just works. You don't hear a lot of talk from Chance out there but then you come in and watch practice film and he's getting after it and shows well out there. Mike is the same way, he's a great athlete, he's helped us a lot; he brings a lot of versatility out there. He can cover as well as step out and play the run as well."

Senior Lineman J.D. Walton

On what needs to happen to get out of the losing streak...
"It all starts today when we go out on the practice field. It is going to be a good week for us, it has got to be. We are going up against a good defense and our offense has to come ready to work this week. We are putting in some different stuff this week, so we feel like we have some stuff we can do against Nebraska and keep their defense on their heels."

On taking on Nebraska's heralded defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh...
"The competition we get raises our competition. He is not the only guy; they have a bunch of good guys over there on their d-line. We will have our hands full, but we are up to it. We are going to come out today and just bust our butts. (We) have a lot of technique stuff we are going to work on just because he is so strong. Everybody on their d-line is quick and fast, so our o-line has to come ready to work this week. We have to show up in a big way."

Freshman Quarterback Nick Florence

On getting out of the current slump...
"I think this week, as an offense, we need to just come out and find our identity. I am excited about this week of practice to see what we are going to do. I think everyone on the offense is pretty excited to find a groove and finally fit in. We are going to do that this week and it is going to be a good game Saturday."

On playing Nebraska's defense...
"Any defense you play against in the Big 12 is a challenge, so whether it is Nebraska, Texas or Oklahoma, it is a good defense, so I am excited about this week and it is going to be a good game."

Freshman Safety Mike Hicks

On turnovers...
"Anytime that one team has more turnovers than the other, more than likely you're going come out with a victory on the field. We just have to come out and produce more turnovers than what we have been... Keep practicing like we have been and hopefully we will come out on top."

On making an impact as a freshman...
"It's the first year I've been playing here but you just have to look at it like you're playing football for any team. Anybody's going to give it the best they can, so that's the way I look at it, just coming out and doing my part and only my part. The other guys are going to have to do their part, and when it all comes together we should come out on top."



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