Hawks Talk: Sanders and Russell

"This is what we play defense for. This is what we play football for. You don't have to be nervous. You want to be out there in those types of situations to show everybody that you're the best defense and that you can play through ups and downs. It was just a great atmosphere for us to be able to play in." -- Bob Sanders. Read more quotes from Bob and Fred Russell in this installment of 'Hawks Talk'

FRED RUSSELL

How were you able to get it going out there after a couple of tough weeks?

I just think the offensive line is gelling together and I'm making better reads. Having Jermelle back helps me out a lot.

When you do through a couple of down weeks, does that get to you?

No. Because, I mean, I know that teams game plan to stop me. That's just the way that things go.

Does Jermelle give you advice?

Yeah. That's where I missed Jermelle a lot. When I can't see things, he can tell me. When he can't see things, I can tell him. On that first carry, he just told me to hit it and it's going to be there. That's what I did. I hit it and it was there.

How different is 9-3 than 8-4?

First of all, the bowl probably wouldn't be as good. Second of all, we have a chance to get 10 wins. A 10-win team is one of the top teams. People didn't predict us to finish this high.

Have you guys used that as motivation?

We really didn't use that as motivation. We knew what we had. We knew we were in the top echelon of the Big Ten. We know what we got going on.

Did today show the growth in this team?

It has to do with good coaching. The coaches stay on us. They make things happen.

BOB SANDERS

Can you talk about the last series?

It was a tough drive for us. We knew the clock was running down and they didn't have too many timeouts left. We just knew that we had to make a stand and make a statement. We played great defense out there. We rallied together and ended up getting the win.

How badly were you hurt?

I thought that I had like a slight concussion. I got a knot over the top of my left eye. It sort of went away. My vision was a little blurred a little bit after the play. But it went away. I knew I had to get back in there and keep playing.

It seemed like you played better after you got hurt.

We knew we had a chance in this game. It was just coming out and just playing our best game. We had to lay it on the line and leave it all out on the field. We did a pretty good job of just going out and playing as a team.

Bob, talk about that last play.

The last play, we were actually in one of our goal line defenses. Usually I cover the back coming out of the flat, but I actually went out on Evans a little bit, and just broke back on the play.

Where were you when the ball got to Orr?

I was over the slot man. I backed up a little to help the corner out. I saw that the ball was thrown and came back and tried to make a tackle.

What was it like out there on that last drive. Were you nervous?

No. This is what we play defense for. This is what we play football for. You don't have to be nervous. You want to be out there in those types of situations to show everybody that you're the best defense and that you can play through ups and downs. It was just a great atmosphere for us to be able to play in.

The defense is really taking the ball away lately.

We've done a good job. And we knew coming down the stretch here that it was just something that we had to do. We had to help the offense out and give them good field position.


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