Hawks Talk: Luebke, Gates & Hodge

Quotes from Tyler Luebke, Ben Gates and Abdul Hodge

Tyler Luebke

Q: So, the game was on the defenses' shoulder again?

We feel more comfortable when it is on us. We do what we have to do to win the game. If we do things right, then we should come out on top with the offense we have. We knew it was in our hands and knew what we had to do.

Q: Is there any ‘smack talk' going on with you regarding the fact you are the only one with out a QB sack this season?

There is no smack talked, it is all encouragement and fun. We are all just out there getting after it.

Q: Was Stubblefield hard to keep track of out there?

Well, I, personally, did not have to cover him, so I am not sure. He is a great athlete and we knew he was going to come up big in the game. Even though we keyed on him, he did what he can do. We were fortunate to do more.

Q: Were you surprised at the mobility of Brandon Kirsch?

No, we knew he was a mobile quarterback. He proved that when we played again him two seasons ago. We were aware of it.

Q: What was going through your head in the fourth quarter when you had a shot at sacking Kirsch?

I was like a deer in headlights for a minute. Once I saw it I just tried to go after it. It was a good feeling to see it.

Ben Gates

Q: Talk about getting the opportunity to play in the second half.

I am prepared very well each week by the coaches. So when I got in there I just did what they did to the best of how I can do things. It was nice to get the chance, but it was better to get a Big Ten win.

Q: Did the blitzes and schemes surprise you at all?

Everything they threw at us, they threw at us. We knew we were going to see more looks because we are throwing the ball more this year. It was just a matter of going out and executing our game plan. I thought we did a fairly good job.

Q: Were you prepared for the extra secondary blitzes they threw at the team?

You should always expect the worse things, and that is what they did. That is Purdue. They love to blitz and we knew that coming into the game. They do that a lot so we knew what to expect.

Q: What was it like to play in front of this crowd?

You get in a game and you do not notice the crowd unless there is a break in the action or a timeout. Just being out there is great and we have great fans. We have great support and it is good to see them show up like they have every game this year.

Abdul Hodge

Q: Talk about the performance of the defense today.

We played pretty well other than a couple of big plays early in the game. We gave some turnovers to help our offense on the field.

Q: Did you feed off the crowd on defense?

You know that the crowd is always a big thing when you come into Kinnick Stadium. It is great place to play and the crowd was in it the whole game. And we were with them the whole game, too.

Q: How does it feel to get a win against them after losing to them last year?

If feels good, you know. When we got off the field up there last year we felt pretty bad. But coming in here we had to hold home field and we did that today.

Q: Did the ability of Kirsch come as a surprise to you?

Not really because we saw him a couple of years ago when Kyle Orton when out. He came in against Northwestern and did a good job, so we have seen him on film. We knew he had better feet to run with than Orton, so we prepared for that all week. His athletic ability did not surprise us because we knew he could get out of the pocket and do some things.

Q: Is this the biggest win of the season for you guys?

Every win is a big win. Your last win, especially against a team like Purdue at home, is a huge win. A win like this is very big for our program right now.

Q: Is this one of the better games the defense has played this year?

I would not say one of the better games because if you look at the scoreboard they put up 20 points on us. As far as making turnovers happen, I would agree with that.

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