Mattison: "We've just got to win"

Iowa defensive lineman Bryan Mattison talks about elevating their play heading further into the Big Ten season, defending Kinnick Stadium, and many other topics in this premium interview transcript.

Q: Big game coming up against Illinois this week. What do you guys think about the team coming in?

Bryan Mattison: Illinois is a good team, they're going to be ready, fired up and everything. We've got to get back to work.

Q: You guys have a 20-game home winning streak, a chance to set a school record this weekend. What do you think about the record and how tough Kinnick is to play in?

Mattison: The record means a lot. It's not just the team right now, it's been teams in the past, they've put a lot of hard work into it, we're going to do our best to keep it going. More importantly, we've just got to win.

Q: Coming out of the game on Saturday, do you start to have questions about this team, do you start to question yourself a little bit?

Mattison: No. I mean, yeah, we got beat, but we've just got to get back to work and continue to get better. No time to give up, you know.

Q: Can a team that starts the season 0-2 in the conference win a Big Ten title still? Is it that kind of a must-win situation this week?

Mattison: Every weekend you've got to win. I don't think we're thinking about Big Ten titles or anything, I think we're just thinking about the game at hand. We've just got to go out there and practice hard and go play.

Q: The fact that everyone seems to be pointing the finger at the defensive line through four games, how does that affect you?

Mattison: You've got to stay together as a group and as a defense and as a team and continue to get better through everything.

Q: Have you played in a more physical game than you did at the Horseshoe?

Mattison: It was physical, I don't know what degree or (versus) other games, but yeah, it was physical. It's going to continue to get physical because we're in the Big Ten now, we've got to keep getting after it.

Q: Reading the hat a little better now that you've had a few weeks under your belt?

Mattison: Yeah, it's helped a little bit.

Q: What has this line done well, what does it still need to improve on?

Mattison: We can improve on everything. When they come with the run block, you can read the hat faster, pass rush we can get definitely more of a pass rush in. I think we just need to get better all around.

Q: How do you do that? Is it straight technical or in your head?

Mattison: Just practice. Just continue to practice hard, at a good tempo, and transfer whatever's on the practice field to the game field.

Q: One of the things in the last three years that has been really important for the defensive success is just stopping the run. What is it scheme-wise that has to get better this year?

Mattison: I don't know of anything scheme-wise. The coaches do a great job with their game plan and everything, I think we just need to perform better on Saturdays. Get better throughout the week and play better on Saturdays.

Q: What was it last week?

Mattison: There was a bunch of small stuff. We just need to correct those things and play better.

Q: How's the morale among you 4-6 guys?

Mattison: It stinks getting beat and it stinks having them run that much on you, but we've just go to come back and play harder and get back after it.

Q: Are you guys a pretty tight group?

Mattison: Oh yeah. We all get along great, there's no one that we don't get along with. It's fun, we like each other, we're all good buddies.

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