Q: (A question on what changed from one week to another)
Drew Tate: I don't want to go back to last week but I just didn't play well last week. My head was in the game, I just wasn't throwing the ball well. This week, I was in it all week, and it felt great. We had a great week of practice, I took all of the reps I needed, maybe except a bit on Tuesday. Other than that, the ball was coming out fine all week. I think it really showed out there today.
Q: You took the exchange from a lot of centers.
Tate: Elgin, I don't know what happened to Elgin and I don't know what happened to Raf. They were going down pretty fast. I ran into Brian on the sideline and said, "You need to grab a helmet, we're running pretty low." Bruggeman came in and did a good job, I thought. I guess Mike got back in and was able to go. I don't know what happened to those guys. It was going from guy to guy, it's kind of hard a bit sometimes. You don't ever go with them in practice, you just go with one guy.
Q: Did you feel the offense was more crisp today?
Tate: We had three turnovers, I think. Our tempo was fine. In the first half we'd drive the ball, and we just wouldn't score touchdowns in the red zones, that's what we need to do. We need to put 6 in the red zone instead of 3. I thought our tempo was really good all game. That's really what it comes down to, our tempo. Those guys were on their heels, getting tired, and we were just going right at them in the run game.
Q: Did you guys get over the hump a bit today?
Tate: We'll see. I think it's definitely helped. We have 6 games left, there's still a lot of football left. It's not going to get any easier. I've heard that when we go to Bloomington, no matter what team, of theirs shows up, it's always hard to play up there. They said that Iowa never plays well up there. We'll try and keep our foot on the gas pedal and keep going.
Q: Will this ease some of the speculation on your health a bit?
Tate: I hope so. I feel fine, like I said. I went through practice, the ball was coming off good today and all week.
Q: How did you guys bounce back so well after last week?
Tate: How? Because that's just the way the game is. We didn't lose the last game and mope. Why? Because we're hungry, we want to win. When we were out there competing on offense, we want to just run it down their throat then throw the ball.
Q: How much does the running game help the pass?
Tate: It opens up everything, really. It opens up the passing game. The defense needs to put more guys in the box and it gives us a chance to throw the ball, and that's what we want. That's what everyone wants.
Q: Talk a bit about Shonn and Damian brought to the table, different running styles.
Tate: Shonn, he's pretty tough. He doesn't go down too easy. Damian's real good at bouncing, cutting back. Those guys up front really made it for them. There were a few times where they broke tackles, but on most of it, the guys up front did a great job of pushing their guys back.
Q: Talk about Bruggeman, coming in like that third-string and having a guy be able to do that.
Tate: He's got confidence. I've known him for a while, since he's been here, 3 years now. He knows what's going on. Coach Morgan and Coach Ferentz, Coach Kaczenski do a good job with the lineman. All tho9se guys, even though they're 3rd and 4th string still could be ready to go when the opportunity comes. He's got a great, relaxed attitude. He doesn't worry. He just gets up there, makes the call, and goes. That's what you need.
Q: Would you say that this game is kind of the exhibition of the "next man in" philosophy?
Tate: Yeah. I think there was a few guys on defense that didn't play and had guys step up. Purdue's offense is pretty tough. I thought our defense played extremely great. I know with Albert not playing I thought our backs did unbelievable. With the center situation, we were still moving the ball with Bruggeman and with Raf.
Q: Do you feel like this was the best combination of offensive lineman that you guys have had on the field?
Tate: I think so. We've got guys that can play, it's just a matter of executing. They've got the ability to do it. It makes it a lot better, having your 5 that you need instead of moving guys around. Injuries happen, you just have to work around them.
Q: Can you talk about your guys' fast start. You scored 14 in the first quarter after 13 all year.
Tate: We really wanted to come out and start fast. That's what we've been talking about all week. Our whole thing this week was responding. We came out good, moved the ball on the first drive then had a fumble, I think. We were right there, could have scored. There were a lot of times where we got down in the red zone and didn't score. We just work through it.
Q: What was your week in practice like? Did you get a full week of practice, and how much did that help?
Tate: Yeah, I got a full week. It's not good whenever I don't' have a full week of practice, especially with the receivers and things like that. I don't know. Maybe for the linemen and all that stuff, they have different guys in practice then just me in the game. It helped me tremendously with timing, with throwing. I was throwing with good technique, fundamentals. Last week I wasn't. When stuff happens like last week, you just work through it. Lean back on your fundamentals, it's what got me where I am. It helped out, timing was much better this week.
Q: 6 games in, 6 to go, midway point. How do you assess this team, do you feel it's improving as it should?
Tate: We played well last week. We fought, we're fighting every week, doing a great job. We just have to keep raising the bar each week. It's a new season each week, and I think there's enough maturity on this team to realize that. We have to get better each week, it's not going to get any easier.
Q: Anything that sticks out in your mind that you'd like to improve on offense?
Tate: Just some guys being in sync. There's a lot of guys doing some things, I don't' know. I get a little frustrated sometimes. If we can just all be on the same page instead of 10 or 9 or something like that, that'd really help. Even me sometimes. We just need 11 guys. We mix personnel groups, so even those who aren't in all the time just need to come in and be on the same page.
Q: We get the sense that you feel confident throwing to anybody. It doesn't matter who you're looking at.
Tate: It's easier to stop 1 guy than it is 4 guys. They're all playing division 1 football for a reason. If I put the ball there, they're going to catch it.
Q: How big was the play to Douglas? They scored a TD, Shonn fumbled the kickoff, you guys were kind of deep, he got you out of that.
Tate: It was a great catch, unbelievable catch. If I could have just thrown it a little shorter, he could probably have ran with it, gotten more. He's a guy that dives for balls, lays out for it. As a QB, that's what you want in a receiver, a guy who just flies all over the place, doesn't care about their body.
Q: Is this what the doctor ordered, a 30 point victory over a quality Big Ten opponent?
Tate: I think so. Definitely we wanted to respond this week, and we did. We did it real well. I think you guys can see that we're not bad when we're clicking, it's just that we've got to be clicking and going. The only people that beat us, really, are ourselves, a lot of times.
Q: How much are you conce3rned about Albert's injury? Has he been nicked up all year?
Tate: Mmmhm. Everybody's been nicked up. Next man in, and those guys did a good job. I'm sure Albert will be back next week.
Q: Iowa is a place that traditional starts to peak and get better in October. Are you guys conscious of that?
Tate: Iowa does play their best football in October and November. It's just September that we usually struggle. This year we got a 4-1 start. This is just what we need. A lot of young guys looking up to the seniors and the upper-class juniors who have played to understand what it takes. Dominique and those other guys, they've never played this long of a season, long days like we have. They better just get used to it. Yeah, to answer your question. It's traditionally, since I've been here, we've gotten better later in the months.
Q: Can you talk about that pass to Dominique? I noticed you were excited on that sideline right after, take us through that.
Tate: I just threw it, he caught it. I just explained it. Did you just walk in or something?
Tate: Oh, ok.
Q: I was just hoping you could tell us more about it.
Tate: I just threw the ball and he just laid out for it. He made a great catch. Like I said, as a QB you want guys that are going to just throw their bodies out there, take it for the team, not worry about getting hit in the back or something like that.
Q: What kind of regimen are you looking at this afternoon and tomorrow?
Tate: I'm going to go home and relax.
Q: You don't have any treatment or any ice baths?
Tate: I'll get ice and stretch and stuff.
Q: Why do you think the big play was there more today than in the past?
Tate: That was more on Purdue, just the way their defense was. When they put 7 guys in the box, there's 4 guys out in the secondary. Our receivers can push it down field. That's pretty much it.
Q: Putting 7 guys in the box, once you got past that…
Tate: We were still running when they had 7 in the box, I thought our line was doing a great job with that. It's easier to play-action and stuff with 7 in the box than it is when there's 6 or something like that, dropping 5.
Tate: (To a reporter who had asked about Dominique's reception) I wasn't trying to be rude to you or anything, you know. I just explained it, that's all. I didn't know you'd just walked in or anything.