What was it like to be out there, not just for the start of the game but for the entire second half?
We never want to get caught up in that. We‘re just trying to win the game no matter what our role is. It's always good when you get to play .
What were some of the things they were able to do that kept you guys from executing your game plan?
They played hard. In the second half, they kind of committed to stopping the run. We didn‘t take advantage of that in the pass game a couple of times. They were just one-point better today.
We you more comfortable today getting more reps?
I was starting to get more comfortable. I don‘t know, you know. I don‘t know. Yeah, I guess, a litle bit.
What was the rotation coming into the game? I think you played the first three series and then (Stanzi) came in.
Coach just said he‘d get is series in the first half and we‘d go from there.
What was said at halftime? Was it still up in the air as to who would play and when?
He just told me as we were going out that I would be starting the second half.
Do you take it as kind of a challenge to have to go 99 yards under two minutes with no timeouts?
It cross my mind until I coughed it up.
Could you tell if it was a fumble or not?
I don‘t know. I got past McCullough and I didn‘t know if someone was behind me. I figured there was no one behind me and I just wasn‘t paying attention to keeping the ball tight, I guess, and it got stripped.
How do you feel the offense performed today?
Just OK. We only got three points off of two turnovers, I think. After the pick, we didn‘t score. We have to take advantage of that more.
How much of an emphasis will there be this week on finishing when you guys do get in position?
I would think a big part of it. We‘ve been good down there thus far. We‘ve spent a lot of time in the red zone this season. So, we have to be better than that.
Is it time to settle on one guy and just go with it?
I don't know. I really don‘t know.
Going week to week like this would seem to be confusing to both sides during the week.
No. This week wasn‘t confusing. We‘ll see what this week brings.
Were you told every time you came off of the field that you were going to be in the next series or was it a guessing game or anything like that?
No, they told us Thursday that Rick would get a series in the first half and we‘d go from there. And then at halftime, they just told me that I was in.
I think there was one series where you had your helmet off and he had his helmet on and you were both just standing there on the sidelines. Did you know you were still going in at that point?
I don‘t know what series you‘re talking about.
I think it was late in the third quarter.
Oh, yeah, as far as I knew. I wasn‘t told anything.
Is there a continuity issue with this offense because of so many changing parts?
I don‘t think so. We‘ve been on the same page the first three games, so…we played hard. We were in the game. We could have put more points up. I think it‘s just a matter of executing the stuff we work on all week.
Did they blitz a lot?
They brought some pressure, but we knew what to expect there.
I know you‘re never going to be satisfied with losing, obviously, but does it hurt that much more when you guys are able to come from behind like you did only to see them win by a point?
It hurts either way. No matter what, it hurts just as bad.
A one-point loss hurts as much as a 20-point loss?
Is it also a challenge to know that you‘re going to get eight or nine in the box?
I think that‘s something you want when you're a quarterback. SO, it‘s a challenge we‘ll have to take.
Is it uncomfortable playing in that second half knowing that you can get pulled, that you have to look over your shoulder?
No. Sometimes it is, but I try not to think about it. I wasn‘t thinking about it today.
In the big picture, what does this game mean?
Well, we can take it as a blessing or a curse. We can either get better or we can fold. I think everyone in this locker room knows we‘re going to get better from it and we‘re going to come back hungry and start the Big Ten. It means that we have one blemish in the non-conference and now we start the Big Ten season. Now, we‘re 0-0.
If you were a coach, would you give yourself the nod for next week?
I think that I‘ve been asked that question a lot of times and I give the same answer every time. I think that I‘m the guy. I think you have to think that. If you don't, then you don‘t belong playing.
But what about if you‘re the coach, though?
I‘m not the coach, so I don't know.
On that last drive, was there a confidence you guys would get it done?
Yeah, once we got the first down, I think we were pretty confident. We knew they were going to lay off. We had to go 99 yards in two minutes. Yeah, we had a little bit of confidence and I think if I don‘t fumble that call, we get a first down and who knows what happens then.
Coach Ferentz said that obviously the passing game is out of sync right now. Can you put your finger on it?
Well, they had a couple of things covered today and there were a couple of throws that I missed as well. Down on the goal line on the first drive, the corner just ran underneath Andy. He was open. I think it was going to be a good throw and the guy just made a good play. So, it‘s a combination of everything.
Can you get any feel for the game when it‘s like this, when you‘re going in and out and you are looking over your shoulder?
I wasn‘t looking over my shoulder. I mean, yeah, you get a feel for the game. You have to stay in the game whether you‘re playing or not.
Is there a problem with continuity in the offense when things are going back and forth?
The play calls are the same. Rick is a god leader. I‘m a good leader. I don‘t know. I mean, we drove the ball either way, so…
So, did you know at halftime that you were going to play the entire second half?
No, they just told me I was starting the second half.
Can you talk about the second-to-last drive? There was a sack where a guy just basically dove through three guys and got you. Was that the killer.
That was a big play because there was no one out there. The killer was the throw to Stross when I was rolling out. I threw it too early. I wasn‘t ready to throw it. If I make the throw there, you know, we‘ve got a first down, probably. SO, that was the killer from my standpoint, but you could pick a couple of them.
Can you talk about how Shonn carried the load today?
Yeah, that‘s what we expect out of Shonn. He‘s been doing that al year. We knew that coming in, that he was going to be our horse.
Where do you stand on how this team will do in the Big Ten?
I don‘t know. We have just as good a chance as anybody. Everyone is 0-0 in the win-loss column. We just have to prepare and be ready to go.