Transcripts: Bo Pelini McNeese State post

The Nebraska HC talks about his team's win on Saturday afternoon.

Opening Statement
“Well we were lucky to win that one. I can tell you that right now. We were our own worst enemy today. I'm not taking anything away from McNeese State. They played hard and did a lot of good things. But we shot ourselves in the foot time after time after time. Sometimes it didn't hurt us where it should have hurt us in a couple of other instances. At the end of the day, we got outcoached, we got out played, and like I said before, we were lucky to win the football game. This football team needs to take a good long look in the mirror, starting with me. We'll get back to work. I look forward to moving forward with this football team. Nothing has changed as far as what the potential is in this team, trust me. But you have to play. There's a lot of things we need to do in order to get better as a football team. Kenny Bell had a pulled groin, and he's day-to-day I would guess. I think Westy (Jordan Westerkamp) is fine. Jamal Turner tore his Achilles tendon, so he's out."

On convincing the team they still have potential
“It's pretty obvious. We were a couple of missed reads away from putting that football game away in the first half. That's the way this game is. I've been around long enough to know, and I've seen easy things happen. If you let another team hang around, they're going to make some plays. That's just the way it is. If you have a chance to put them away, you better put them away. You have to step on their throat, and we didn't do that. We let them back into it. We had a couple more opportunities as the game went on to execute and put some distance between us, and once again we failed to do it. We were our own worst enemies mutliple, multiple times in that football game. And like I said, I'm not taking anything away from McNeese. I give them a lot of credit. But I just look at it from our point of view, and you have to take care of yourself first. We didn't do that today."

On what happened with the offense in the second half
“We didn't execute. We had plays in the passing game. They dared us to throw and we didn't throw. We had opportunities and we had some drops. We had balls that weren't thrown right, and in my opinion we got out-coached. Our game plan wasn't good enough on our offensive side. It wasn't good enough. And what we did do in some plays we didn't execute."

On the game plan
“I'll evaluate that as we move forward. We're going to take a long, hard look at this film and use it to get better. Believe me, I'm not panicked. In some ways, it's probably a good thing this happened to our team right now."

On McNeese State's 98-yard interception touchdown
“Poor read, poor throw."

On sophomore quarterback Tommy Armstrong Jr.'s reaction to the interception
“I thought he reacted well. But it shouldn't happen in the first place. And it shouldn't have gotten to that. If we had taken a flat route like we had before, we probably could've walked in the end zone. At times, I talked to them about it on the sideline. We predetermined at times what we were going to do with the football and you can't do that. You've got to take what's there. That hurt us."

On senior I-Back Ameer Abdullah's game-winning touchdown
“Ameer put the team on his back and won the game. With the kickoff return, too. Thank God for Ameer today. He showed why he is who he is. First thing he did was address the team in the locker room. He knows. He's been around long enough and he gets it. That's why he's a tremendous leader. Not just a tremendous player, but a tremendous leader."

On the design of the last touchdown play
“He was a check-down. But the way he was playing it, I mean he was there. I didn't know he'd go 60, but I thought he could get us a first down. He made a couple of great moves obviously."

On the performance of the defense
“We had some busts. We had some things we covered on the sideline that we didn't handle. Did we get a little tired? I don't know. I don't think so. But we had multiple chances to get off the field and then didn't. The thing that hurt us the most defensively is that our tackling was poor. We had leaky yardage, plays that should have been for no gain, or a tackle for loss leaking for three, four and five yards. That was the number one thing that bothered me in the whole football game defensively was the poor tackling we had. Not forming somebody up and finishing plays off."

On if junior defensive end Randy Gregory will play next week
“I think he'll be available next week. But I'd say it's probably right now. I can't say definitely, but I think he's going to be here.

On sophomore punter Sam Foltz's performance
“Good. I thought we played well today on special teams. I thought the kickoff team was good and both kick and punt return made some good plays. We needed it. Kickoff return, we're a little inconsistent there. I look forward to seeing the film to see why that happened. We had a couple guys come off the back side and we made some adjustments, especially for that last kick. We'll have to see where our breakdown is"

On the comfort level of freshman wide receiver/punt returner De'Mornay Pierson-El
“I'm going to have to teach him a little bit about what a fair catch is like he did on the last one. But you like to see that out of a guy. He has a lot of confidence. He's pretty special with the ball in his hands. We thought that when we recruited him. And he did it through camp, but we just didn't want to put him out there to start the year. I like what I've seen out of him.

On if McNeese State had unexpected offensive
“A couple of things. Our biggest problem was when we made an adjustment on the sideline. We still made a couple errors that we covered. That was what was disappointing at times. We covered it multiple times. Our eyes got in the wrong place. It's pretty simple. I mean it's really not a real difficult thing to cover. Obviously it was for us today. Like I said, that was a little bit mind-boggling to me."

On whether Abdullah will continue with punt returns
“Sparingly. At times we'll use him, at times we won't. I wish I could put the ball in his hands every down, but we can't.

On what he saw during Abdullah's game-winning touchdown
“What I saw? I saw a special player making a great play. Obviously it was a good feeling, but I also had a sense of things. At that point, I was pretty disgusted with our football team. And like I said, one thing I can tell you is that it starts right here. I promise you that. I look forward to getting back to work tomorrow."

*** Courtesy of the Nebraska Media Relations Department ***


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