Nebraska-BYU post: Mike Riley

Nebraska head coach Mike Riley takes the podium after the Huskers' BYU loss.

Opening Statement
"OK. Am I supposed to make an opening statement after that? Or do you want to go ahead and ask questions?"


On what he told the team at the end of the game

"Well one thing for sure, I told them this, too, is we can correct some of the things that happened today. We had too many penalties. We went really sloppy there after we had gotten off to a pretty clean start. We can correct that kind of thing. We can even do better on a play like that last play. There's no doubt about that. One thing that we have and I know we can build on after watching this team today, is that this is a competitive, fighting football team. I love that. When it was 24-14, it didn't look all that good. We were kind of sputtering around and they had their way a little bit. We came back, scored a couple times, made some plays and just kept fighting. Right down to the very end. We can use all that if we continue to fight like that. We can correct some of this stuff. We're going to be all right."


On what he would have liked to see differently on the last play

"I'm going to have to look at it more closely. I think that guy came in from across the field. And obviously we need to have someone in front of him rather than behind him at that point. We must have been out of position at that point over there. He came all the way from our sideline."


On if he would have liked to have the failed third-down conversions back

"Yes. All of them. When you don't make third-and-ones, that should be your high percentage ones. Actually our overall percentage as I just glanced at it wasn't overly bad. We had 6-of-13. Had we converted some of the easier, higher percentage ones, that would have been a heckuva third-down game. I know on that last one we thought we could get the fly sweep in there. We've been running the power off of that action and saw some success off that power. They stopped it the last time, so we thought we could get that one. And then we ran another play that we had success on, but then they beat us on the inside with pressure. So certainly we would like to make other choices and block a little bit better."


On the adjustments made in the third quarter

"I think we hit. One of the things that was lacking at halftime was the running game with the tailback. We started getting some of that going, which I think really helped the overall game in the third quarter and the second half. 


On how far the offensive line needs to improve

"Like I said, I think there is going to be some stuff technically that we can help with. There's going to be some stuff where we would rather have the other call or look at it this way. So we have to evaluate us and help our players technically in order to do it better. But Iike our group. I think this is a good group. With the effort that we get and the things that look like we might be capable of doing, I think it's going to be good."


On the thought process calling the timeout before the Hail Mary

“I’ve been through it before and not called the timeout and not felt good about that. They know what they are doing and it gives us a chance to take a look at it a little bit on anything they might do. How do you know? I thought it was actually a very good call to make sure we knew exactly where we were supposed to be lined up.”


On the emotion after the catch

“I initially thought he was not in the end zone, but I had a really bad view but I also saw the official raise his hands right away so I knew.”


On the injuries

“I think there are too many for me to just say off the top of my head. I do not have a list in front of me, but we’ll get all that reviewed and tell you about it later.”


On junior punter Sam Foltz

“It’s the left ankle and like a sprain.”


On moving forward

“I basically told them exactly what I told you. With that continued effort, we can definitely improve some things and change some things to make us get better. I’ve got good faith that’ll happen. There was some pretty good football at times today I thought by us. I thought Tommy (Armstrong) made a lot of nice throws and had some chances at a couple more that were big, at least a couple more. We started running the ball better, we got more people involved as the game went on except for that last play and that latter part of the game. I thought defensively the second half was pretty good. I think there’s lots of good stuff there.”


On if he’s ever had a game like this

“I don’t ever remember one. I think there were more Hail Mary’s completed last year at the end than I’ve ever heard of, and we had one completed on us at halftime of the USC game, but I don’t remember that happening at the end of any of our games.”


On junior quarterback Tommy Armstrong’s performance

“I thought Tommy competed like crazy, made a lot of plays and I’m pretty excited about where we can go.”


On if Armstrong got enough help on offense

“We did it better but we’d like to more consistent throughout the game be better with our tailbacks running game. There was not much there in the first half. We did better in the second half. (Terrell) Newby had 46 yards, Imani (Cross), they had about a four and a half yard average between the two of them, but I didn’t think that there was much early at all. I think that’s one of the reasons part of us got better in the second half.”

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