On coping with the negative energy
"We just have to stick together. We have to ingnore the outside noise and that's what we did. Mistakes are going to happen it's just how you respond. I think we responded the right way. We knew that yeah, I threw an interception, maybe on the 34-yard line. We put ourselves up about four or five points late in the game, late in the third quarter. I believed in my teammates, I believed in my defense to get us the stop. They went down there, got us the stop, we got down there and scored, put it in reach of getting a chance. We put it in their hands again, they got us the stop. We've always preached about it, making plays and being playmakers. Like I've said before, our recievers, we've got great talent all over the field and it showed today. Those guys made tough catches. It may have been held a couple of times, but they came down with catches and had yards after contact and they got first downs when we needed them. That last drive they made a heck of a play in certain situations. We got down there faster that I thought we were, I think we got down there in 38 seconds or something like that, it was incredible, just to be able to have those guys make plays like that."
On talking to wide receiver Bradon Reilly postgame
"Just that I love him - love all my teammates - way to keep fighting, way to keep battling through everything that's been going on. We had some upsetting drops here and there. The lights - we're not used to playing night games - but the lights getting in the way. Just not being able to come up with catches in certain situations. But, just keep battling through all the challenges of dropped passes, overthrown passes, two interceptions. To just being able to go out there with the last drive, it being in our hands, and being able to have our teammates trust enough to say 'hey we believe you guys will go down there in less than 55 seconds and then win us the game.' And that's what we did."
On safe passes to Jordan Westerkamp
"It was kind of just a read. We knew they were going to go with those three guys safety, we kind of played it smart by watching film. By watching certian plays that other guys ran on them in certain situations. It was great that they [the plays] actually showed up and coach has always been telling us that 'hey when this happens, eye the R and his will come wide open and that middle safety drops down on him' and we capitalized on it two times in a row and it got us in great position."
On getting Westerkamp back
"We (weren't) really worried, just by him being the leader that he is. He came to the sidelines and said 'hey I'm gonna be back, it's just a precaution thing, they want to wait to halftime to see if I can return.' He said he believed that he was going to be back third quarter. So that got the guys going and he kind of coached up some of the younger guys that were there and some of the older guys like Taariq (Allen) that was playing his position. And they went out and then they played well. Like I said before, if Jordan goes down, we have guys that fill in. They did a great job."
On motivation for the game
"It was an incredible feeling. Like I said before, I actually wanted those guys to be 8-0 coming to this game, just to prove to the world that this team is better than our record seems. We've had a couple upsets, not a couple but four or five upsets, that came down to the last second. We have a lot of talent, we know how to win games, we've just got to be consistent. This game we were inconsistent sometimes, but we kept fighting, we kept believing, and that's the thing that we had to do. We had to keep believing, keep working hard. Being down by two scores with four minutes left in the game, we saw some guys leaving the stands and things like that, and like I said we (weren't) really worried about it, we're just going to keep moving forward. We just said, 'hey no matter what, we gotta stick together, we're gonna keep fighting, there's more time on the playclock than people think.' We got that first score in maybe two minutes and 45 seconds and had a minute and 30 left on the clock to give our defense a chance to get a stop. It went three-and-out, got a punt, no timeouts, 55 seconds left, we knew exactly where we wanted to go with the ball, what plays we wanted to run. We ran them all week at practice and we capitalized on every single one of them. I think that's just by being prepared. Coach Reilly always says we've got to be prepared for 3 hours and 27 minutes of a football game because you never know, it may come down to that and that's what it came down to. It's that team that keeps fighting till the end. That team that keeps driving forward no matter what the situation is, and I think that's what we did."
On ranking this game among others in his career
"Probably number one, just because of all the things that have been going on with this season. It's a great feeling for me, but it's more for our seniors. It's a great way for those guys to go out, this is the game they've been looking forward to. We've worked our tails off all week, prepared as much as we could, just to fight for those guys, just to fight for the guys that this is their last year. We worked together, we made sure we were prepared as much as we could be and it all paid off. We (weren't) as pretty some of the time of the game, but it's how we responded. I think we responded the right way. Our defense had some bumps and bruises just like we had some bumps and bruises. We knew it was going to be like that. We knew they were a great offense and a great defensive team. That's why they're ranked number (six) in the nation. It was just more of 'what are we gonna do when things get tough and our back are against the wall.' We don't have the ball, our offense is sitting on the sidelines. Our defense is kind of winded from us going three-and-out. I think it kind of helped them prepare for that. We responded the right way."
On the postgame atmosphere
"It was fun. It was an incredible feeling. You know it just, it was an incredible feeling for these guys, just not myself, but most of these guys that are young that stepped up today. They had doubts, stuff from our season and it gets us over the hill of maybe scoring and guys coming back late. Our defense worked their tails off to get us the stop, and they got their last stop, the last play of the game and that's what won us the game. Just put ourselves in the right situation to win, we looked out for each other, defense looked out for us and we looked out for them."
On running back Imani Cross
"He runs hard. Imani is one of the great leaders form the backs and he's just looking for opportunity, and he got opportunity today. Like I told him, I love him. He came in with my class, unfortunately I redshirted and he didn't. I've seen him for four years work after practice, before practice, during practice, just for an opportunity like this. To get a chance to go out there, run the ball and make plays. He ran good. He got tough yards when it was needed. He got first downs when it was needed. There were certain situations, like we were 4th-and-1 and he got the first down on that, and got the chains and we scored. That's what it takes, it takes a guy like him to be a senior and being able to work as hard as you can all year and get an opportunity like this and make plays."
On the running game
"It didn't settle us in, it was more for the offensive line. They got pushes, they had a sense of urgency, they had a different attitude out there. They were mean today. They (weren't) taking any BS from anybody. The wound up, put their hands in the dirt and whatever was in front of them they blocked. When they made mistakes, they let it go and they moved forward. That's what we need out of those guys, being able to just accept criticism, move onto the next play and just fix it. That's what did. They went out there, had a great attitude toward each and every play. They communicated well with the tight ends and outside zone plays and outside power plays. They opened up big holes for the running backs and three or four yard gains in the first half became six or seven yard gains in the second half. That's what we needed out of those guys."