Senior Linebacker Joe Brockington
When did you know you were going to start, and how did it feel?"I'm not sure what day it was, but it was good, and I played all right. I made some mistakes and dropped two balls; that was kind of rough but I think I played all right."
Did it take you awhile to adjust to the speed of the game?"I thought I adjusted pretty well. The first series seemed kind of fast, and we went three and out but after that I thought I settled down."
Starting this week, was that something you pretty well had to keep to yourself?"Yes, the only people who actually knew was my mom and my sister. They were not here so they weren't going to tell anyone as they were back in Pennsylvania."
What did you think of the Purdue quarterback?"He is a good drop-back passer and he throws the ball pretty well. We just needed to pressure him and make him throw the ball quick. Sometime we did that and sometimes we didn't."
Late in the third quarter Purdue snapped the ball directly to number nine. Did that surprise you?"That kind of caught me off-guard, but I recovered pretty well and made him run back to the other side of the field."
Senior Lineman John Sullivan
What did you think of Darius's game today?"Darius is up-tempo and has a great spirit and great character. So I think it was great that we were able to do something that allowed him to be successful. Although don't give us all the credit because he was making people miss on his own. Darius did a great job."
When you get up like you did today, how much can you take from a game like this?"That was a game right down to the end; right up to the last couple of minutes. We were running our four-minute offense. I thought it was a great game. It was a competitive game until the end of the fourth quarter. So I think it was a great learning experience and a great step for us in the right direction."
Was it fun for you today doing so much run-blocking?"Run-blocking is always good; pass-blocking is good too. I think that the fact that the team got the win was the fun."
Talk a little bit about the game that Darius had."Darius is a great running back and we were able to go out there as an entire offense and execute today. If you just have a rushing game, or just a passing game, the other one won't work. Brady did a great job too and should get a lot of credit for everything that happened with the offense. But Darius was the man today."
Senior Wide Receiver Jeff Samardzija
Did the extra time in practice make the difference today?"Obviously, when you get some extra time in practice to work on things, you are going to look a whole lot better. I think as a receiving corps and with Darius involved, and John too, everybody looked pretty much in sync. It was pretty much pick where you want to go so we felt good and everyone seemed to know where everybody was at and everyone had a kind of good feel about it."
Did it seem odd that the receivers could benefit when the running game was going so well?"You know, it's football and the running game is always very important to any team. If you can get the running game going, things are going to open up. I don't know how many yards Darius had, but I know it was a lot. Anytime you can do that, it's going to help out."
Darius caught the most passes in the first half. Do you consider him part of the receiving corps?"That's Darius, he is a multi-way talent. So he's going to come out and make plays with screens and draws and power runs. He can do it all. You have to get it into his hands sometimes. And it seems like we have a few guys on offense that is the case for. You just got to get it into their hands. He made plays today and it is exciting to see him go."
On your touchdown run, is that a call you made?"No, I definitely didn't call that (laughter). Everyone is on the same page and we just kind of know if there is something we check out to. I'll do that. But we went out there and it was kind of the look they were showing for awhile, on film that is. So we just kind of went with it."
Without giving away too many details, how does that play work?"It's just a set up; you look to see how they are playing. Obviously, there's a pattern when you watch film and that's why you watch film to try to pick up things, whether it's individually or the defense or special teams. We saw something we could take advantage of and we went with it."
Do you set up a little bit differently for this play?"No, because obviously we can kick it so everything has to be the same. And that's why it's tough and so risky. You don't see it too often for that matter. It's a roll of the dice kind of thing and sometimes it pays off and sometimes it doesn't."
You're 4-1 now. How does it feel to get out ahead and control the game?"It's a whole lot less stress on the offense, and the defense too for that matter. But speaking for the offense perspective, when you jump out to an early lead and kind of keep the playbook open, it allows you to do a few more things and be a little more creative when you have a lead. You can do different things and it helps out."
How did the running game help you guys today?"It goes hand-in-hand. If we come out early and decide to throw the ball, and we know we can make some completions, it does a lot for the running game. We came out and decided to run the ball a lot and we had a lot of great runs the first three drives. It just kind of opens up everything and you don't get one-sided which is pretty big."
Junior Running Back Darius Walker
Did the Purdue defense dictate what you did in the passing game or was it a part of the game plan?"I kind of get the liberty to do what I want to out there and just kind of run what I see, which is really good because I don't have to think too much out there. It's just more reacting. Sometimes the middle will be clogged up and I bounce it out and it all works out."
Your numbers say you had a good day. How do you feel about it?"I really thought it was a good day, but at the same time there were a lot of things that I could have done better. A lot of runs and things I could have made; make a defender miss and taken it all the way; so there's a lot of things you can check out."
You seemed to have a lot of holes to run through. Was this the best performance by the offensive line?"The good thing about the offensive line is that they bring the same intensity every week. They really do a good job and kudos to them and that is the reason why I put up the numbers I did today. It's really because of the offensive line and the tight ends and the fullback opening up the hole for me. I'm just running through holes out there."
Did you do anything different in practice this week to get the running game going?"Nothing much different from what we normally do; we all set out and said we want to get this running game going. That was our mindset going in and it feels good to actually succeed in that goal."
Did the little tiff with you and Coach Haywood motivate you more today?"Me and Coach Haywood are very close and very cool. He always brings the same intensity every week, whether it's me, or anyone else on the offense, or anyone else on the team for that matter. He definitely does a good job of motivating everybody."
Did he do anything different this week to get you guys motivated?"He brought the same intensity that he's always going to bring and that's Coach Haywood. We kind of know what we're going to expect from him."
Coach Weis said he would like you two to have an altercation next week. Did he say that to you?"Yeah, we kind of joked a little bit about that after the game. So whatever works, right?"
What hits harder, that gauntlet out there or the Purdue defense?"Definitely the gauntlet (laughter)."
Senior Quarterback Brady Quinn
You guys picked up where you left off last week. How did that feel today?"It feels nice. It was funny because coming into this week, we really had our best week of practice and for some reason or another, that excitement carried over into Tuesday and you could feel it Wednesday and Thursday, like we just wanted to get back on the field again."
How much of a factor was the Purdue rivalry in keeping you guys from having a letdown?"Obviously, there wasn't a chance of a letdown because they were coming in here 4-0 and the last time I checked, we were 3-1. So it wasn't like we had any kind of a letdown mentally for us. Especially when they played here the last time, they beat us down pretty good. There's a lot of things you can look back at, but we were really motivated coming into this game."
Was it nice having the running game working right away?"Definitely, and that's something we want to work on. And everyone did a great job today and obviously Darius did a great job. And we've got to give credit to the guys up front."
Is a lack of running game sort of been the missing piece for the offense?"I wouldn't call it a missing piece, here again week-to-week, teams are going to give you different things. They are basically going to give and take away certain things. So you want to try and utilize that and you want to get the running game going and they allowed us to get that going today."
Darius had over 100 yards rushing at half time and yet he is your leading receiver. So what does that say for what he did in just 30 minutes?"Obviously, he was getting a lot of work and it just shows how special he is and how productive he is. And just by the way he's out there running the ball, but also being a threat with the ball in his hand in the passing game."
Both teams had a lot of yards in the first half, but what was the difference in the fourteen point lead?"I think offensively we just capitalized when it came down to it, especially in the red zone. And on third downs we did a great job of moving the chain and finalizing the job once we finally got down there."
Senior Defensive Back Chinedum Ndukwe
How would you evaluate the Purdue offense?"They've got a good quarterback and two solid receivers. I think they're a fine offense and they just wanted to keep getting it out there but I think we did a solid job."
Purdue got a lot of garbage yards. Do you worry about that?"A lot of it came at the end of the fourth quarter, near the end. Unfortunately, that's what happens when they're in hurry-up and they can dink and dunk and as long as they don't get the long bomb like we did in the first half, which is not acceptable, we just tried to keep pushing and fighting to the end."
Can you talk about Zibby playing linebacker in the last series when you had the dime package in? How often does he receive reps as linebacker?"Not as much, but he is our best defensive player, without a doubt. He's the heart of the defense and a great player to play with and kind of elevates everybody else's game. He's so familiar with the whole defense that you could basically plug him in at the D line and he'd be fine; that's the type of player he is and I love playing with him. He doesn't really get too many reps at linebacker but if something happens, he's the one the coaches want in that spot."
Where does this defense need to go from here?"We just have to eliminate the big plays; they have really been killing us and it can't happen. Our offense is flowing and making yards and doing really well and the defense comes out there a couple of times and really didn't step up to the plate. And that's where we are right now but we just have to eliminate the big plays and put out a solid performance."