Postgame: Stoops and Pelini

Quotes from Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini and Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops after Nebraska wins 10-3 in Lincoln.

Oklahoma Coach Bob Stoops

Opening Statement
"My congratulations to Nebraska and Coach Pelini and their staff. (Their) team played a hard-fought game and really played well, and had an excellent game defensively. Overall, just made the plays that they needed to to win the game. I thought it would have been hard for our defense to play a whole lot better. Offensively, we moved the ball quite frequently, but then didn't produce points. We didn't execute well enough or they executed better than we did in the red zone. We have a couple missed field goals and a blocked field goal. We had the ball, I think, the first three possessions inside the 50 to start the game and end up with nothing, zero points. You have to be able to make a field goal, protect the field goal, that changes things at the end of the game, where you feel you're climbing uphill and you have to have a touchdown. The one turnover really that killed us was the one that gave them the ball at the 1 or 2 yard line, and they end up scoring the one touchdown that was the difference in the game. Again, they did the job they needed to and we didn't."

On if he'd ever been apart of a loss when the defense plays so well
"No, not much. You force 11 punts away from home, and I think they were 1-of-14 on third down, you feel like you've got a good chance to win the game. I would say the difference is (they got) the one turnover to set up their touchdown, and we didn't get a turnover. That's how close this game was, and defensively, we really did play well."

On the 4th-and-1 play at the end of the first half
"We just felt that they would be really aggressive inside, and squeezing everything off. You felt you could get the corner, and we couldn't."

On if he still felt like the team could tie the game with 3 minutes remaining
"Several of those drives in the second half we felt very positive. We were fairly consistently moving it. We'd just get behind the chains. You've got to credit them, on third or fourth down, we had our opportunity, and they made plays, they covered us or pressured us or whatever it was to get out of it. That's where we needed to be better."

On how much of the struggles was the inexperience of the players
"Some of it may be, some of the field goal issues, you've got to be able to do it in games like you do it in practice, and we didn't. That you'd like to think is just some inexperience, haven't been out there enough, some of it you've just got to work and make improvements. Dumb penalties, we still have a lot of foolish penalties. Like I said, they're 1-for-14 on third downs, we had them 3rd-and-8 at about the 45 on one of the drives, and we have a late unnecessary roughness, it gives them a first down, and that's where they get the field goal. Instead of 7-3 there at the end of the game, you think you might be able to hit a field goal and have a chance, they have 10 now because of unnecessary roughness. We still make some foolish plays that way."

Nebraska Coach Bo Pelini

On the win
"I'm just proud of this whole football team. I'm proud of how they played. I'm proud of the effort, the attitude they brought to the game. I'm proud of everybody in there. I thought there was a good team there (Oklahoma). There were 87 total plays and they sucked it up and found a way and I'm proud of that team tonight."

On Oklahoma
"That's a good football team we played out there tonight. Make no mistake, Oklahoma is a hell of a football team. We found a way. That game could have gone a lot of different ways, but we just found a way to hang in there and hang in there. We made enough plays to win the football game. I take nothing away from them (Oklahoma), they played their hearts out, too. That defense with Oklahoma, that's the real deal. They played their tails off and they're to be commended also."

On how Coach Pelini feels after the win
"I feel good for those kids, I feel good for our football team. Forget me. This isn't about me. It's about those kids in that locker room and their fight, the way they hung together, and I'm proud of them."

On Matt O'Hanlon
"Matt has great character and resolve. He's one of the leaders, that's why he walked on the field tonight as a captain because he's earned that right."

On deciding to play Zac Lee
"It just felt right. Cody (Green) is a freshman, it's a good defense, there were a lot of things going on – it just felt like the right thing. Make no mistake about it, I have a tremendous confidence in Cody Green, but you have to go with your gut. I felt that way and Wats (Shawn Watson) felt that way. Trust me when I tell you, I still have a lot of confidence in Cody Green and what he does."

On Phillip Dillard
"I'm proud of Phil. He's played well the last few weeks. Let me tell you, he was man-to-man on those backs a lot of the time and those backs are special. He played like he's been playing. I can't say enough about him. He went through some tough times last year and he's persevered and showed he's a pretty strong human being. He has overcome a lot and I'm proud of how he's come through."

On the extra spark in the Nebraska football team tonight
"I think there was probably a little extra spark in the stadium. That's the best I've heard our crowd in a while. It was good to see. I think it brought extra energy to us. I thank the crowd. I'll be honest with you, it hasn't been that way this year. Tonight it was and I think it really helped our football team and I hope that continues."

On if this game was a statement game
"It's just one win. This game means nothing if we don't come back and go to Lawrence and take care of business next weekend. I told our football team, that game is over, enjoy tonight, be careful because I think the town might get turned upside down tonight. At the end of the day, you get back to business as usual tomorrow and go back to work."


Sooners Illustrated Top Stories