"It was my best game for sure and something that we have been working for since last spring, no doubt. I think it was all about the energy throughout the team and a culmination of the hard work we had put in starting back in the spring and through the summer," said Big Rob, deflecting his performance to a team effort. "It wasn't perfect, but it was good enough for now. We can play a lot better, but we got what we needed."
Robert was able to finish plays like never before and was named SEC Defensive Player of the Week for his effort.
"I just tried to stay focused. You have to focus on the actual play and not let your mind spazz out," he smiled. "It is almost like a meditative state when things are going well. I was able to ignore the fact that I started cramping in the first half.
"It was, like, it can't get any worse, so keep pushing through it. I was drinking gatorades and water as fast as I could get it down, but I couldn't catch my hydration up so I pushed through. I asked my coach for a break and he said no way at the time. I said OK, let's role."
For Nkemdiche, it's all about being strong of mind.
"We know we have the talent, but this year we have a stronger mindset. None of us want to let our brother down," he continued. "If I have to go through a double team, I will do it, for the guys next to me.
"I have worked hard on my techniques and a lot on my mental state and focus. I think both have paid off. I have also taken on a different role, one of leading by example, and I am going to show energy at all times. I am trying harder this year to make my presence known and to show more energy. I'm not a big talker, but I can show energy and this is the time for us to capitalize."
Nkemdiche had his best game in perhaps the biggest game of his career, but he's not satisified.
"I can do a lot of things beter. Some of them are minute, but they are still present and still things I am aware of and need to improve on," he continued.
Nkemdiche is not looking back at things that have gone wrong in the past for the Rebels. It's all about moving forward.
"The only thing that matters is the moment you are in and preparing for the next moment. I don't look back. We are in the moment and the moment is beautiful," he philosophized. "I don't worry about outside things. I focus on the moment and what I can do to make things better.
"We preach the moment of now and I think that will allow us to have a great outcome when all is said and done. A lot of people think we will have trouble putting the Alabama game high behind us, but we won't. We really aren't that high. We expected to win. We went there to win. If we keep that mindset, we can do some really good things this year."
Nkemdiche said the only thing that was left over for him was complete exhaustion.
"I played 85 plays and I felt so spent on the bus ride home. My body was depleted and it took some time to get it back," he closed. "I passed a test. I see a different vision for myself now and I am working toward it. I just do not feel I have any limits.
"But at the same time, I have to keep looking in the mirror. Am I pushing myself? Am I reaching my expectations? My coaches' expectations? Am I doing everything I can for my team? I set a mental standard for myself and it's 100%. When I don't reach that, I am disappointed."
Robert Nkemdiche or Frederich Nietzche?
Definitely Robert. Frederich wasn't 6-4, 300 pounds and able to run down running backs.
Nietzche or Nkemdiche?
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