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On being named Big Ten special teams player of the week
"I just think it's a nice honor to be special teams player of the week again. But it's just a credit to the team, you know, those 11 guys that are out there getting their blocks, doing what they are supposed to do during the week; getting in watching film on the other team; thanks to Coach Murph [special teams coach Brian Murphy] implementing the system that we have in. And I'm just proud to represent UW in that fashion."
On not feeling they played crisp last week and how they avoid that against Northwestern this week:
"I think it was just a matter of, you know, early, it was an early game again. We had to get up at like 6:45. But we have another early game next week so I would expect to see us a lot more crisper like you said. It's nothing really different we can do. That just happens sometimes. We just got to play through it. That's what we did last week. Hopefully this week we can start fast and have no worries."
"They're a very up-and-down team. Their offense is awesome. Brett Basanez is one of the best quarterbacks in the history of the Big Ten. He's done a lot of great things in his years. And their defense has always been solid. So, you know, we just have to come in and keep doing what we do: play good special teams, play good defense and control the clock."
Any extra motivation going up against a pretty good punt returner as well [Northwestern's Marquice Cole]?
"Yeah, I'll probably give him a shoutout the beginning of the game, see how he's doing. But hopefully I will be the best guy in the building that day."
On the kick returns, the blocking from last year to this year, has there been a big difference?
"I think that the scheme is a little bit different. Guys are buying into what Coach Murph is really preaching. And guys are just really focused and they see the potential that we have, you know, so they really just give that extra effort."
Audio file 2 (2:53) –
On punt returns…. You must have an idea every time you go out there you think something special might happen. Do you think they get the same feeling too?
"Yeah, I think they really do. Because it's been happening. So they're looking for it just like I'm looking for it. It's just — special teams is very exciting. It's one of those spontaneous plays that just happens, and we just let it roll."
You said right, left and middle are the three returns. Is there any one you favor?
"I like middle, you know, because I have many options. I can run up the middle and go right, run up the middle and go left… If you are just going right, that's where I've got to go."
Both of your touchdowns have been right, though, right?
"The first one was middle…
"Like wherever I catch the ball, that's the middle of the field, you know, wherever I catch the ball. I caught it on like the right and I just took it straight."
The other day was right, though?
"Yeah, the other one was right."
Do you have to have a different mentality when you are returning kicks, as opposed to playing receiver? Does it take any different mindset?
"It kind of does. Because at receiver I kind of already know where guys are going to be on the field. I already know where they going to run up to or where the safety's going to flow.
"At punt return it is just all, I mean, we have a scheme where it should go but it could go anywhere. It's real spontaneous and wherever it goes it goes."
What about the guys who are blocking for you? Does that take a different frame of mind to, and even for yourself, when you a returning a kickoff, you've got guys sprinting 50 yards downfield trying to hit you.
"I don't know. It's kind of different because, you know, if one guy, you know, misses his block, they get sprung, you could just get blindsided… Being a receiver, you know, you running routes downfield it's only like two or three guys that you know could really… give you that good lick.
"But I don't really be looking at it like that. I just try to find a seam."
You guys have done a good job answering other teams. How important is it to make sure the momentum doesn't get too far away from you?
"That's very important. Coach Alvarez always preaches the pendulum. Momentum goes back and forth throughout the whole game… The reality of the situation (is) they're going to get the momentum at some point in the game and we just got to fight to get it back. And like you said we've been doing a good job of really, once the momentum has swung to the other team, of getting it back pretty quick."
Cardinals going to win the World Series?
"Yes. Most definitely."