Nebraska vs. Iowa, 11/24/17

Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz (left) and Nebraska coach Mike Riley meet after Iowa's 56-14 win Friday at Memorial Stadium.

FRANCIS GARDLER, Journal Star

Opening statement:

“Obviously, really, really disappointing. We had chance for a pretty decent start in this football game, and a couple of special teams plays I think were big, big factors in flipping that thing as it didn’t have to flip like it did, but it did. The roughing the punter where we got a 14-7 lead, 4-5 minutes to go in the half, we’re going to get the ball back, and what happens with that is they end up tying the game, and come out in the second half with a big kickoff return, and on a pooch punt that we made that, you know, we just let bounce out beyond us. Those two plays were crucial and then I think that physically their lines took over, ran the ball, obviously, real, real well. They hit some big play actions, which is their game. That’s what they do, and we couldn’t respond in tune with that.”

His emotions walking off the field tonight:

“I think that you look at the end of the season and a disappointing loss like that, lost game, lost opportunity in that game. It’s disappointing.”

If he has had more talks with Bill Moos:

“No, not any since mid-week. Something like that. Maybe it was Monday-Tuesday something like that. Nothing after that. There was just a good talk.”

If Moos has told him anything about his future:

“No, I don’t have any indication about that.”

His job defense:

“You know, I think that it was a little bit of a mystery that way, because I thought up to whatever point that was, I thought we were making some strides on defense, and then I do know tonight that there was… it was hard to find some healthy bodies as we went through the ball game today. We lost both of our field linebackers pretty early, and then Sedrick King had to play there, and there was some moving parts that were balancing acts, and then you’re playing a team like that that is very, very physical, always has done a nice job with those plays they were running. So, an unfamiliar position with a guy makes it a little tougher, but in general, you know the other part of it is probably the teams that we play, the matchups that we play.”

His decision to go for it on 4th-and-1::

“Should of, could of, would of, there. I just, at that point, didn’t want to fail, and give them what would be a very, very short field at that time. What I know now, it wouldn’t have mattered.”

On Tanner Lee:

“I think that what happened, eventually, we were able to in the first half, kind of find some runs, not great, but okay, that balanced it out a little bit. As the score got bigger, you get a little more antsy to try and get back and score, so the running game doesn’t become a part of that balance that you kind of need, and so when we lost that balance, they teed off on pass rush, made some plays.”

What he would differently since being 7-0 last year:

“I’m going to have to reflect on that one for a longer answer. In the evaluation of it, but I think that we are obviously in a new… it’s like a year one for me right now, new quarterback, new skill set, a real good player as you have seen. We have to do better scoring points and running the football to really be, so that’s what I would, so as I would look forward, that’s what I would say has to happen, and the style in which we play a little bit in the running game, we really have to examine that part of it. Defensively, I don’t have any regrets about the 3-4, about what we did, it is just very, very painfully obvious that this group, on defense, needs to continue to grow and practice, and lift weights, and be able to withstand strong players like we played tonight, and that’s what I would be all in for is that development with those guys.

"You know it’s a very, very young defense, and halfway could be exciting. I would be excited about that too. I think that, I’m not going to argue my case here, we went from what? Five wins to nine, and utilized the skills sets better, and better. It might have been a strategic error, but with the new quarterback that we have and the quarterbacks that we’ve had, we looked at it. What we didn’t do this year is run and we know way better than that, that it’s not going to work like that, but that growth plus the defensive growth, I think we could do the same thing next year. I think this team will do that. I just feel that way. I know that we got beat… they played better than us, and rolled us at the end, but it’s like I told our team, that didn’t have to be like that and those critical errors for our team and the stage of where we’re at, you know with the roughing the punter touchdown, and then the kickoff return touchdown that followed that basically right away. We cracked and couldn’t bring it back. These guys have to learn, I told them that we’re going to have to learn to do that, we’re going to have to learn how to fight through a tough time in a ball game.”

How he would describe this team for next year:

“It’s a great group. They will indeed go back to work to develop some of those things that they’ll need. They’ll need more power, we’ll need more power on both sides of the ball up front, very, very obvious in that regard. Kind of a strength in identity offensively with going forward with the people that are in the program, as the quarterbacks right now, and as the people that are coming back as receivers, there’s some real exciting players in that area too. There’s so many guys to continue to develop that are coming back defensively, that on all the parts, it’s a pretty exciting deal if you can look at it big picture wise. It feels like I’m trying to change the subject, but I’m really not. I think that that’s a real deal for this team for next year. It’s exciting for me.”

If he anticipates being the coach next season:

“I’m going to, I’m going to anticipate that, and when I go to bed tonight I’m going to hope for that because I would love to do this. I truly believe I’m exactly the right person to do this. The football parts, I’ve been doing this so long we know how to fix, and we also are doing a good job recruiting. Those two things are going to be the key to Nebraska getting back to where everybody wants to go. The football has to grow, and the recruiting has to continue to be high level to get really back there.”

If Bill Moos has been receptive to where the program is right now:

“Bill has been awesome to talk to, we’ve known each other for years. There is all those parts of the conversation are private, but I appreciate the opportunity to talk, it’s been done first class, and it will always be with him.”

20
11
8
3
14

Load comments