Bowl game eligibility:

“I think that has been a goal of ours since the beginning of the year. And it is definitely something I want to do for the team as a whole. I think we wanted to earn that right to be bowl eligible since summer conditioning we have been putting in work there. So, I think in a lot of ways we have earned and I think we have just got to continue to earn to week-to-week and prove that we can get those six wins, get the bowl eligibility, you know, it is a big goal for our team. So, it is still good to have that out there as something to strive for.”

Team goals:

“I think just playing well for each other, playing well for our coaches we have that motivation more than anything. I think preparing hard and practicing hard and just taking pride in that- that is probably to play for.”

Playing in snow:

“I haven’t played in snow but I played in Army a few years back when it was in the 20's and it was sleet, it was raining ice. So, that was kind of fun and interesting. So, that will be a good experience. So, I am looking forward to that.”

How the weather changes his mindset:

“I think it just puts a bigger emphasis on completing the ball and doing my best to make accurate throws when they’re needed. So, it will be something I focus on so I think it will be good for us, something we can use. I think we have played some cold games this year but that prepared us a little bit for what we are going to see in Minnesota. So, it will be fun.”

Downsides of playing in the snow:

“When you’re throwing a wet ball, it is just kind of... you know you don’t want to squeeze it as tight, just kind of let it roll off your hand is what I found in the past. So, I’ll practice that a little bit this week.”

On Minnesota:

“I think they are as hungry for a win as we are. I think they are coming off two tough losses so it will be a great game and I think both teams are fighting for a win really hard. And I think for us to go into their home field and play against a tough Big Ten defense like them… so that will be another good challenge for us like it has been every week. And I think they have a tough D-line, with two good edge rushers and I like their middle linebacker, I think he’s a good player. So, it will be good to focus on that this week and find a way to execute and be successful there.”

Benefits of playing away:

“I haven’t really thought about that. I mean I love playing at home, I love playing in front of our fans, you know, it gets me going like nowhere else really does. It is still a lot of fun to play on the road, you know, it is a good challenge, it is fun to go on the road with your team and kind of accept that challenge and stick together in a hostile environment so that will be fun.”

On wide receiver JD Spielman:

“I think he is extremely intelligent and his football IQ is extremely high and his ability to run option routes and find the opening in coverages you can see it on third and fourth down conversions we have had this year, his ability to get open. So, I think… yeah I can tell he has been around the game a long time and he cares a lot and he understand the game, so I think that will be a fun one for him.”

On JD Spielman throughout the season:

“I think just his consistency on… just whenever we have needed him you know, he has kind of been there especially on special teams, especially on any down in any situation of the game, JD can bust a great play and get the team moving, get some first downs. So, I think it has been really nice having him.”

On if he predicted JD Spielman’s role:

“I think I definitely did, and I think he is a heck of a player and I think he is tough to stop. He is tough to bring down, he is tough to get your hands on. So, he is a really good weapon for us and I think we will continue to find ways to give him the ball.”

On wide receiver Tyjon Lindsay:

“I think the biggest thing for him is experience and growing comfortable in the game. You know I think you can tell just in his preparation that he takes football very seriously. You know, I think he really wants to be great, he wants to play well so that’s an extremely encouraging thing to see in a young guy and week-to-week whenever he has an opportunity to get the ball, you know, he is making plays and he’s catching it and getting up-field, and I think his role in the offense will only continue to grow. I think he’ll be a great player here just because of the way he approaches the game. So, I have been really impressed with him.”

The Northwestern game:

“I think in most games there are always some throws you want to have back but you don’t get those back so I mean this game we put it behind us, learn from it. A lot of tough things happened, a lot of things that could have happened differently that changed the outcome of the game were there. And I think our job this week is to make sure this doesn’t happen again. You know, make sure that those little moments in the game that really shift the outcome happen in our favor. And that is something we can control by just executing and preparing and being ready for those moments.”

The overtime offense:

“It was tough. Obviously, it did not work out the way we wanted it to, we didn’t execute the way we needed to on those last four plays, but that is how overtime goes and it was tough. So, I think learning, like I said, learning from that, you know, maybe we will have another overtime game in the future so at least we will have that experience to look back on.”

Penalties:

"I think at certain times this year we have hurt ourselves with penalties and stalled out drives, so I think we have clearly been focusing on when we are going on drives let’s finish in the end zone and not hurt ourselves with those critical penalties. No matter what it is. So, I think that is something the coaches have definitely been focusing on with us. So, I think we’ll continue to do that this week.”

Turnovers:

“I think it is kind of… different guys are moving around and having to play different positions, so I think you have got to continue to harp on those critical and important things that, you know, help you keep your drives going, especially for the younger guys.”

Why he always attends the press conferences:

“I think that it just part of the deal. I enjoy doing this, I enjoy doing it for the team and I think it is my duty as a captain to come up and talk and let my teammates do what they need to do to get ready to play. It doesn’t affect me at all to come up here and do what I have to do so it is really no big deal.”

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