Each week, senior offensive tackle Jeremiah Sirles shares his insights with Husker beat writer Brian Christopherson. Some football talk. Some randomness. This week, Sirles talks about the return of Taylor Martinez, the chaos surrounding college football, and his beloved Denver Broncos losing a game. Let's get the pain out of the way first …
"Oh, it hurts. It hurts. I was watching the game, and give it to the Colts, they played really well, but I think the Broncos really beat themselves, in a way. We gave them those nine points with the safety and with the fumbled punt and we lose by, what, six? Things like that killed us, but everything's out there for us. I just hate the fact I'm going to have to hear all the Chiefs fans in the locker room just going nuts until we play them and beat them in Invesco."
"Quincy (Enunwa) never shuts up about the Chiefs. He's a Chiefs guy, which is weird. Michael Rose, huge Chiefs fan. Joey Felici, huge Chiefs fan. Tommy Armstrong, huge Saints fan, but no one really cares. And then myself, Kenny Bell, Mike Moudy -- Broncos fans, obviously."
(On losing senior offensive guard Spencer Long)
"When he went down, it was hard. He's our leader, he's our captain. We follow him and we kind of went as he went. That was a hard thing for us to swallow, but I think it's brought us closer as a unit. It's pushed young guys harder. Moudy, Givens Price and Ryne Reeves have really stepped up to bat because they understand they have a fantastic opportunity in front of them."
(On Husker fans invading opposing teams' stadiums)
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"Anytime when we go into an away stadium and you see the sea of red, it just gives you that extra boost. It gives you that extra pep in your step to see all the Husker fans that drove all the way to Minnesota, or maybe Minnesota Husker fans that have been waiting for this game for who knows how long, and they're super excited to come out and just support us. That's the really cool thing."
(On Martinez's return to practice:)
“To have our four-year starting quarterback back was a pretty big deal. Hat's off to Ronnie (Kellogg) and Tommy (Armstrong). They’ve done a phenomenal job these past few weeks stepping in and really leading us to be perfect, so to say, and leading the offense. But I think everyone knows that Taylor is our guy and that he’s been our guy for four years now. He’s proven that. He’s brought us back when we’re behind and he’s shown how great of a quarterback he can be. It’s exciting to have him back, because we are really going to need him."
(On what he's learned about college football during NU's two bye weeks)
"One thing I learned is that it's anybody's conference. Anyone on any given Saturday can give anyone a run for their money. Iowa came out and gave Ohio State a run for their money, Indiana gave Michigan a run for their money. It just shows you that if you don't come out with your 'A' game every week, someone is. Another thing is, it's really anybody's national title. I don't know how many top 10s got beat -- like five, six. It just goes to show you if we stay on our track, we can beat anyone, we can play with anyone in this league, we can play with anyone nationally."