Missouri State vs. North Dakota State Postgame Quotes
Nov. 3, 2012
On Missouri State’s halftime adjustments
We tried to play the perimeter game in the first half, throwing the ball to the outside. Obviously that was not working. We said, OK, we’re going to take our five and block your five, and let the quarterback block the sixth guy as far as read on a pull-and-give. We also went with the up-tempo. in the first half, we let them get us in third-and-long, and they were able to lay their ears back and put the pass rush on us. Kierra couldn’t get anything done, so we went and did the play-action.
On how the Bears play North Dakota State to close scores
They don’t like the fast pace offensively. Defensively, we’re getting better, and I think that’s a big key for us. They’re more traditional offensively than anybody in our league. They’ll play with two, maybe three tight ends and a fullback and play the traditional Nebraska football. We stand in pretty well with that, normally. We were also able to create the turnovers.
On Mikael Cooper-Falls
Mikael runs harder than any of our guys, and that’s what we needed in the second half. He plays on two medically repaired knees, so he’s not a guy who’s going to beat you with his flash. But he’s a blue-collar rusher and I couldn’t be more appreciative of his effort.
On Missouri State’s halftime adjustments
Coach just told us to play power ball. In the first half, you could see that they were just better up front. So coach said we were going to come back and just run it straight down their throats and show them we’re not scared of them, that we don’t care if they’re the No. 1 team. We don’t care if they’re ranked at the top of every defensive category. We were going to show them that this is our house and that we were going to play with them.
On the Bears’ postgame locker room reaction
We felt like we should’ve won. There are no smiles in our locker room just because we lost by four. There are no smiles. We feel like we should’ve beat them.
On his role in the Missouri State offense
Coach Christophel tells me all the time that this offense runs itself. The quarterback doesn’t have to do a lot of things. I have guys around me who are playmakers, so it’s my job to give them the ball and let them run it.
On Missouri State’s scouting report on North Dakota State
Their big thing is getting downhill real fast because they have a lot of big offensive linemen. Their offensive line is probably the best we’ve seen all year, including the two bigger schools we played against in Louisville and K-State. We knew what they were going to do, come straight downhill and attack the center of the defense, but we were able to make them make adjustments, and they had to start spreading it out a little bit more to the perimeter. We pretty much stopped them from doing what they’re good at, but they still found a way to get a little bit more than we did.
On what he saw before his 100-yard interception return
The number-two receiver went in, and the outside backer picked him up. The corner took the number-one receiver, and the back came out of the backfield. I just saw him come out. I knew with my history that people would normally catch me, but the quarterback didn’t make the tackle.
On the Bears’ improvement late in the season
Early in the season, a lot of people doubted our abilities and doubted our coaches’ abilities. Late in the season, we really stepped it up, came away with three wins. Having some success is always good. I think this loss is going to give us a little bit more of an edge to come out in two weeks and play a really good game.
On his reaction to Schaffitzel’s 100-yard interception return
That was pretty awesome. He played it perfectly. He saw the running back leak out late and jumped the route, so I was sprinting for my life to make sure nobody came out and tackled him.
On Missouri State’s bye week
We’ve got quite a few guys banged up a little bit. We get to stay off our feet a little bit longer. We get two extra days off, I think, and then hit it hard the middle of next week and have the whole next week after that to prepare for Northern Iowa.