Oct. 26, 2013
Oct. 26, 2013
TCF Bank Stadium
Nebraska at Minnesota
Tracy Claeys, Acting Minnesota Head Coach
On victory today
"I think this victory says a lot about our kids. We talked about how Nebraska had two weeks to prepare and we're not sure what we're going to see from the other team, and Nebraska came out right away and got after us. Our kids kept staying positive, though and we moved the ball while taking some time off the clock and allowing the defense to regroup. I told the team to play hard and do their job and when they look up in the fourth quarter they're going to have an opportunity to win and sure enough we did."
On running the ball successfully today
"We were able to stay committed to the run. There were some times when we didn't get more than a yard or two, but David Cobb had some great runs that gave us a big spark."
On some missed opportunities to score
"There were some missed opportunities. That comes with the ebb and flow of the football game, but we'll show the team the video and look to get better. Northwestern was the same way, we had a couple of penalties, overthrown passes and dropped balls. A lot of winning is about confidence especially when it comes to beating teams you haven't beaten in a while. We spent all week thinking that we weren't here in 1960 and we had nothing to do with those losses from long ago. The past has nothing to do with how we play today as long as we play hard and smart and we did that today."
On the two consecutive wins these past two weeks
"I think it would have been extremely difficult to come into the game today 0-3 in the Big Ten and to have to play Nebraska. We kept telling the players that they are better than they think they are, and Northwestern brought out a little bit of confidence. This win will bring out a lot of confidence in us. "
On Jerry Kill's presence on the team the past two weeks
"Everyone wants to ask me questions as the head coach; but I'm not, Jerry Kills is the head coach. The coaches and players have a tremendous amount of respect for Coach Kill. We know he would love to be with us. Right now he can't be with us but we didn't want to disappoint him. As coaches and players we're working our hardest to make him proud."
On being bowl eligible already
"A year ago we celebrated the sixth win because it was late in the season. We had Nebraska and Michigan State left a year ago, but now we have our sixth win in October and we can reset our goals. We're going to work hard and set out to do something better than what we have done in the past."
Philip Nelson, QB
On the “fun” game plan…
“Everyone was excited about the game plan. You know it’s a great game plan when everyone is excited about it. We knew going into this week that Nebraska is the type of a defense that you can’t let get comfortable so that is where all the trade, shifts and motions came into play and we were able to keep them on their heels.”
On being the “spark” off the bench…
“That’s definitely an advantage but at the same time you can get into a rhythm earlier on in the game. But whatever we are doing right now is working and that’s all that really matters.”
The mood on the sidelines after falling behind by 10 in the first quarter…
I don’t think we really batted an eye to be honest. We knew that there was a lot of game left to play and we knew as an offense that we could take advantage of some the things they were doing offensively. I think as an offense, when we get rolling that helps the whole team out and we can keep the defense off the field and make their jobs a little easier.”
On what is different than before…
“I think we all just have this confidence right now. We know that we can compete with anyone and that’s the main thing as a football player. You just have to believe in yourself and that you are going to go out there and compete. That’s where we are at right now.”
On the two big Big Ten wins…
“We are starting to believe and that’s all that really needs to be said right now. We have the confidence rolling from week to week and we are finally starting to realize how good we really can be.”
Derrick Engel, WR
On what Coach Kill said at halftime…
“He just said to keep doing what we were doing because we came out in the first half fired up so they didn’t really want us to change too much. Keep playing hard and playing our game… not trying to do too much but just go play by play and give 100 percent. That’s what we did and I think the results speak for themselves.”
On the 4th & 10 touchdown…
“When the play call came in I knew I was the go-to on that play… Philip put a good ball up there, at first I thought it was going to be overthrown, but it hung in the air. So I stuck a foot and put my hands up and the next thing I knew it was a touchdown.”
David Cobb, RB
On the offensive line and opening up lanes…
“From the first quarter on, throughout the game the offensive line had a great push and as a running back if there’s no penetration you can see you gaps, holes and cuts and it makes it easy so they did a great job of play action pass and it opened up the lines for me. Really it was more the O-line and just the whole play-calling scheme more so than me.”
On Ed Olson…
“Eddie did a great job as well as everyone else. Again, the O-line as a group together did a great job, from the tight ends to fullbacks, working with the best they had and they just kept playing.”
Gophers To Play BYU, Colorado
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Game 8: Minnesota at Illinois
Minnesota plays at Illinois at 11 a.m. on Saturday. The game can be seen on BTN and can be heard on KFAN.
Double OT With Coach Claeys After Rutgers
Coach Claeys answered more questions after his Facebook Live show last night.