football Edit

Nuggets from NUs postgame press conference

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[rl]Here are some quick notes to pass along from Nebraska's post-game press conference following Saturday night's 39-38 upset of No. 7 Michigan State…
***Head coach Mike Riley's opening line for his press conference: "I guess we found out it isn't over until it's over."
***Riley said he initially thought the final touchdown pass was going to be ruled out of bounds, and the staff started preparing to call another play. He said they were actually surprised it was called a TD.
***Riley said the squib kickoff by Drew Brown following the TD was by design, and that Brown just missed the open spot where he was supposed to kick it.
***Riley was asked what the win meant for this team and the program after such a frustrating and disappointing start to the season: "It's just proof that if you keep working you can do good things… There's no sense in playing this game unless you think you can win." He said this game was a sign of the type of team they want to be.
***Was the win "justice" for all of the bad breaks NU has suffered this year? "I don't know if it's justice. The kids earned this win tonight."
***Riley said this game showed how thin of a line it is between winning and losing. Had they not rallied in the final seconds, he said the talk would have been about NU's interception near the goal line or deciding to onside kick it after the touchdown to cut the deficit to five.
***Riley said quarterback Tommy Armstrong had a "gutty, gutty performance" in the win, and that his play "pretty much describes Armstrong as a player. It was a roller coaster performance with ups and downs, but Armstrong came through big when it mattered the most.
***Riley said he was very excited with how well Nebraska was able to run the football against Michigan State, saying that was what gave them a chance to win.
***Riley said it was "tough sledding" for the defense tonight because of the way Connor Cook and his receivers kept coming up with one clutch play after another. But he was proud with the way the Blackshirts stuck with it.
***Safety Nate Gerry said he would remember the post-game celebration for a long time, and that he had never seen an atmosphere at Memorial Stadium like that before.
***Gerry said he knew Nebraska was going to win because of the attitude they had going in.
***Armstrong said he knew the Huskers were going to pull it out in the end because he believed in the defense to get the ball back in the final minutes and he believed in his receivers to come up with big time catches once they did.
***On the final drive, Armstrong said they knew MSU would be in a three-high safety coverage, and that the pass routes over the middle would be open.
***Armstrong said he wanted Michigan State to be 8-0 coming into this game because he wanted a chance for the Huskers to show to the world that they were better than their record showed.
***Armstrong said the win probably ranks No. 1 in his career not only because it was an upset of the No. 7 team in the country, but because it gave NU's seniors an unforgettable moment after a tough seniors.
***Armstrong said Riley led ten "hip-hip hoorays" in the locker room post-game celebration. That's obviously a season high.
***Reilly said he had a feeling the ball was going to come his way on the final touchdown, and he was glad it did because NU had been on the wrong side of these types of games far too often.
***Reilly said his "heart stopped" when he caught the touchdown, and that words couldn't describe his emotions after the game.
***Did he actually get forced out of bounds on the play? "I don't know. I'll have to watch the film."
***Reilly joked he felt bad for the fans that left the stadium early. "I'm sure they had something better to do."
***Running back Imani Cross said the win ranked No. 1 in his career as well, and that it was "a total result of believing and the result of having faith… We believed tonight."
***Cross said the offense works on its two-minute drill every day in practice, so they felt like 55 seconds was more than enough time to get it done.