LINCOLN, Neb. — Nebraska’s win over Illinois was much closer than the score shows. Coach Mike Riley was pleased with the win but a few things did bug him about the Huskers performance. Here’s what the coach said on Saturday.
- “It was pretty obvious they had the edge early. They were ahead. They were on top of it all more than we were. But I was pleased with our ability trust in our team and play better and make plays to win the game.”
- On the big drive in the fourth quarter: The one thing that I just felt like is they hardly had the ball in the second half. That was a result of that. I thought that that was good.”
- On big fourth quarters: “I think that our team has made plays to win games and the fourth quarter is when you’re doing that. “The biggest part is the mental competitiveness, keep your pointe, keep playing and it wasn’t pretty but and do what you can to win the game.”
- On Newby: “My thoughts about him have always been good and they went up a today. I had a lot of respect for what he did today. Devine (Ozigbo) was out, Wilbon was hurting, it was pretty thin. And he stepped up and played. He’s physically tough, took care of the football. We gotta give the line some credit.We started making some hay on some of those zone runs we had. I thought (Newby) was a real man today.”
- On the status of Cethen Carter, Jordan Westerkamp and Devine Ozigbo: “Carter hurt his elbow, and I don’t know how long, whatever he did to it, I don’t know what length of time that will mean for him being out. Jordan was taken to the hospital as a precautionary reason.” Riley also said Devine Ozigbo has a high ankle sprain.
- On the defense: “I didn’t think we were really right on top of it today in general. I thought that Illinois was really well prepared. Lovie did a real good job with that team.”
- On the fourth and 1 call late in the fourth quarter: “The way that game was going, I was thinking we better do this right now.I feel like the more confidence we gave them the worse it was going to be.”
- On being 5-0 entering the bye week: “I think we want to spend good time, but not too much, but good time getting ready for next game. We want to work on situations in football games, stuff like 2-minute drill and 4-minute offense. End of half stuff. Just some specific details. We’d like to get feeling good physically best we can. We’re also going to do a bit of work and get young guys let them play a little football and get coached by our coaches this week.”