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Mike Riley postgame quotes

Wyoming @ Nebraska – Sept. 10, 2016

Opening Statement

"It was good to win once again and it certainly was a different game than from a week ago. I know that's going to be one of your first questions out of the box. Wyoming did a very nice job with their game plan, and a lot of blitzing that really hurt us. We had a hard time finding a run that was good, that we could kind of make an identity run and stick with. We didn't find any rythym with that, so fortunately we started to get some passes. The screen game came alive today. That was nice to see. Defensively, I think that we did a nice job overall. Certainly, turnovers are the biggest issue in the game. I was really dissapointed in our one turnover that we had that was so unneccessary on 1st-and-10. But the turnovers for us made all the difference in the game as the fourth quarter went on, so that was good. I thought that, you know, when you look at that, this next statement will be kind of stupid but we still gave up some stuff pass deffensive-wise that was unnecessary. I thought that the play before the half was such a big play in the game. The score didn't have to be like that, but we made it that way. We had some really bad penalties. I'm really dissapointed in that. We have got to clean that up so that is our goal."


On the interception Tommy Armstrong Jr. threw and his overall performance

"He was really productive. He made a lot of big plays and we don't like to give that play out. Get rid of that interception. Like I said, it was totally unnecessary. He made a ton of good plays. We did two things that are really important. We really won the turnover margin. We got a lot of really big plays. We gave up a few too many today that we didn't need to, and that is really the three most important things that I am looking for."


On how the turnovers, skill and aggression that team played with today

"We've got guys here with good ball skills and are getting some good vision on the ball. A couple of them were pressure interceptions and a couple of them were really good position interceptions. I think we've got guys that when they have vision on the ball they can make some plays. You saw it. There are some good ball skills in that group. There are quite a number of guys, which is good. When you are in good shape and you can see the ball, good position on the receiver and you can actually see the ball, then your chances to intercept are way higher. But when you are playing blind into the receiver all the time, you know, you probably aren't going to get a lot of these interceptions."


On struggling to run the ball

"They were throwing the kitchen sink up there. We were seeing a lot of different stuff and we weren't doing a good job of picking it up. Therefore, we were getting some really negative runs. Luckily, on second down, we've had pretty good success on our second downs. We hit some big passess. It kind of bailed us out because our first-down running wasn't what you like to see most of the time."


On Ryker Fyfe's long touchdown pass in the fourth quarter being a statement, "if you're going to do this, we're going to do this."

"That was inadvertent. I wanted De'Mornay (Pierson-El) to catch a hitch. That was really the point, let's throw in the hitch route and get him the ball and then they pressed both guys and Ryker did what he was taught to do with the ball. We just want to get De'Mornay some work in the game, get him some balls. That was our goal. I know that probably was an interesting deal, but that was why it went like that."


On his thoughts of the punt game and if the fake punt was improvised

"That was probably as surprising to me as it was to you. [Coach] Bruce [Read] actually had a good scouting report on them, that they would at times basically not rush anybody and try to double so many guys on the line of scrimmage. When we recognized that was happening, we told him that when he knew that was happening, that would allow him to hold the ball a little bit and punt until we get our guys down there. I never did really want to know what he was thinking yet. I thought I would let that play today."


On if it has been a surprise that senior defensive end Ross Dzuris has stepped up

"Ross [Dzuris] is a very much detailed guy and a hard, hard worker. When you combine hard work, experience, attention to detail, it's not unusual that a guy would do well. So we expect him to be one of the more stable people we have on this team as we go through the season."


On his thoughts about the first two games setting up next week's game with Oregon

"I think it is great to be 2-0 for sure, going into this game. I think it is an exciting time. The one thing about it that you all know, being around here, the more you win, the more exciting the next game gets. Of course this one being who they are and what they mean nationally and where we want to go, this is exciting."


On if he has been scouting Oregon



On the emphasis quickly turning to the Oregon game

"Absolutely, and the neat thing is that the players even said right after the game in the locker room that we have got to put it all together. We are going to play a good team and it will be a great game, big game for us."


On if he thought about the first two games as preparation for Oregon

"We definitely set this up to the game that it can be, because if you want to be who we want to be, you have to beat these kind of teams that are coming up. It will be fun that way. That challenge will be exciting. They will be one of the fastest teams we play all year, and they are going to be talented. So it will be great that way. Yes, you do have to get through those first two games to get to this one, and it is just kind of the natural flow of life in football. When those games are looming, you can mess it up by losing one of those previous games or you can set it up by winning. I am going to pull back here and say we need to clean some stuff up or we are not going to have a chance to beat Oregon, but if we do we will."


On his thoughts on the penalties

"I will have to look at them all. They were a little bit different style. Nate's [Gerry] wasn't, I think you are going to get a penalty for that. At some point, I really believe most of the time that a guy knows that the ball is coming. I believe that, and we are going to have to do something about it. They are going to have to make a decision on how it is going to be. It was Carlos [Davis] in. He is a freshman, and you are supposed to let him off the hook, but that is not good for him. I just sat with him right there, pulled him off the field and said 'look where the ball is right now.' In a close game that loses you the game, so we are going to have to make a decision on how it is going to be. We are going to have to be smart. You are not going to make dumb plays and win big games."


On how he thought the team handled the early kickoff

"I thought much better, even though we did not play perfectly clean. I thought the enthusiasm for the play was more than ever. I felt good about it. So a couple of things we did we will just say that they worked and leave it at that."