Press conference quotes: Tanner Lee

Nebraska Football
Weekly Press Conference
Monday, Oct. 30, 2017
Memorial Stadium (Lincoln, Neb.)
Pre Northwestern

Quarterback Tanner Lee
On the last touchdown
“I am still excited that it happened, so excited that we got it done. It was a fun team win on the road. So, I think that was really good for us and really good for us leading into this week. Another tough opponent coming off a big win, it’s another exciting opportunity.”

On if he has ever thrown the ball 50 times in a game before
“I’m not sure, I don’t know. But, it felt good.”

On tight end Tyler Hoppes
“He was playing great. I think we’ve always been seeing how athletic Hoppes is and I have a lot of faith in his ability. Especially when it came down to crunch time he made a huge play on that corner route, got out of bounds. He caught a touchdown earlier in the fourth quarter that was a really big play, but I love having him out there because he saves me a lot with a lot of great catches.”

On what was different with Hoppes in the Purdue game
“I’m not sure. I think we have just continued to rep our routes and gain… become more comfortable in the plays that we are running. And I think that’s something that we definitely focused on during that bye week – little route deals that we were able to execute there in the game.  A lot of those things we worked on were tight end routes to Hoppes. I think it showed up.”

On if he has watched the winning touchdown pass from the Purdue game
“I have seen it a couple times. It was really exciting and it was just cool to see. Glad it all worked out.”

On the great timing
“Glad I got it in for sure.”

On if he was confident in the moment of the winning touchdown pass
“That’s a throw that I have made in practice before. I think that’s a throw Stanley (Morgan Jr.) has seen, we went over a few times in practice. Coming back from multiple reps and then it just working out in the game that way, you know on a look we have seen before, running that route again so that was really good that we were able to execute that.”

On Stanley Morgan Jr. and going for two
“We went for two and we had six guys out there. It took us a while to get it together but everyone was just excited.”

On if going for two was dangerous
“Definitely wanted to make that play but that’s another, just kind of a shot situation, it’s either touchdown or nothing… or a conversion or nothing so it was just me trying to maintain that focus.”

On if a more effective running game would help him
“In some games, I think that just, that happens. We haven’t had that really this year. We have struggled moving the ball on the run game and we really have to rely on our passing game. Now I think when it mattered most, we made some plays. Jaylin (Bradley) was able to run hard whenever he got the ball and make some plays when we really needed it. So, when it really came down to it, I think it (the running game) stepped up.”

On running a faster-paced offense
“I like it. I like attacking and I think there is a place and time for it and we kind of get the defense on their heels and kind of stop them from pressuring sometimes and just be able to complete balls and move down the field like that is something I think we are confident, in so I think it’s something we can definitely use.”

On struggling in the Red Zone
“I don’t know. I think a lot of credit goes to Purdue there. But, we struggled finishing drives in the end zone which made it harder on us at the end of the game there. But, you know it’s just… we’ve got to find a way. I think whether it’s a play here or there to get us in the end zone, because it’s just so important. We will definitely focus on that efficiency this week.”

On the first play
“In two-minute situations like that, that first completion is very important just to get the ball moving, getting your guys back lined-up. So that was something I’ve kind of been coached up on, especially in two minutes you used all of your check-downs and let them catch and run with it a little bit so it was good.”

On getting out of bounds
“We practice it every day and our coaches harp on how important it is to get the clock stopped. You know, going until, we knew we had no time outs so I think guys were selling out. Especially Devine (Ozigbo), I don’t even know if they called him out of bounds but he was spinning and twisting just to get out of bounds and save some time. So that was an all-out group effort by everybody and just a great job of executing that.”

On the challenges of Northwestern’s defense
“They’re so focused on just the fundamentals and they’re going to be a tough, hard-nose, hustle defense so that’s something we will have to deal with and that’s something we see week in and week out in the Big Ten is strong, hard-nose, physical defenses like that so it will be another good challenge for us for sure.”

On what has he been focused on
“I think I just really keep my focus on the team and just maintaining my confidence throughout the season and trusting my preparation. And you know, things I am learning throughout the week in practice and then just being able to apply them to the game is just what I have been focusing on week by week.”

On the running backs
“I think it is somewhere I definitely need to improve on from earlier in the year is using all the play and giving the ball to the backs and letting them work with it. So it is something I have been focusing on and I think they have been doing a good job of getting out of pass protections, getting out of the flats and being able to make plays. That’s just definitely been a focus for us for the past few weeks.”

On if the future will have more passing game
“I think all season we have seen in spurts what our offense is capable of, so I think just trying to get to that and maintain it and stay consistent is our goal because we know how good we can be.”

On Stanley Morgan Jr. heading toward a record in receiving yards
“That would be great, great for Stanley because he deserves something like that. I think he’s an extremely hard-working guy, he’s a leader on this team. His emotion and the energy that he brings every day helps our offense day in and day out in practice and work harder. He’s just an invaluable member to our team and he’s just a great player, strong hands, big body he’s able to feel his way in the open holes and make plays and then run after the catch has been really big. So, it’s just really comfortable with him out there and just knowing he’s going to get open in any coverage is a good feeling.”

On losing two starting offensive linemen in the first two quarters
“I think the coaches did a nice job of rotating guys in and out. So I felt good with the subs that were coming in knowing that they had practiced with us a little throughout the week. I think they held up well.”

On his redshirt season and the mental grind of adjusting
“It’s something I think the younger guys are getting used to. I think they are seeing what it takes to get through a whole season and how fast it really does go in the turnaround week by week. But I think you begin to really enjoy that process and I think they are, too. You know, just the fact that you have got to end one game and start preparing for the next is something that you kind of need to fall in love with because you love the game. I think those young guys are starting to see that and that is something I have found throughout my career.”

On his comfort level of the last four games compared to the first four
“I think it was a tough start, you know, we weren’t getting the wins that we wanted to get there but knowing that it is a long season and that we’re going to need everybody to play well and finish the way we want to finish it is kind of the only option, you have got to keep your head up, got to keep going to work and like I said I think it is a process that a lot of us enjoy. So just maintaining that same focus and not letting anything deter you from that is something that I try to concentrate on.”

On knowing Northwestern’s quarterback Clayton Thorson
“I knew him, I met him at the Manning Camp and a little at the media day. He’s a very sharp guy, big guy, strong arm. So we got along well. I think our personalities kind of click so he’s a really cool guy, I’m looking forward to competing against him, and we talked about when we were going to play each other and things like that so it will be good to go against him and have a good game.”

Source: Nebraska Athletics