Bo Pelini on Nebraska’s Quarterback Situation: “It’s a situation where I feel like we’ve got three guys we can win with”September 3, 2010 – 10:30 am by Chris Fedor
Last year Nebraska surprised a lot of people by making it all the way to the Big 12 Championship behind the best defense in the country. When they got to the Championship game against Texas, there were not too many people outside of Lincoln that gave them a chance to beat the Longhorns. However, the Cornhuskers nearly upset the ‘Horns and now they head into their last season in the Big 12 looking to capture the conference championship on their way out the door and into the Big Ten.
The Cornhuskers are a top ten team in the country, but they still have many questions they need to answer before conference play opens up. Not only is Ndamukong Suh missing off the defensive line, but they also have a huge question at quarterback. If the Cornhuskers want to leave for the Big Ten with a conference championship, they will need to rely on the “Blackshirts” much like they did a year ago.
Bo Pelini joined ESPN Radio with Scott Van Pelt and Ryen Russillo to talk about how he feels about the new social network and the media’s coverage of the team, what he thinks of the quarterback situation this year, when he felt like Nebraska football was back, how tough it will be to replace Ndamukong Suh, and how important it is for his team’s to have a good defense.
On how he feels about the quarterback position:
“Yeah. We feel really good about our quarterback situation. It’s a situation where I feel like we’ve got three guys we can win with. I don’t know if there’s a lot of people out there that can say that. It’s been great competition. I think the competition has made each guy better and it’s made our football team better because I think we’re gonna be deeper at that position than we’ve been and I think it’s a really good situation for us to be in.”
On how he feels about the program moving forward and how close he feels the program is to being where it once was:
“I thought we were getting that way, but what I liked at the end of last year was the fact that we started to be more consistent. When I say that, we can compete, the first thing you have to do in your program to be able to compete is make sure that the kids in your program are doing the right things off the field, they’re managing their day to day activities, they understand what it means to come in and put a hard days work in on and off the field because then you can really get to the business of football and preparing them to play on Saturday’s. That’s a big part of our culture is competing and doing the things on the day to day basis that you have to do. I thought as the season went on last year that the light came on and I thought it started to show on the field. Does that mean that we’re gonna beat everybody on our schedule? That remains to be seen, but I do think we have that opportunity. And we’re heading in the right direction. Now we just have to keep it going that way.”
On the loss of Suh:
“We lost a number of good football players. We lost a few guys, but I just feel like we’re deeper now. We have more depth, we have more options, I think we’re set up a little bit better to handle if somebody does go down. The tools are there. We’re really deep in the defensive backfield and talented there. We have a good combination of experience and youth. On the surface I think we have that opportunity, now what we do with that opportunity we’ll see. I think we’re getting better in some areas but we still have a long way to go and a lot of areas to improve in.”
On the importance of defense at Nebraska:
“Obviously I’m a defensive guy and I grew up coaching defense, I always feel like that is going to be our identity. You have to be good on defense if you want to win championships. I don’t think there’s any way around that. There’s no sense anymore of just outscore everybody because eventually you’re going to run up against somebody that’s gonna stop you and you gotta play some good defense. I feel good that we’re gonna be able to get that done here and I feel like we’re headed in that direction. I feel really good about where we are offensively on this football team this year and I think we’re gonna surprise some people, do some things and put some numbers up on offense as well.”
Listen to Bo Pelini on ESPN Radio here (Audio begins 26:20 into the podcast)