Huskers Address Game with Badgers

Nebraska Coach Bo Pelini

On being motivated by being the underdog
“We don't really pay attention to what people think. We are playing a good football team. They're a well-coached, good football team, in a tough environment. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter what people think. It's going to be won or lost on the field.”

On if the team will use the underdog role this week
“I don't pay attention to that stuff. That's for you guys. You guys approach it any way you want. We don't talk about if we are underdogs or 30-point favorites. Our approach doesn't change.”

On Pelini's impressions on Wisconsin over the last few years
“They do a heck of a job. I think they're talented and physical and extremely well-coached. They just do what they do. They're sound in what they do, and they do it well. It is the sign of a good football team and a good program. They do a really good job.”

On Wisconsin quarterback Russell Wilson
“He is a good player. Their offensive staff does a good job of using him correctly. They haven't changed their offense much. He just fit in and the kid has done a good job of learning how the offense works and how to make it work for himself. I think they took a guy and fit him in as another piece of the puzzle, and that's the right way to go about it.”

On if Wilson's numbers are inflated considering the competition
“I don't know what his numbers are. He has played well.”

On starting Big Ten Conference competition
“Like I said, the hoopla is all for you guys. It is just the next game on the schedule for us. We will concentrate on getting better as a football team right now. We have a lot of things to improve upon. We are working day in and day out to become a better football team.”

On defensive tackle Jared Crick's status
“Crick should be ready to go.”

On if Crick will practice today

On if Crick had a concussion
“He got dinged up. I don't know about the concussion thing. It has changed over the years, especially recently.”

On if it will be nice to have Crick, Alfonzo Dennard and Lavonte David on the field together
“It will be nice if we play well. I think we have to keep working to get better. Having those guys out there together, along with everybody else, we have to get on the same page. We have to keep upping our level of play, regardless of who is on the schedule.”

On offensive coordinator Tim Beck's adjustment to his new role this season
“He has done a really good job. He has called good games. He has made good adjustments during the games. I'm really happy with what he has done. He is the first one that would tell you there are things to do better as an offense, but it has come together fairly painlessly.”

On what made Pelini think Beck was the best man for the job
“Being here and having the resources, I feel like I could have gone out and got anybody I wanted. Tim was a guy that I've known for a long time and I have a lot of confidence in him, and I think we share a lot of similar beliefs philosophically. It was an easy decision for me.”

On if Pelini and Beck were close growing up
“We went to the same high school. We played together. We played against each other. He grew up a block away. We have known each other a long time.”

On Wisconsin's defense
“It's sort of the same thing you see offensively. They're very sound, fundamentally. They're a good team who is well-coached. The kids know what to do and how to do it. They don't try to recreate the wheel or anything like that. They just do what they do, and do it well. They have a good understanding of what they're trying to accomplish. It is a sign of a well-coached football team.”

On what has impressed Pelini the most about Wisconsin so far
“I think I've addressed that. They're well-coached, talented and physical. They execute well in all phases of the game. They're an outstanding opponent.”

On the benefits of having played a road game
“Obviously, every environment is different. I've been to Camp Randall before, and I understand how they have loud, excellent fans. The place will be all wound up for this one. I think it is a game they have been pointing to. It'll be a heck of an environment.”

On Daimion Stafford's abilities as a defensive back
“It is a similar-type thing. I think Daimion and everyone is different. He brings good things to the table at that position, and I thought he would be a good guy that could add something.”

On how Pelini knows when the time is right to put somebody into a new role
“Sometimes it is necessity, sometimes it is something we have talked about. We don't want to move a guy around too much. A large part of it is feeling of when the right time is to move somebody in a position like that. When you feel like it will add something onto their play.”

On how you force a team like Wisconsin to make mistakes
“You play hard. You play hard and you execute. It means you have to do everything you can to not make the mistakes yourself. I don't know if you can force them to do it. You can put your hat on the ball or tip the ball and take advantage of opportunities that come your way. I guess that is about the gist of it.”

On creating mistakes by opponents the past few seasons
“I think we have done a pretty good job of that over the years. Like I said, that challenge will be that much greater. They haven't been giving the ball up.”

On Wisconsin's linebackers
“I think they're good players. I think their players are good front to back. Anytime a team has two players that they think highly of enough to have them both on the field at once, it is a plus for them. It speaks for itself.”

On the time Pelini spent with Bret Bielema together at Iowa
“I knew Bret when I was a GA there. He was a defensive lineman and was very physical, the same way he coaches. He played with great intensity. I was there his junior year. He was a captain and everything else. He was a good football player and his success as a coach doesn't surprise me because of his approach and type of person he is.”

On if Pelini could sense Bielema would be a coach someday
“Nah. There is no crystal ball. At that point, he probably didn't know he would coach. I didn't know when I was playing. You just don't know how things are going to happen.”

On if Pelini has much contact with Bielema
“We have run into each other. I see him around but not a ton. We were in different conferences for a while.”

On how long the Nebraska staff has been looking at Wisconsin
“We spent time on all of the teams on our schedule during the offseason.”

On the speed at the wide receiver position and how it will factor into this game
“I hope our speed runs free a lot. I hope they score a lot of touchdowns. I like our wide receivers. They're guys who can do to things with the ball in their hand and they can go deep on you. I think we have some talent there. It is some green talent. We have some experience, yes, but we have young guys also. We have a lot to improve upon, but I like that position for us.”

On if Nebraska will have to drastically increase its level of play to beat Wisconsin
“I think we need to play better than we did last week.”

On if history will play into what Pelini tells the players this week
“No. Its just the next game for us. It is just part of the process of what we are trying to accomplish as a team. Historically, it doesn't affect our guys. Obviously, our guys are going to hear about it because you're going to write about it. That means nothing to what you have to accomplish on the field.”

On having to play the best Big Ten team to open the season
“They're the defending Big Ten champions. It is what it is. Our approach wouldn't be different if we played anybody else. Some things you can control, some you can't, but we will be ready to play.”

On Wisconsin wide receiver Nick Toon
“He is a big guy.  He is an outstanding receiver. He catches the ball well and he competes for the ball. He tracks it really well and he is a good player. Their other receiver is a good player too, number four. They have good skill people.”

On if Toon is the best receiver Nebraska has faced
“I thought Washinton's (Jermaine) Kearse was a good player. I don't get into comparing two guys, but I think Toon is a good football player.”

On what Pelini saw of Alfonzo Dennard Saturday
“He came off the field healthy, and I think he is really confident. It was his first time out there and I thought technique-wise, he needs to get cleaned up and get back into who he is. He is a good player and I think getting out there and playing for three quarters helped him.”

On Brandon Kinnie's confidence level after making a few catches on Saturday
“Trust me, Brandon Kinnie is not lacking in confidence.”

On the secondary player changes and how that has helped
“Well, it helps when they play well. We are still mixing and matching, looking for the right combination. We put a lot of stock into who does well in practice at what we are trying to do. We have a number of guys and the competition is on today to see who plays Saturday.”

On if Corey Cooper will play at corner on Saturday
“We will see how practice goes and who wins the job.”

On how comfortable Pelini is with Taylor Martinez compared to last year
“I've said I feel that Taylor is much more in control and a much better football player than at this point last year. I'm a lot more comfortable because he has a year under his belt.”

On how to keep the young players from the hype
“We have a really consistent approach around here. The number one thing we have to do is take care of us and get better. I know you guys get tired of hearing about it, but there is a process we go through each and every day that has nothing to do with the hoopla or our opponent or anything else. It talks about our fundamentals and how to get better every day. That is our approach and that will not change. It always has been and will be the case. That allows us to do everything we can to keep our guys on track and focused on what we control. There are a lot of things outside of our practice and offices and field that we can't control. What we can control is us. You do that and work hard and get better every day, and let the chips fall where they may on game day.”

On if any of Pelini's Nebraska teams have been perfectly dialed in for a game
“No, because there has never been a perfect game. I've never coached a perfect game. Nobody has ever played a perfect game. Some we do better than others, and I hope we play well Saturday night. What I am concerned with most is that our guys understand the game plan today and have a good practice and starting the week off the right way.”