The Husker backup defensive end had two solo tackles Saturday in the 17-13 win at Michigan. The redshirt freshman from Akron, Ohio, had been recruited by the Wolverines and defensive coordinator Greg Mattison, but it was his first time inside Michigan Stadium.
Q: Does the performance over the last six quarters kind of feel like what this defense has been striving for all season?
A: Yeah, definitely. These last six quarters have been phenomenal. We just see what we can be. When we watch those games, you see a different defense than what was there before. That's just us knowing that, hey, if we work hard, we can get ourselves to Indy.
Q: So how much does that confidence that you're gaining help going forward?
A: It helps a lot. It keeps the dream alive. It's one of those things where if you lose to Northwestern, everybody's down in the dumps, you don't know what's going to happen and everybody's just like giving up on life. We worked our tails off and now we see the light at the end of the tunnel. Now, next up: Michigan State.
Q: Did it dawn on players on the flight back or maybe Sunday at practice that you've set up the situation necessary to have a chance to win the Legends Division?
A: We had our meetings and stuff, and it's just like Coach (Bo Pelini) says, “One day at a time, one game at a time, one game plan at a time.” We've just got to look at what's here now. So we're going to be focused for this.
Q: As a defensive line, how did you guys feel walking off the field after some of the damage you did Saturday?
A: We felt great. Just winning at the Big House, that's a great venue. We went in there, we took care of our business and we had fun. And when we walked off the field we were proud, because we were one step closer to our goal.
Q: You ran down quarterback Devin Gardner going laterally on that second-quarter play. You think you maybe surprised some people with your speed?
A: Tell me about it. But I work hard, and at the end of the day that's why you hustle. You can teach alignment, you can teach technique, you can teach assignment, but you can't teach effort. And I was like, “Hey, I'm not gonna give up on this play.” I kept pursuing and I got to him, and I was happy about it.
Q: Be honest: Coming out of that tunnel Saturday and taking in Michigan Stadium and 112,000 people ... pretty cool?
A: Yeah, it was exciting. Growing up in Ohio you get the feel for the dislike for the Maize and Blue, but you also give respect to the fact that the Big House is one of the dream places to play at. So it was amazing.
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