All year round, former Husker and NFL veteran Adam Carriker is taking the pulse of Husker Nation. In the "Carriker Chronicles" video series, he breaks down the latest NU news, upcoming opponents, player updates and recruiting information, and he offers his insight into the X's and O's and more.
On Wednesday's episode, Adam Carriker talks to senior captain Mohamed Barry about rebounding from the overtime loss to Colorado, preparing for Northern Illinois, which Big Ten opponents he's looking forward to facing and much more.
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Here's a transcript of today's show:
Welcome to the Carriker Chronicles, The People’s Show, where we check the pulse of Husker Nation! Brought to you by Nebraska Spine Hospital. Today, I’m joined by Husker senior, captain, and Black Shirt, Mohamed Barry. How you doin’ Mo?
MB: I’m doing well, man. Just finished up practice and ready to talk now.
AC: Well, I appreciate you joining me. We’re gonna run the whole gambit here, but let’s back up a little bit and start with some of the things you guys have been able to do well, especially on the defensive side of the ball. So you guys are flying to the ball this year. There’s a different energy, you’ve been able to force seven turnovers so far, scored a couple touchdowns on defense; so what’s the reason for some of the increase in productivity and the turnovers and the energy and attitude that we saw the first half against Colorado and throughout the game against South Alabama? And also the increased turnovers?
MB: I think, first it’s guys understanding their roles and understanding their positions. Understanding the scheme and playing fast. No one’s thinking out there. They’re playing fast, they’re going hard and things of that sort. That’s what you want. That’s what you ask of your players. Coach always talks about us playing fast, us getting to the ball, and us forcing turnovers. That’s what our defense is about and it’s coming true, because people are doing it.
AC: So, the first half of the Colorado game, obviously things didn’t go well in the second half, particular in that fourth quarter. What was the biggest difference? How was Colorado able to find success in that second half and that fourth quarter, versus what happened the first half?
MB: You know, honestly, I can’t really put — there are so many factors that play into that. I think the biggest thing is we just have to come into it with that mindset. It’s on the captains, it’s on the leaders, we have to make it so everyone’s ready to go and finish out the game. Tha'ts why I put it on me, I put it on myself and the captains, the leaders. Everything we accomplish this year is because of the team, and everything we don't is on the leaders. That’s what it takes. There’s no excuse, no matter the factors. We just gotta go finish next time.
AC: So what are some of the things that Coach Ruud and Coach Chinander have had to say to the defense now that you’ve had a chance to watch that film, break down that film and have a couple practices?
MB: Coach Chinander, this is what he really said, the first half was phenomenal football. Zero rushing yards, under 100 passing yards, sacks, TFLs left and right. We were able to do what we wanted with them and it was a dominant performance. It was a dominant performance until one minute and some change to go in the third quarter. That’s when things got sloppy. The thing is, we gotta just finish and go all four quarters hard. No matter what the situation is, no matter the circumstances, we just gotta go and finish.
AC: Yeah, I think people forget that with 1:46 left in the third quarter, it was a shutout. It was that last 16:46 and then overtime that things went the other direction. So what has Scott Frost’s message been to the team about moving forward and getting ready for Northern Illinois and then Big Ten play after that? What has his message been to the team about Saturday, about going forward?
MB: Yeah, his message is, we gotta rebound. We gotta get better. We got honed in on the particulars, the little things. Get better at our craft and learn the lessons from this game. You can’t let Colorado beat you twice. They beat us that day. They beat us, but we gotta rebound. We’re doing so many good things on the defensive side of the ball and the offensive side of the ball. We have to continue to get better that week also. We gotta progress and get better. We gotta win this game and play our best football. But that comes with honing in on the particular things of the defense and the offense. Just work your craft and get better.
AC: Talk to me about Northern Illinois. A couple years ago they came in and pulled off the upset in Lincoln. Is this a little bit of a revenge game in your guys’ minds, or is it that kind of in the distant past, different coach, different attitude going forward. How are you guys approaching this Northern Illinois game?
MB: You know, a lot of the guys that played that game in 2017 are not here, or weren’t starting and playing. I think I'm one of the few who were playing in that game, me, (Dicaprio Bootle, Lamar Jackson). But that game just showed me that anyone in college football can get it. Anyone can lose any given Saturday. You gotta earn it no matter what team it is. We came into this season saying, we’re gonna give every team we play the utmost respect, and play them as if they are the best team in the nation. I think the biggest thing is, treat NIU like they’re the best team in the nation. They’re doing a lot of good things. We have to respect their scheme and their players and play hard and make sure we combat those issues they present. Just play a great game. To me, it’s just making sure you respect this team, because they've earned it. They've got a great history at NIU of upsetting good teams and being ranked in the Top 25 and so on and so forth. You just gotta give them the respect they deserve and play them like they deserve to be played.
AC: Big Ten conference play is after that. You want to take it one game at a time obviously, but for the next minute or ninety seconds, look ahead at the Big Ten play. Are there any games — and every game, you want to take it week by week, you never want to look ahead to anybody, but just for like a minute bear with me — are there any teams or games you get a little bit extra excited about as you look ahead at the Big Ten play which starts in two weeks?
MB: Oh yeah. Everyone’s human and no one’s the same. Even though it’s important to have that game-by-game mentality and who’s next. But it's always a little added emotion when you play certain teams. I would say it's almost four games that I’m really on edge to play. I would say it would be Northwestern, because that game last year, it hurt, because again that was a game similar to Colorado, where we played a great first half and then we kinda went down in the second half. So, playing Northwestern is a game I'm excited about, Ohio State, of course. And of course, the two big dogs — Wisconsin and Iowa. Those games are games that since I’ve been here, I don’t think we have won. And games that we need to win.
AC: I remember that Northwestern game last year, specifically that was the game right before you guys seemed to kind of come together as a group. Because really, not even just the first half, the first three quarters — not even that — really the first three-and-a-half quarters, you guys were clearly the better team. Obviously the last half-quarter, as you mentioned, didn’t go the way you guys wanted it to go. I can see how that game would definitely mean a little more to you guys, especially having them at home in Lincoln this year is gonna be huge. Lot of Husker fans are big fans of Mohamed Barry, they want to hear what you have to say. Do you have a message you just want to relay to Husker Nation and to all the fans out there?
MB: My message is, I understand the loss was hard this past Saturday. It was a loss that I wish never happened. It's a loss anyone would give anything to rewrite. I’m just so happy how the fans showed up there. Honestly, at the end of that game, what hurt the most was that we let y’all down. Incredible showing, y’all took over Colorado, made it Memorial Stadium. Sea of Red, everything. The emotions pregame, when I saw all those fans, I was shocked and so proud to be a part of this university. But understand that we tried, and we lost, and we didn’t quit on that field. I know for a fact that all my teammates, we didn’t. It was mental mistakes that we gotta correct, and we will. I just want everyone to keep on supporting us. The best thing right now is y’all’s support. We do this for y’all, we want to put on a show for y’all. Every day in the morning, everything is about the fan base. We need y’all’s support. And watch, I promise you at the end of the year, it’s gonna be something that y’all are proud of.
AC: That’s leadership right there, ladies and gentleman. Nobody could have said it better. I want to thank you for joining me, and until next time, Husker Nation, Go Big Red, and always remember...
MB: THROW THE BONES!
Thanks again to the Nebraska Spine Hospital. Ladies and gentlemen, when it’s your spine, you do not want to mess around. Experience matters. That’s why you can trust the experts at Nebraska Spine Hospital, the region's only spine specific hospital. They are the best at what they do.