B1G Championship: Nebraska Head Coach Bo Pelini Press Conference
Dec. 2, 2012
NEBRASKA COACH BO PELINI
THE MODERATOR: Coach, an opening statement?
COACH PELINI: I apologize to everybody associated with Nebraska football with how we coached, how we played, and it's not acceptable. I'll take any questions.
Q. Bo, can you just sort of recap what happened with your defense tonight? Why Wisconsin was able to take you off guard with some plays? What went wrong?
COACH PELINI: There was nothing taking us off guard. We practiced 99 percent of what they showed us today. For whatever reason we didn't execute. We didn't make tackles. We didn't make plays, obviously. We didn't coach it well enough.
Q. You said you practiced 99 percent. What would you say that one percent is that you were not ready for?
COACH PELINI: I don't know. Obviously we didn't play well enough. We came unglued. I wish I had the answer, but I don't.
Q. This was a team that was really mature, a lot of veterans. You thought you were sort of past this point. What, I mean, I imagine shock has to be your first emotion?
COACH PELINI: Shock doesn't even begin to -- shock doesn't even begin to explain that.
Q. When did you feel like it was getting past the point of repair?
COACH PELINI: I mean, it was like a leaking boat. It was one thing after another. One problem after another. You get one fixed and you talk about it. There were some things that we corrected and it happened again. Like I said, I don't know if I've ever -- I've never been a part of a game like that as a coach.
Like I said, at the end of the day, it falls on me. It falls directly on my shoulders because I'm responsible for how those kids play.
Q. You were able to keep pace with them offensively there for a little while, then things got out of hand late in the first half. Can you talk about what they did to take you out of some things that you were trying to run?
COACH PELINI: Well, obviously the situation in the game. I don't know how we would have played offensively because it got out of hand.
Q. Surprising that their speed seemed to get to you. I mean, they haven't been known as a fast team. Were you surprised by that?
COACH PELINI: We played them early in the season. I feel like we had a pretty good idea of how fast they were. I don't know. To play the way we did, I don't have an answer for that, unfortunately.
Q. You played Cam [Meredith] a lot, and he seemed to struggle. How much did Baker's absence hurt you on the line?
COACH PELINI: Boy, the problems that happened out there went far, far beyond Baker Steinkuhler.
Q. What were some of the problems? Just generally what were some of the things that didn't happen that you thought would? What did your defense not do right?
COACH PELINI: Well, what do you do? What is defensive football? It's play your gaps. Handle your responsibility. Be where you're supposed to be and make tackles when you're there. We did none of the above. You have to have 11 guys on the same page doing the right things. I mean, it wasn't much different than, to a large extent, than what happened at Ohio State.
I mean, some of those plays that we -- I wouldn't say, but a lot of those plays we saw tonight, we saw the first time around. We played these same plays in Lincoln, a lot of them, most of them.
Q. If you could go back to the first quarter, what are some things that stick out in your mind that you'd do differently?
COACH PELINI: I don't know. That seems like it was ten years ago.
Q. I know you're having a hard time coming up with the words, but how do you explain it then? The end of your five, you think you have --
COACH PELINI: You can try to put a big thing on it. It's on me. Put it on me.
Q. Is it representative of the foundation of the program, or do you think it was a one-game blip?
COACH PELINI: We just won six straight. We went 10-2 in the regular season. What do you think?
Q. I'm asking you, Bo. Do you think it was an aberration or do you think it was indicative of the foundation of the program?
COACH PELINI: It's not an indicative of the foundation of this program.
Q. I know you said that a lot of the plays were very similar to the first meeting that you guys saw. But Wisconsin did get out on the edge a lot more in this game?
COACH PELINI: Because we let them out on the edge. That's what happened. We didn't execute. We didn't turn the ball back the way we were supposed to turn the ball back. Falls on me. I obviously didn't coach it well enough.
Q. Do you think the fact that Wisconsin kind of had this thing locked up three weeks ago --
COACH PELINI: No, I don't want to put any excuses on it. It has nothing to do with it.
Q. How do you gauge this season? I know you made no bones about the fact that the goal was to win the conference championship. How do you look at it now after this?
COACH PELINI: We failed. We failed to win a championship. That was the goal coming in and didn't get it done. I apologize for it. I apologize to the football team. I apologize to the coaches, the fans, like I said, everybody associated with it. Because at the end of the day, it falls on me. I'm the one responsible for it. We didn't get it done.
Q. That had to be a really, really tough post-game locker room. Did you get a chance to say anything to those guys or not?
COACH PELINI: Yeah, absolutely.
Q. Can you share some of that?
COACH PELINI: That's private.