NU Football Press Conference Quotes
Frank Solich Quotes
I want to address initially Jammal Lord?s situation. He will play for us on Saturday. He has, as you know, been issued a ticket for disturbing the peace. After gathering as much information as possible concerning the event, as I looked at it, Jammal handled himself in a manner that no other tickets or anything else was done, as far as the law officers are concerned. We are disappointed in Jammal in terms of what has transpired. We don?t condone our players being issued tickets or the fact that alcohol did play some part in this. He has been put under some guidelines that are within the internal part of our football operations. Along with the internal guidelines he will also be involved in some support systems that are available to him, and it will be mandatory that he attend those support systems. Other than that, it has been very difficult for our football team and program in terms of distractions throughout the course of the year and certainly this is another one that this football team will need to overcome. I think they?ve done a great job of doing that, and we will need to more forward in a very positive manner. I felt very good about the fact that they did practice well yesterday, the effort was good and they moved around well. We?re looking forward to going to Oklahoma State and playing what we feel is a very good football team that is a team that can make plays on you, prevent you from making plays and a football team that will play a physical game as they have throughout the course of the season.
I also want to address the situation with one of our former players, Jake Young. His family is certainly in a very difficult situation. We feel very badly for his entire family, and of course we feel badly that a member of our football team, our family, is involved in what looks like a tragic incident.
On quarterback Jammal Lord starting against Oklahoma State
Jammal will start.
On the support systems that Jammal Lord will have to attend
To be honest with you I don?t believe that because of privacy laws. I can go into exactly telling you what type of support programs will be mandatory for Jammal. There are programs that he will be asked to attend and people he will be asked to deal with.
On a pre-trial diversion for Jammal Lord
Jammal is eligible, to my knowledge, for a pre-trial diversion. There is a court date in November. What comes out of that court date remains to be seen but I believe he will be eligible for a pre-trial diversion.
On how Jammal Lord is handling the incident
Jammal is a very private individual, there is no question about that. It?s obvious that Jammal has been hurting for a while. Certainly that comes from the fact that one, he probably did not play up to his expectations in the Penn State and Iowa State games and consequently he has been hurting. I think without question, anytime I?ve ever seen a player that?s been involved in any type of incident that reflects badly on himself or on the program, they?ve all taken that to heart, and Jammal has done the same.
On an apology or statement from Jammal Lord
I have not talked to Jammal about anything of that nature at this point. As you might well imagine things have transpired in a very short period of time. We?ve tried to deal with this manner as quickly and efficiently as possible. We did bring our point system, which is something that we?ve followed now for several years, into play to see how that would play out. We?ve taken steps to try and make this consistent with how we would deal with anyone else and how we have dealt with other players in our program in the past. Beyond that I have not had time to visit with Jammal in terms of offering any type of an apology.
On whether the book is closed on the Jammal Lord situation
I will be very interested to see how things work out in the trial. I expect that there will be no other charges that will be brought against him because of this incident. The information that I?ve been able to gather would indicate that once the officers did show up at his apartment and issue the ticket for disturbing the peace, he did not react in any manner that would cause there to be any other charges against him. He was not issued any other tickets at that time, and I expect that as the trial approaches it will be pretty clear what he has been ticketed for and what possibly might occur from there.
On internal guidelines set for Jammal Lord
He?s been put under a set of guidelines plus a support system that will be put into place. Other than that, I won?t discuss any type of internal discipline or what those internal guidelines might be.
On how Jammal Lord has handled the starting position
I thought he handled it very well initially. If you look at the pressure he was under coming into the season, replacing Eric Crouch, I felt that he gathered the respect of the players in terms of his work ethic on the field and what he was accomplishing on the field. That was able to translate that into good play early in the season. Then we hit a streak where we did not play very well as a unit, and in a lot of cases the quarterback will share blame for those kind of games that we had against Penn State and Iowa State. He did not play well during that stretch. I thought that he worked his way out of not playing up to his potential during those games, and then played well in the last two games.
On the public perception of Jammal Lord?s ticket
I only looked at Jammal?s case. I know that Jammal was issued only one ticket, there was cooperation from that point on to my knowledge and so when you look at it from the standpoint of being issued a ticket for disturbing the peace, the system that we have in place and probably most systems around the country would not kick a young man out of playing or a starting role for that ticket in itself.
On alcohol in general
There?s no one in athletics in terms of coaches and administration that feel alcohol should be a part of what athletics is about and what young student-athletes are about. We do not have a set policy along those lines. That type of policy would be very difficult to draw up. As you think through it, a lot of people would understand that. But, yet within our system the actions that a person takes, maybe because of the influence of alcohol, there is discipline within our system in that manner. We certainly discourage it at every opportunity and we don?t want it to be a situation that does reflect badly on the program and, of course, in this individual instance it does.
On the team looking up to Jammal Lord
We?ll see where it goes from here. I don?t think there?s any guarantees. All I know is that Jammal has worked in the past in a manner that our players have appreciated. How this incident will be handled by the team as a whole remains to be seen. They don?t have the information that has been gathered concerning the incident. They (teammates) have been able to read about in the papers. I did talk to our team as whole yesterday about alcohol in general and the problems that exist. I guess if you look at it from a coaching standpoint and you go through your career and you?re faced with problems, it seems that a good share of those come from the use of alcohol. It?s a problem that?s on every campus in the country and we will do everything we can to make sure that our players understand the negative aspect of what alcohol can bring to an individual and what it can bring to a program.
On the Oklahoma State offense
They?ve had a few guys injured that have caused them to do things maybe a little differently than what they would do in terms of the style of offense they would be. I think that their feeling is that they want to be able to run the ball and yet they want to be able to be somewhat balanced in what they do. Of course, with the injuries that they had in the last game, that took them out of committing to the running game to the degree that they would like, and so it did take them out of some of what they wanted to do offensively. I believe that they?ll take an approach that they?ll get back to what they want to be all about in terms of offensive football.
On the I-Backs
Dahrran (Diedrick) will start and David (Horne) will come in second. If you look at how it worked last week, David played very well. He ended up getting the most carries of any of the I-backs. Dahrran understands that he needs to perform at a level to maintain that starting position. I think he?s pressed himself at times to try and be the player that he can be. So, we?re hoping that the flow of the game comes back to him at a point where he?ll play the way he?s capable of playing. He?s not been satisfied with his play. But he has done many good things through the course of the year. Our offense is designed to utilize the type of back that Dahrran is, a tough physical back that can get you a lot of tough yards and get things done in a manner that can generally keep the chains moving and give you the opportunity to get first downs and put points on the board.
On the road trip to Oklahoma State
We need to prove ourselves as a road team. It?s obvious we have not played well in our recent games on the road. What we need to do is undertake this game in a manner that we?re going to play in a manner that we?re capable of playing and we look forward to the opportunity to do that. Stillwater as I recall, is always a difficult place to play. Any time you travel away from home you do not have the home-field advantage and you have to operate at a certain level and in a certain way and we expect that our team will do that.
Differences in traveling
There?s nothing that jumps out at us in terms of why we have not played well recently in road games. We have played very good opponents on the road and that does enter into it to a degree. But, it should not enter into it to the degree that it has in terms of how we play as a unit. We just need to make sure that we?re playing up to the level that we?re capable of playing at and just move forward from there.
On the mental aspect of the game
I think you can be taken out of games on the road just by mentally not accepting the challenges that are involved in playing on the road. I believe our team is a football team that will accept those challenges. What we need to do is go out and prove that and play the way we are capable of playing. We have been a team that is working to that goal home and away. We?ve really not been satisfied with where we?re at in terms of how we play as a unit offensively and defensively in most games. But, we have been getting better, we have been identifying what we need to get better at, and we?ve been moving forward with that and we need to continue to move forward. The Big 12 Conference won?t allow you not to move forward and have any chance of being successful.
On confidence level of team
Certainly we have made some progress. It?s probably not come as quickly as what we all would have liked, but we have made progress and we have moved in the right direction. Right now, I think our team has confidence and is playing at a level of confidence that will enable them to move forward.
On the perception of Nebraska being more vulnerable
I think that where we sit in terms of our team record, and with the two losses that?s something we certainly don?t feel good about. On the other side of it, there?s an understanding by those involved in our program where we?re at, as far as athletes in our program and the direction that this team is moving. And really, that?s all we can control right now. Certainly we?re going to be looked at in different ways by different teams, and by different people around the country, but the bottom line is what we believe internally and how we react as a football team and how we prepare and how we play. At this point in time I feel good about the manner in which this team is starting to progress and also feel very good about the effort and dedication it has to being successful.
On living up to the past successes
If you look at what Nebraska has accomplished over the past 40 or so years it probably has not been duplicated. Consequently, the bar has been set high and we want it to be there. We?re proud of the history and tradition of this program and we want to keep that at the level that it?s been. There are many challenges that face us and will face any team to be as dominant as Nebraska has been over that time frame. But, those are challenges that must be met and we?ll do everything we can to have a football team that will be the type of football team that the people of Nebraska and us as coaches and players want.
On ways to stop Oklahoma State?s Wide Receiver Rashaun Woods
A lot of it will be dependent upon the schemes that we feel are necessary to stop an offense and to also stop individuals. Rashaun (Woods) is a great football player. That is obvious to anyone that watches him play and obviously to people around the country that follow players. It will be no small task to slow him down. We?ll try to design our defense and structure it in a manner that gives us our best chance. Whether that revolves around playing zone, man, or a combination of the two on Saturday, I guess everyone will see and hopefully we?ll be able to operate in a fashion that we?ll execute well to give ourselves a chance.
On Nebraska?s passing game
Up to this point we have shown at times, flashes of being able to throw the ball. But, we have not been as consistent as we need to be. If you?re going to have a passing percentage that?s anywhere 50 percent and you?re going to throw the ball 30 to 40 times in a game, you?re probably going to cause yourself major problems. We would like to be able to use the passing game in a manner that?s very productive to us. Generally when we start to get up to 25 to 30 throws, Nebraska football has struggled. We want to make sure we?re doing something really well. The thing we?re doing best right now is running the football so we will attempt to do that, but we?d like to mix in the passing game. We hope we have some success with it. If you have some success with it, you throw it in more. We?d like to sneak in a lot of big plays, but the reality of it is we have been able to make some big plays in the passing game, but probably not at the rate we would like. We?ll continue to work on the passing game very hard. You need to throw the ball in a manner that?s going to give you your best chance as an offense.