REGROUP DURING BREAK
Fall break and a bye week gave the Nebraska players a chance to refocus after a tough loss against Ohio State.
Defensive coordinator John Papuchis said the players have been able to watch film more because of the absence of class the last couple days.
“A lot of the guys have been in the offices looking at the game plan for this week,” Papuchis said. “The timing of fall break was good with this week of practice.”
Sophomore receiver Jamal Turner said the team didn’t get as much of a break as he would have liked. The Huskers received only Saturday off from football activities. The team has been able to get some rest, though, he said.
“It’s been really nice school-wise, but football-wise we’ve been going at it,” Turner said. “School-wise it’s been really good because we don’t have class.”
The No. 1 offensive and defensive units were able to compete against each other during the bye week.
Papuchis is pleased with the results and the increase of competition.
“They’ve been going pretty hard this week,” Papuchis said. “We’ve been full pad. The effort has been good, and the physicality has been good. With the bye week, we have had some time to go back and look at where we’re at.”
Senior linebacker Will Compton agrees the competition will help the team, especially on defense, he said.
“You always want to go against good competition,” Compton said. “It’s just good for the team. We had to get back to playing physical and executing better.”
Turner said going first team on first team might help the Huskers prepare better, but it is leaving the team tired.
“For me, I hate it because we have to go that much harder,” Turner said. “We are pretty tired, but we’ll bounce back for the game.”
However, he likes getting a better look from the No. 1 defense.
“That’s the benefit when you are playing with your ones, you get a better look,” Turner said. “We get a way better look because there is more speed and tempo like a game. When we go against the scouts, they don’t know what they’re doing, so they are just out there strutting around. Everybody’s open because they aren’t giving us a good look.”
PREPARING FOR WILDCAT OFFENSE
The Husker defense is focused on stopping one of the Big Ten’s best offenses.
Papuchis said the Wildcats run a smart, spread offense that can be deadly.
“They are really smart at attacking you where you are most vulnerable,” Papuchis said. “They implemented a good plan last year against us in the run game, and we have to be careful in approaching this game.
“They had a decent idea on how we looked in attacking the spread run game.”
Though Northwestern is primarily a run team, Papuchis said the Wildcats’ passing game is still formable.
“I find it pretty unlikely that they are preparing anything against us,” Papuchis said. “They are a spread team as far as the routes they run. I have respect for their passing game just because I like their athletes. I think they have big play capability.”
-Compiled by Andrew Ward