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Ahead of Schedule

When I say the Blackshirts appear to have conference championship potential, it’s going to seem too fast, but that’s the way the Huskers are doing things this year. The first (and only possible) piece of evidence to draw on in a blowout over an inferior opponent in Florida Atlantic was the speed of evolution. The kinds of steps and adjustments that took Nebraska eight weeks to accomplish in 2013 seemed to happen in less than eight drives in the 55-7 demolition ...

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Let the Games Begin

Take a look at your calendars and you’ll see it’s that time of year again -- time to hear that old saying about the Huskers getting tired of hitting the Huskers, and wanting to hit, well, non-Huskers. It’s the same every year, defensive coordinator John Papuchis said Thursday. “By the time you get about midway through week three of fall camp when you’re pounding on each other every day, you can see guys are growing tired of that, a little antsy to ...

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The Perfect Mix

There’s a reason why Nebraska appears able to absorb the multiple blows it took last week at defensive back. Multiple reasons, in fact. Bo Pelini, John Papuchis and Charlton Warren have prepared a potent cocktail in the defensive backfield, fortified with senior experience and leadership, stirred in with a quick-learning group of first- and second-year defenders, and topped with a confident swagger achieved by overall depth. Shake it all together and you've got a group that senior cornerback Josh Mitchell says is ...

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Gregory: Blackshirts a ‘lot more confident’ in 2014

We all know what Randy Gregory can do. In just five short months last fall he developed into perhaps the best pure pass rusher in the Big Ten; a guy who figured to give Nebraska's young offensive line fits this spring as it tried to replace four starters from 2013. But watch spring practice and you'll see that it hasn't been quite the mismatch many would've thought thanks to the emergence of Alex Lewis. The Colorado transfer has entrenched himself at ...

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Playing Safe

Call it conservative. Call it safe. Whatever you call it, know that Bo Pelini's defensive scheme always strives to avoid giving up the long pass. The Husker head coach and his assistants haven't been shy about the goals of the defense, and the numbers we see at season's end indicate that the defenses for the most part achieve that goal of avoiding "explosive" plays - ones that go for 10 yards or more. *** Aside from his first year at head coach in ...

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Answering the Call

LINCOLN -- A loss at Minnesota and a touchdown deficit to Northwestern left a hell of a lot to prove. Considering how far down the depth chart the Cats had to reach to find a running back - fourth or fifth string I believe - giving up 152 rushing yards looked like it might be time to sweat the thought of bowl eligibility. Nebraska had plenty to prove all year (and still does) after getting crushed by the one formidable team ...

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Changes at Linebacker

Wednesday marked the third consecutive time out that Nebraska defenders practiced without their Blackshirts. The Blackshirts were stripped after Nebraska's loss to Minnesota, a game in which defensive coordinator John Papuchis said the Huskers failed to live up to the lofty expectations the coaching staff has for them "I think if you ask them man for man we have a standard that we want to live up to here," Papuchis said. "Certainly what we put on the field on Saturday wasn't ...

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Numbers Game: Bad Company

"We need to clean ourselves up," coach Bo Pelini said on Tuesday. "We talked at length about it and you take the approach as a coach (that) it is what it is. You have to get it fixed." What "it" is, in this case, is a battered and bruised defense that is currently allowing 463.8 yards per game and ranks 108th nationally in total defense. If you follow Nebraska football, you're all too aware of that at this point. With no ...

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The Long Week Ahead

There were two quotes from Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini following the Huskers 59-20 win over South Dakota State on Saturday that should be very important to Nebraska fans as the team heads into a bye week and then Big Ten play. Important Quote No. 1: "I thought that was our worst performance defensively. For a lot of reasons – fundamentally, technique-wise...missed assignments – just basic things that there’s no excuse for. I told the defense ‘We’ve gotta make up our ...

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The Communication Key

Watch the hands, Husker fans. The hands of the Blackshirts, that is. Keep an eye to see if they’ve got their head on a swivel. That’s how you’ll be able to tell if Nebraska’s young, athletic defense is communicating well. “We’ve got 90,000 people in the stands so we got to communicate through hand signals,” Ross Els said. “The other thing is, if you see people running wide open, that’s not us. We match routes, so if there’s people running open, we’ve ...

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