Photo Credit: Eric Francis

Another Big Night from Nebraska’s Defense, but Still Room for Improvement

October 10, 2021

Against Michigan, Nebraska’s defense had 89 total tackles. Inside linebacker Nick Henrich had 15 of those tackles, while inside linebacker Luke Reimer had 12 and cornerback Cam Taylor-Britt had 11. Let’s just say that’s not a shocking result from defensive coordinator Erik Chinander and his Blackshirts.

“It’s kind of been the theme of the season so far,” Reimer said post-game. “Our defensive line does a really good job of holding on to doubles and that kind of frees us up so that’s kind of been the theme of the season that we’re getting a lot of tackles, but that’s how our defense is designed to do it so we were just doing our job.”

Another theme for Nebraska’s defense in 2021 has been continuous improvement. Each and every week, no matter the outcome of a game, the Huskers say they can get better.

Defensive lineman Ty Robinson—who had four total tackles of his own and one sack—reiterated that once again following the 32-29 loss to No. 9 Michigan. He said Michigan did just about what Nebraska expected, but there are still things that have to be cleaned up before heading on the road next weekend.

“We knew (Michigan was) going to be a tough and physical team,” Robinson said. “I mean, it was going to be primarily run heavy for the entire game and I feel like they couldn’t really run up the middle on us. It was mostly perimeter stuff. Just got to get better at perimeter tackling, tackling in open field, guys missing their assignments.

“It’s just the little details that put us over the edge a little bit so we’ll go back into this week, look at those details we missed and really work on those for Minnesota next week.”

Robinson said he’ll have to watch the film to know exactly what needs to be worked on beyond that, but he felt good about his performance against Michigan. In fact, he felt like he and fellow linemen Ben Stille, Deontre Thomas and Damion Daniels all did their part against the Wolverines.

“I know we all did our part tonight,” he said. “I know we were pretty confident in what we did up front. It’s not the result we wanted but as a unit I felt that we were pretty proud of what we’d done so nothing that I’ve seen so far.”

Reimer felt the same about the linebackers. He felt the defense had a really good week leading up to the matchup with Michigan, but it ultimately comes down to execution and those little details.

“There was a really good energy surrounding our team,” Reimer said. “We had a really good week of practice. We did everything right. We prepared the right way. We practiced the right way. In the end, we just didn’t execute enough to win the game which is why it stinks so much.”

More news and notes:

>> Coach Scott Frost called Adrian Martinez a “warrior” post-game, a word tight end Austin Allen also used to describe the quarterback. What is it about Martinez that has his coaches and teammates saying that about him?

“He’s the same even-keeled guy throughout a game,” Allen said. “He’s grown. You can tell how much he’s taken strides as a leader in four years. On that fumble, you didn’t see his head go down at all. He’s the same even-keel, ‘Let’s go get the ball back. Let’s go win a football game.’ He’s just a warrior mentality. He’s going to attack everything. He makes plays with his feet, he’s got great vision . . . He’s just a great quarterback and that makes him a warrior.”

>> Left tackle Teddy Prochazka went down with an injury midway through the game. Nebraska shifted Turner Corcoran over to left tackle in Prochazka’s place and brought Bryce Benhart in at right tackle.

For center Cameron Jurgens, the changeup didn’t affect him and he thought the offensive line handled it well overall.

“First of all, when you’re an o-lineman or any position for that matter, first thing you do is do your own job,” Jurgens said. “I’m not doing the left guard’s job. I’m not doing the right guard’s job so we’ve got a tackle stepping in. I mean, Bryce has been there before and did a good job coming in and stepping in. I’m comfortable with anybody left or right of me and I’m proud of how people stepped up. There wasn’t any let down.”

Frost said he didn’t have an update on Prochazka post-game, although Prochazka was seen leaving the field after the game on crutches.

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