Nebraska Cornhusker offensive line coach Greg Austin speaks to the media after football practice
Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

Austin on the O-Line, Lubick on the Option and More from Nebraska’s Win Over Fordham

September 07, 2021

Nebraska offensive line coach Greg Austin said that Fordham’s defensive front was different than what the Rams showed in the spring, but that gave his group a chance to work on adjusting on the fly, and he liked what he saw.

“We got an opportunity to work our process, work our blocks, work the scheme against a pretty solid interior defensive line,” Austin said.

Austin said he was glad a lot of players saw game reps, but wished the third line had gotten more than it did. More success in the first quarter would have likely helped the third line get in earlier.

“There were things that we were seeing that they hadn’t shown,” Austin said, “but nevertheless, some of that is, we have to start faster, the other half of it is we need to get to the sideline and make the necessary adjustments that you need to make in order to get everybody on the same page, whether it’s the offensive line, the running backs, tight ends and everybody else.”

More news and notes

>> Offensive coordinator Matt Lubick said the triple-option plays that Nebraska’s offense showed against Fordham have always been in the playbook. He likes using those plays because it helps get the ball in skill players’ hands on the perimeter.

>> With the Oklahoma game approaching, inside linebackers coach Barrett Ruud was asked about rivalries. Ruud said he loves them, and even shared a story from his NFL playing days about an interaction with then-Tampa Bay head coach Jon Gruden. Gruden told the newly-drafted Ruud that rivalries are very important to the organization, and the game with the fellow NFC South member Carolina Panthers was always circled on the schedule. “You got drafted here for one reason, to play this game,” Ruud said Gruden told him.

>> Austin said that Fordham gave his room an opportunity to work on the basic run blocking schemes. He was asked about Ryan Greenhagen, who recorded an eye-popping 31 tackles in the game. “He gave us a lot of work,” Austin said.

>> Defensive coordinator Erik Chinander said Fordham was doing a good job of getting the ball out of quarterback Tim DeMorat’s hands quickly, which played a part in the Huskers only recording one sack in the win.

>> Chinander said he was impressed with what he saw from Buffalo’s quarterback, Kyle Vantrease, running back Kevin Marks Jr. and the receivers, including Eastern Michigan transfer Quian Williams, who caught five passes for 97 yards in the Bulls’ 69-7 win over Wagner. “In my opinion, he’s (Williams) a really good player. He’s explosive when he gets the football.”

>>Through two games Nebraska has hit for nine completions of 25 yards or more. The Huskers had just 10 over eight games in 2020. Lubick said success in the downfield passing game requires “everybody” to do their job.

“It’s the offensive line protecting, it could be the running back protecting,” he said. “Obviously the quarterback and the receivers getting open, that’s a big part of it. But also it can be what the defense is doing. We thought there was some things they were doing where we could throw the ball downfield based on their coverages, but you’ve still got to execute it. I’m really proud of how our offensive line improved in pass protection. We’ve got a big challenge this week and then week coming up.”

Buffalo recorded two sacks and two quarterback hurries in a 69-7 win over Wagner on just 17 dropbacks.

>>Teddy Prochazka saw his first game action against Fordham, which said he more than earned.

“He’s a kid tangibly that has the tools. Right? He’s tall, he can bend, his quickness,” Austin said. “But intangibly, man, he’s a mature kid. He came in as a mid-year in spring ball, learned the playbook, did a great job learning the playbook. Very astute kid, smart. It was just hard to keep him off the field. It was hard not to give him those opportunities and with every rep he’s grown. He’s learned from every rep.

“And one thing about Teddy is that he is hard on himself. In this life, you’ve got to be hard on yourself. You can’t be too hard on yourself but one of the things with him, that I like about him, is that he’s hard on himself from the standpoint of wanting to get it done. Some guys mess up, especially as a young guy, and just assume, ‘Oh, I’m young. I’m learning.’ They give themselves personal grace. Teddy doesn’t give himself much personal grace. He’s not so hard on himself that it becomes volatile, but never the less he wants to be really good. He deserves the reps that he got and he did a really good job when he went in there and it was really good to get him those reps and continue to progress his games.”

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