Nebraska Defense 'Back to Basics' Over Bye Week
Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

Nebraska Defense ‘Back to Basics’ Over Bye Week

October 22, 2019

Coach Scott Frost said Monday that the Huskers went back to the basics for the offense over the bye week. The defense did the same.

“We had a good bye week,” defensive coordinator Erik Chinander said. “I’m sure Coach Frost talked about it but we went back to basics a little bit, fundamentals, tackling, some base dense, some good-on-good reps so, you know, we got to go against our offensive line, our skill players so I thought that was good to see some speed, some good-on-good blocking. The guys bounced back and did a nice job the last couple of weeks.”

Tight end Austin Allen said 90% of what the offense focused on was base run—base inside zone, base mid-zone. That plan was made with the offense in mind, as well as the defense.

“Coach Frost scripted the practice together so they go to see what they wanted to see and we got to see what we wanted to see a little bit,” Chinander said. “It was a pretty work-together scenario. It wasn’t one of those deals where they’re running those plays where they get free shots. It was pretty much we’re going to go smash each other up front, we’re going to stop stretch, we’re going to stop inside zone. They’re going to run inside zone, they’re going to run stretch and then run some fast plays off of it.

“It was good work.”

More news and notes:

>> Kicker Barret Pickering was back in pads on Tuesday. It's still to be determined when he may return to playing on Saturdays.

Martinez, who was out against Minnesota, was also in pads. He did have a brace on his left knee though.

>> Wyatt Mazour had a concussion that forced him to miss the last two weeks but it was mild. He said it wasn’t like the one he had when he was a freshman.

>> Ty Robinson has been the best guy outside of the top six defensive linemen for Tony Tuioti. The d-line coach said Robinson and redshirt freshman Casey Rogers are getting praise from offensive coaches in practice when they go up against first-team guys. The Huskers plan to use him in these last five games as he has all four games to work with under the new redshirt rule.

>> Jack Stoll spoke about seeing discipline within the team. 

"You know if you are not going to live up to the standard of what we set at Nebraska, we've said from Day 1 we are either going to straighten you out or we don't want you here,” Stoll said. “It's one of those deals that we set a standard. If you aren't willing to go out there and live up to that standard, we have a problem with that. I'm not going to be the one to sentence anyone. Whatever the coaches decide to do, that's what we will do. Whatever Coach Frost decides we will back him up."

>> Nick Henrich likely won’t be available this week, but inside linebackers Barrett Ruud expects it to be soon.

>> Caleb Tannor is also a little dinged up, per Chinander. Freshman Garrett Nelson is taking his snaps in practice and games as he heals. Outside linebackers coach Jovann Dewitt also said Nelson got a lot of reps banked during the bye week and could see his snap count at least doubled in the next game.

>> What does Dewitt tell his punt returners on punts close to the end zone?

“What we do is we tell our guy to put his heels on the 8 and don’t back up,” he said. “Specifically, we say you’re on the 8-yard line and don’t back up, which clearly he backed up.”

Why the 8?

“Because a lot of times punters are good enough now where they can drop it down at about the 10, the in-between mark so that that ball just dies and rolls around the 3 or the 4. We used to use the 10-yard line as the landmark, now we use the 8-yard line.”

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