Nebraska Defense Moves Forward with Northwestern Looming
Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

Nebraska Defense Moves Forward with Northwestern Looming

October 01, 2019

Nebraska isn’t thinking about Ohio State anymore. The 24-hour rule already told us that the Huskers had put the 48-7 loss behind them, but defensive coordinator Erik Chinander shared more about moving forward and putting the focus on Northwestern.

"I think you just got to come in on Sunday and get it cleaned up as a staff, then we have to game plan for Northwestern," Chinander said following Tuesday’s practice. "The kids have to come in on Monday morning and get the corrections made. After that first meeting, win or lose, on Monday morning you have to be done with that one and get onto the next one because the next game is always the most important one."

And the next one for Nebraska is Northwestern, a team inside linebackers coach Barrett Ruud called “patient” on Tuesday.

“A very patient offense,” Ruud said. “They are a well-coached team. They’ve been a well-coached team ever since [head coach Pat] Fitzgerald has been there. Most offenses are not patient enough to go the length of the field but they are one. A lot of times the most disciplined team out there will be the most successful one.

“They are as good as anyone in the country at not beating themselves. They don’t turn the ball over much. You have to make them earn everything they get. Make sure you don’t get impatient because they do a good job of taking what they are given.”

Chinander agreed with that assessment, acknowledging the challenge ahead.
"Northwestern is a team that I think everyone always respects in [the Big Ten] because they're never going to beat themselves," Chinander said. "They are a disciplined team. They're a tough team. They're going to be where they are supposed to be.
"For the most part, they operate what the coaches want them to do. You have to be sound in what you do. You have to be sound in your coverages. You can't be pressing. You can't be overextending yourself trying to make a play because they'll beat you. They're smart enough to adjust to what everyone is doing. I think they're a really good football team who doesn't beat themselves a lot."

More news and notes:

>> Barret Pickering was not in pads on Tuesday.

As for two players that did practice after getting nicked up against Ohio State? Maurice Washington and Wan’Dale Robinson. Coach Scott Frost said Monday when specifically asked about Washington that the Huskers need to do a good job protecting him and keeping him healthy.

>> What does the defense need to do if the offense turns the ball over?

"You have to put the fire out, period," Chinander said. "I don't care where we get the ball. I don't care if they get it on their own 4. I don't care if they get it on their own 40. I don't care if they get it on their own 20. We have to put the fire out, period. We didn't do a good job of doing that on Saturday."

>> A lot of talk about playing sound in assignments going forward. Chinander brought it up—as noted above—but so did defensive line coach Tony Tuioti.

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