Nebraska Defense Preparing for Mobile QB in Justin Fields
Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

Nebraska Defense Preparing for Mobile QB in Justin Fields

September 24, 2019

Justin Fields is a good football player. Like, completing 66-of-95 passes for 880 yards and 13 touchdowns with no interceptions kind of good. And rushing for 150 yards on 34 carries (4.4 yards per carry on average) kind of good. The Ohio State quarterback, as you can see from the numbers, is a mobile threat and one Nebraska’s defense is working hard to prepare for.

"He's big, he's fast, he can throw it really good, and he's operating their offense right now," defensive coordinator Erik Chinander said following Tuesday’s practice.

Freshman Luke McCaffrey and Brayden Miller, as well as redshirt freshman Matt Masker, are taking snaps as Fields for the scout team in practice. The trio is allowing the Blackshirts to prep for what Fields can do for the Buckeyes.

"The one thing it changes is your calls and how you operate in the calls," Chinander said. "You have to always account for the quarterback in the run game. You're almost playing option football a lot when that quarterback is a viable option."

More news and notes:

>> Defensive line coach Tony Tuioti seems pretty content with the rotation he has working on his defensive line right now. Six guys are playing regular snaps, and Tuioti said that’s going to continue to be important moving forward so guys can stay fresh. One guy on the outside looking in right now is JUCO transfer defensive lineman Jahkeem Green.

“He’s very close,” Tuioti said. “I think this week’s a big week for him. I tell him every week, if he’s ready we’ll let him go. I think he’s very close, so we’ll see what happens for him this weekend. He’s getting very close to being able to get into the mix and if we’re going to let him play then he’s going to get in early for us. Let him get his feet wet in the water and then kind of go from there.”

>> Matt Waldoch, the kicker from Nebraska’s club soccer team, is officially practicing with the Huskers. Special teams coordinator Jovan Dewitt confirmed he was with the team and had a nice practice on Tuesday.

>> Speaking of the kicker situation, Dylan Jorgensen was back in pads (with his helmet) following Tuesday’s practice. Barret Pickering, on the other hand, was not.

>> Maurice Washington also practiced on Tuesday. He left the game against Illinois with a potential head injury. 

>> Nebraska hasn’t seen an offensive line like Ohio State’s, according to Chinander. With that said, he also felt the Buckeyes haven’t seen a defensive line like the Huskers’.

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