Nebraska Football Defensive Coordinator Erik Chinander Claps on Sidelines
Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

Nebraska’s Defense Needs to Learn to Finish Football Games

September 10, 2019

Nebraska’s defense played three quarters of good football against Colorado, but the fourth quarter was a different story. Sure, the Huskers were tired but that’s not an excuse for defensive coordinator Erik Chinander.

“Yeah, you take a lot of good out of the first part,” Chinander said on Tuesday. “We played three quarters of really good football and didn’t finish the football game. We’ve got to be able to finish. Hate to say it but that’s part of growing up as a program. You’ve got to finish on defense. You’ve got to finish the fourth quarter like we played the first three and you win that football game.

“It shouldn’t have been—and that’s a good football team—but they should have had seven points, 14 points. It should have never come to that.”

Chinander isn’t sure what exactly the issue was—maybe it was lack of depth, cross-training positions, or a little of both—but something prevented the defense from knowing what to do in key moments.

"We gotta get that fixed,” Chinander said. “[I’ve] got to find a way." 

But Chinander is on to the next and has put focus on Northern Illinois. He doesn’t want the defense looking back anymore, because it doesn’t serve the team to do so.

“You have to. You can’t let a loss beat you twice,” he said. “You’ve got to be able to watch the film, learn from the film on Sunday and Monday and then move on. I think the guys did that. They had a good practice on Monday. They had a good practice today. I don’t really want to be talking about it today. I have to unfortunately but I want those guys focused on the next one.

“We’ve got to move on.”

More news and notes:

>> Punter Isaac Armstrong is at the top of the depth chart for the place kicker position this week. While Coach Scott Frost said on Monday not to read too much into it, Armstrong said he’ll be ready if need be. He’s not 100% sure if he’ll kick Saturday at this point, but he’s preparing as if he will.

>> JoJo Domann is now at the nickel position on the depth chart, but don’t expect his role to change. Chinander said the move was simply wanting him to be listed as a starter on the depth chart.

>> Frost said Cam Taylor-Britt will continue to play at multiple spots on Monday and Chinander echoed that on Tuesday. He’s a versatile player for the defensive backs.

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