There is little room for error against a team like Ohio State. Just ask Nebraska offensive coordinator Troy Walters.
“You play a top-five team in the country, you don’t have a large margin for error,” Walters said following Wednesday’s practice. “You can’t turn the ball over. You can’t have a whole lot of penalties. You’ve got to play a good game, a clean game. Our guys understand that and the preparation this week gives us as coaches the encouragement that we’re going to go out and do it.
“But against a top-ranked team in the country, you can’t be sloppy. You can’t start slow in the first half. You can’t start slow in the second half. You’ve got to be on it and our guys understand that.”
Walters also understands that theOhio State defense is the best Nebraska will have faced so far this season.
"They probably have five or six first- or second-round [NFL Draft] picks on that defense," Walters said. "Overall they fly around to the ball. They're physical, athletic."
And for that reason, Nebraska is going to have to hang on to the football and eliminate those costly turnovers it saw against Illinois. The Huskers had four fumbles against the Illini, which is something Walters doesn’t want to see against Ohio State.
"The guys have to realize the hopes and dreams of this program is that football," Walters said.
More news and notes:
>> Offnsive lineman Christian Gaylord’s father passed away over the weekend. Offensive line coach Greg Austin started his time with the media by speaking about the Gaylord family.
“I’d like to say our condolences to the Gaylord Family,” Austin said. “Scott Gaylord is a good man. He had a very, very big-time impact on Christian and the people that were in his sphere of influence. Our hearts are heavy and they’ve been heavy since Friday when we learned of his passing. Certainly, he’ll be missed, and time heals.”
As for Christian being around post-surgery, Austin said he’s been around a lot. That’s also how Austin got to know the Gaylord family.
“He was at all of our evening meetings and I spent some time with Scott and his mom after Christian received his surgery at the hospital,” Austin said. “I went there and he was staying over the night, so I had a good conversation with mom and dad. Certainly tough deal to hear, somebody you just saw maybe two, three weeks ago pass. But Christian’s around and we’re holding him up in support, not only the O-line but certainly the whole team.”
>> Running backs coach Ryan Held said it was "business as usual" for Maurice Washington this week after an injury against Illinois. Held also said that Washington is good to go this weekend.
>> How do you beat a team like Ohio State? You put the ball in the playmakers’ hands, no matter where that is.
"You wanna spread the reps around but at the same time they're special kids and special players," Walters said of Wan’Dale Robinson and Maurice Washington. "So you want them to have as many opportunities as they can because when they get the ball in their hands they make plays."