Nebraska Cornhuskers offensive lineman Teddy Prochazka
Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

Teddy Prochazka’s Rise, Stacking Days, Martinez’s Desire and Other Notes Ahead of Oklahoma

September 13, 2021

Midway through fall camp, Teddy Prochazka felt like he had a chance to play this season. The freshman offensive lineman felt he was picking up the playbook better. He was making better calls and reading the defense well. He had confidence but some nerves were present for the young player when the season started. Playing in the last two games helped his confidence.

“I feel like for me, (playing in games) just shook off any jitters that you’ve had going into it and knowing that you can be out there,” Prochazka said. “Turner (Corcoran) got his first start for Rutgers. That’s a first start so that’ll be a different time when I get to do that. But just to actually get in there and get live games reps, it helps so much.”

Prochazka described Corcoran as a real leader for him. They play the same position which helps. Ever since Prochazka arrived in Lincoln, Corcoran took him under his wing. The two also shared a bond since both players enrolled at mid-year. Prochazka has a pair of young mentors at his position to lean on. Right tackle Bryce Benhart is also someone that Prochazka can try to emulate.

Working on the finer details of playing at the college level is a struggle for most freshmen. That’s more true playing on the line of scrimmage. Prochazka dominated on Friday nights at Elkhorn South with his size. A quick wake-up call awaited him at Nebraska.

“I would say spring ball was kind of an eye-opener for how much more detailed you need to be at this level,” Prochazka said.

“Just how much more you have to focus on the little things. In high school, I could use my size to my advantage and throw people around. Now I’m going up against Ty Robinson and Garrett Nelson who are studs. I have to actually get my hands in the right spot. Get my hips leveraged right and all that stuff.”

Everything is about the details now that the team is in the season. Going through film has been more technical with offensive line coach Greg Austin. The team is trying to hammer home perfecting plays to help push the offense forward. The line is repping a lot of the same things each practice. It’s all about what everyone can do the next day to get better.

Each week Prochazka doesn’t know if he will play in the game. It depends on how the game goes on Saturdays. He would be fine with not redshirting this season. It doesn’t matter to Prochazka if he is working behind Corcoran and Benhart. His preparation is the same each week.

“Everyone prepares like they’re the starter. That’s my mindset as I’m preparing every week. I’m doing every drill like I’m the starter and I have to keep that spot. I’m not really worried about if I’m going to be playing or not. If I prepare like I’m the starter once you get out there you know you’re ready to go.”

More news and notes:

>> Veteran offensive lineman Matt Sichterman has been at Nebraska since the 2017 season. He arrived in Lincoln a year ahead of quarterback Adrian Martinez. Seeing his quarterback’s growth over the last few seasons has impressed him.

“I think Adrian has just been playing unbelievable,” Sichterman said. “I see this desire in him this year that I’ve seen in past years but it’s just coming out. It’s just all on display. I think he’s playing as hard as anyone on this team. As an offensive line, that inspires us. We know that we got to pick our game up, elevate our game and work harder in practice so we can help push him forward.

“At times on Saturday, Adrian was making plays for us. We really appreciate that but we got to get to a point where we’re also opening up the plays for him as well.”

>> The ground game has not produced the results the Nebraska offense would like to see through the first three weeks of the season. Offensive lineman Brant Banks addressed the level of frustration the unit is feeling heading into the Oklahoma game.

“I think we just got to leave that in the past honestly. Right now, we are just focused on Oklahoma. We talk about all the time stacking days. Just go out there and be the best you can that next day so you can eventually get where you want to be.”

Both Sichterman, Banks and running back Sevion Morrison commented that the team needs to clean up one mistake here or there. They all see that as what is holding the running game back from consistently producing.

>> Saturday was a tough day for Nebraska with injuries to pass catchers. Wide receivers Omar Manning and Oliver Martin were out for the game, as well as tight end Travis Vokolek. Tight end Austin Allen left the game early. Wide receiver Zavier Betts was also nicked up during the game.

Wide receiver Wyatt Liewer thought the rest of the players at both positions stepped up to the plate.

“That’s tough to have some of those top guys go down but we’re pretty deep at both the tight end and receiver position,” Liewer said. “I thought a lot of guys stepped up. Samori [Toure] made a few huge plays and there’s a bunch of guys in both those rooms that can make those plays. As guys go down or as some guys draw more attention there’s got to be other guys that step up too.”

The Huskers will hope to get most of those players back for the game against Oklahoma. Coach Scott Frost didn’t provide more clarity on their injury status on Monday.

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