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Nebraska Football

Nebraska Preparing for Chilly — and Windy — Matchup with Illinois

November 8, 2018
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Snow fell outside the Hawks Championship Center as Nebraska practiced Thursday morning. Coach Scott Frost said the team got a chance to get out in the snow for a bit, and even take a moment to enjoy it.

"There's a couple of guys who've only seen it once or twice in their life, so we rolled around in it a little bit and then got working," Frost said following Thursday's practice.

Nebraska is preparing to face Illinois at Memorial Stadium on Saturday at 11 a.m. CT. There isn't any snow in the forecast for Saturday, but it is expected to be cold and windy. The high for the day is expected around 37 degrees with winds from the south at 18 MPH.

For Frost, he's less concerned with the temperature for Saturday and more concerned with the wind gusts.

"I think the only thing that will be a factor in the game is the wind, and we'll see how that is blowing on Saturday," Frost said. "Our guys live in this every day, so I don't think temperature will be an issue. It only is when it's really cold. The only thing we're kicking around is the wind."

Aside from Nebraska keeping an eye on the weather, Frost was pleased with the Huskers' overall week of practice once again. He called it a great week and said "things keep getting better."

"Certainly not happy with how this whole season has gone but I'm pretty happy with where things are right now," Frost said.

Other news and notes:

>> Nebraska quarterbacks coach Mario Verduzco was named to the Broyles Award watch list on Wednesday. The award is for the nation's top assistant coach.

"Mario is one of the best in the country at coaching quarterbacks," Frost said. "I've known that a long time. I think other people are starting to figure that out but I've seen him do an unbelievable job with quarterbacks I've had in the past obviously. To get an 18-year-old to play the way that he's playing speaks volumes to what Mario is getting with him. Any honor he can get is well-deserved."

>> Frost said he's somewhat familiar with the Tampa 2 style defense that the Illini and coach Lovie Smith will run on Saturday. While the two coaches' times at Tampa Bay didn't overlap, Frost still sees some familiar traits from that style of defense in what Smith runs.

He also has a fond place in his heart for the guys that ran it, including Mike Tomlin and Raheem Morris.

"I loved my time there, loved the scheme and the system. It's sound," Frost said. "That's the best part of that scheme when I was playing in it. You knew where you were supposed to be, knew what you were supposed to do."

>> While Frost may be familiar with the Tampa 2 defense, that's about all he's familiar with when it comes to Illinois. For Frost, everything has been a learning opportunity this season in the Big Ten.

"It's still new. Everything this year has been new," Frost said. "Building the relationship with the players, getting them to think the way we want them to. I introduced a new scheme on both sides, so any familiarity we have with the remnants of a defense I used to know probably gets outweighed by us trying to figure things out ourselves.

"I think we have a good plan for it on both sides and we just have to go out and execute."

>> Sophomore left tackle Brenden Jaimes has always had the talent, but Frost believes he's "starting to find a little bit of nasty" over the last several weeks. The staff is pleased with where he's at now and like where he projects.

"There was never any doubt about [his talent]," Frost said. "I just want to see him be mean on the field. He's started to do that, and every week it seems like that's coming out of him more and more."

>> Illinois defeated Minnesota 55-31 last Saturday. Frost expects some extra energy from the Illini as a result, especially as they try to get bowl eligible.

"They're playing for a lot," Frost said. "Obviously being a coach and watching what they accomplished last week, that's going to give them a boost and some enthusiasm. They're going to come here expecting to win the game, so we have a challenge ahead of us."

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