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Nebraska Football

'Same Script' for Nebraska Defense 'Which Has to Change'

November 19, 2019
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Nebraska is on a four-game losing streak, in part because of what the Huskers are and are not doing on defense. Defensive coordinator Erik Chinander met with the media following Tuesday’s practice, saying a lot of his unit’s issues are self-inflicted. That includes things like missed tackles, blown assignments and more.

"Obviously we didn't tackle very good in the secondary," Chinander said. "There were times where we played really good like you wanted to, and there were times where [we] didn't play really good. It's kind of the same script, which has to change." 

In making that change, Chinander was clear that the issue lies with the team as a whole. It’s not on the players specifically, but also on the coaches.

And while it may not feel like things are trending in the right direction—especially from an outsiders’ perspective—Chinander sees some things to feel positive about.

"There's a lot of things to point to that things are moving in the right direction," Chinander said. "The thing we have to keep emphasizing to these guys is that we are beating ourselves right now. It's not 'them' or 'me', it's 'we'. We are beating ourselves.

“Missing those tackles, missing those few key assignments and not getting off the field on third down changes the game dramatically. If you can do those things, you may have only given up 10 points . . . You could have decreased every football game's score by at least 10."

More news and notes:

>> Darrion Daniels and Carlos Davis were both missing from the defensive line on Saturday. In their absence, younger players stepped up (like Ty Robinson).
 
"I thought those young kids did some good things," Chinander said. "There's some things that if the other guys had been in, probably would've been better just because of knowledge of the game and knowledge of the scheme. Those guys maybe made a few mistakes, but those guys played physical and did a good job of getting in there."

With that said, defensive line coach Tony Tuioti said the Huskers are “optimistic” about Daniels’ return. Both Daniels and Davis have been practicing this week.

>> Injury has changed where some players are this season, including Dicaprio Bootle and Cam Taylor-Britt. With safety Marquel Dismuke injured, Bootle slid over to safety with Taylor-Britt placed in the corner/slot.

"Dicaprio is a really intelligent football player," Chinander said. "It's just a better move to have him at safety right now and Cam at corner."

>> Travis Fisher really likes Braxton Clark and the growth he’s made in recent weeks. Expect to continue seeing him at corner with Bootle at safety. Bootle played safety again last weekend despite Taylor-Britt being back on the field, but he still got snaps at corner, too. It seems like that will continue to be the case. Nebraska likes Taylor-Britt at corner/slot.

 
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