Coach Tony White met with members of the media on Wednesday prior to Saturday’s game against Northern Illinois. White discussed the pass rush success in last week’s game against Colorado and what Nebraska’s defense looks like ahead of this week’s game at home.
“That was a good job of everyone on the defensive staff,” White said. “Coach Rob (Dvoracek) and T Knight (Coach Terrance Knighton) came up with some things that they thought would be effective. With coverage in the back end, we knew we would have to mirror it and mix it up a lot. With what they do offensively, it was a great plan by the guys and a great execution by the young men on the grass.”
He also spoke about what was needed to execute a successful defense against an up-tempo offense, like Colorado.
“I think the key with anything on defense is to make sure that it is set in the simplest version so that the young men can absorb it and then they can execute it on the grass,” he said. “That’s the word that’s been used this week. You have to focus more on the execution part and make sure that they truly understand why.”
White discussed the main challenges that Northern Illinois will present in this week’s home opener.
“Their physical. This is a school that I had a chance to compete against in my prior school at San Diego State,” White said. “They are a physical group that plays up. They’re going to come in here and do the same, especially since they didn’t have the showing they would’ve liked last week. That will be more fuel for them to get up and play correctly. They present a lot of variety, a lot of different formations and that’ll be a challenge.”
He addressed what improvements the defense has been making this week and what stood out to him personally.
“They were trained since day one to play physical and to tackle in space,” he said. “They’re athletically gifted and through the course of them being here they’ve been able to get in shape and be their strongest, more explosive version of themselves. It can always be better. We’re nowhere near where we need to be.”
Kickoff against the Huskies at Memorial Stadium is set for 6 p.m. (CT) with live television coverage from FS1. The game can also be heard across the Huskers Radio Network.