Official Husker Locker Blog
2010 Oct 18
Practice Report 10/18: Tackle, Tackle, Tackle
“It was embarrassing,” Thenarse said. “It's hard to watch. I'll learn from it. I took it like a man. Took the criticism. I'm responsible for everything I did out there.”
The senior safety from Los Angeles had plenty of company, head coach Bo Pelini said. The Huskers – usually a strong tackling bunch – strayed from their fundamentals, Pelini said, which led to more than 100 yards after contact for the Longhorns.
“If you want them to go down, you've got to bring it and wrap up,” Pelini said.
Said sophomore safety P.J. Smith: “We just didn't wrap up and run our feet when we hit them...and that's not like us.”
Thenarse has always been more of a big-hit artist than a tackling tutorial, but his first torpedo bounced off the hull of quarterback Garrett Gilbert in the first quarter as Gilbert extended the drive with a third-down scramble. Had Thenarse made the tackle, Texas would have been forced to settle for a field goal.
“I was trying to knock the ball out Trying to make a play,” Thenarse said. “I kinda was surprised. Then again, he's the quarterback. starting for Texas. He can take a hit.”
Later, Thenarse tried the same thing after UT running back Fozzy Whitaker burned NU linebacker on a circle route. Same result: Whitaker bounced away, going for a 41-yard gain instead of a 15-yard play.
Smith estimated that more than 100 of UT's 271 total yards came after initial contact.
Monday's practice – though conducted in half pads – contained plenty of tackling work, Smith said. It was a competitive day, Thenarse added, with jobs again on the line.
“We had some good-on-good,” Pelini said. “We got a good jump on Oklahoma State.”
The undefeated Cowboys have the nation's No. 2 passing offense. But OSU hasn't played a pass defense with a national rank above 100 in six game. NU is No. 1.
“I love our secondary,” Pelini said. “We didn't tackle well the other day. I didn't like that aspect of it. But I think we match up well on the outside.”
Particulars: Nebraska worked out for two hours inside and outside the Hawks Championship Center, starting a little earlier Monday to account for fall break.
What’s New: There was a more competitive edge and resolve in Monday's practice, players said. Adversity always tends to help these Huskers.
Player Quote: “If we could play all of our games on the road, we probably would play all of our games on the road. Don't get me wrong: It's wonderful playing in our stadium with all of our fans and all that, but there's something about playing on the road.” P.J Smith, on road games
Player Quote II: “I don't think we played with passion at all. Not one play was I out there hyped. Not one. So I don't think that I went out there and played as hard as I can play.” Safety Rickey Thenarse on NU's play vs. Texas
Coach Quote: “It's important to him. He knows, hey, if I want to be the player I'm capable of being and make the plays, I need to come through.” Wide receivers coach Ted Gilmore on NU receiver Niles Paul
*Special teams coordinator John Papuchis said Texas added a twist to its two rugby-style punts that went for 55 and 67 yards against the wind Saturday: Punter John Gold, a right-footer, rolled to his right and kicked them back across the field.
“In two years of gameplanning for it, they had never punted back across the field,” Papuchis said. “That was an adjustment they made in their gameplanning and they executed it well.”
Of course, it happened twice. Papuchis said the second successful kick was “our fault.”
*Alex Henery hadn't attempted an onside kick since the 2008 Virginia Tech game. He wasn't successful there and he wasn't on Saturday, either.
“We didn't get a great bounce on it,” Papuchis said. “It kind of popped up in the air into their hands.”
Next Practice: Tuesday
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