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Official Husker Locker Blog

2010 Oct 20

Practice Report 10/19: Moving Past Texas

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By HuskerLocker

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A quiet, ruminant Carl Pelini took the podium Tuesday just after his brother Bo, Nebraska's head football coach, had described the Huskers' defensive effort in 20-13 loss to Texas as the “worst tackling game I've been a part of.”

NU missed 28 in all. Carl Pelini watched the tape and deemed his unit “overzealous” to make the big hit against the Longhorns instead of the basic tackle. Why?

“I'm not a psychologist,” Pelini said, his voice failing to echo much through the microphone. “I have been through it 100 times in my head. Were we tight, were we not tight? I don't know. I can't answer that. It is stuff that we have talked about as a staff and talked about as team and creating awareness on their part.”

It particularly stung, Pelini said, because Nebraska typically excels in that phase of defense.

“We have been a pretty good tackling team over the last three years,” he said. “It is one thing I think we have always done well. It bit us on Saturday.”

The challenge of tackling well grows Saturday when Oklahoma State – the nation's No. 2 total offense – presents NU with a variety of weapons to account for and cover. OSU likes to run quick screen passes that take advantage of receivers speed and strength, especially that of Justin Blackmon, who leads the country in receiving yards (955) and touchdowns(12).

“They create matchup issues because they have a lot of speed to work with,” Pelini said.

But OSU can run it, too. Senior Kendall Hunter is the nation's fifth-leading rusher, averaging 138 yards per game. The Cowboys, while operating out of the shotgun, often provide Hunter a lead blocker to get him rolling downhill.

“They spread you out really well with the screen game and the inside runs and the deep balls,” Pelini said. “They always try to keep you off balance. I don't want to point at any one guy because they are all effective."

On with the report:

Particulars: Nebraska practiced for two-and-a-half hours inside and outside the Hawks Championship Center.

What’s New: Not much. Nebraska players and coaches talked at length about Texas loss; not so much about the upcoming Oklahoma State game.

Player Quote: “We lost. We were beat. And we gotta go on to Oklahoma State. We can't change it. If we dwell on it, it'll just bring us down. I've seen teams worry about a loss too much and it hasn't been good for them.” Tight end Mike McNeill, on moving forward

Player Quote II: “The coaches have plans and rhymes and reasons for what they do. We do what's called. We block what's called, and we execute what's called. It doesn't matter if it's Taylor behind there calling the signals, Cody or Zac back there. If things aren't working because of a certain thing, it doesn't just fall on one person's shoulders.” Left tackle Jeremiah Sirles on blocking for different quarterbacks

Coach Quote: “If you are a coach, and worth your salt, and you're going to do what you preach, you have got to dwell on what you did wrong. Whether you win or lose, you can't change that. You can't change a result. But whether we won that game or lost that game, we were poor tacklers. If we would have won the game, we still would have dwelled on that.” Carl Pelini on the missed tackles

Next Practice: Wednesday

Tags: oklahoma state game, practice report, carl pelini, jeremiah sirles, mike mcneill

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