The Nebraska football team practiced for over two hours with helmets only on Monday evening inside the Hawks Championship Center and outside on the Ed and Joyanne Gass Practice Field.
Offensive Coordinator Danny Langsdorf spoke with media about finding an identity with the run game. Juniors Mikale Wilbon and Devine Ozigbo led the run game last Saturday against Rutgers, rushing for 79 and 105 yards, respectively.
“We were able to repeat a lot of runs and have some success with them,” Langsdorf said. “Finding that identity that way is good and we were able to come back to them and tried to dress them up a little bit. It was good stuff. You saw some good runs by Devine but you really saw some good production from Mikale too. We were able to get Jaylin Bradley a couple carries and the good thing about it is we can keep guys fresh and have some designed plays for them.”
Langsdorf also commented on how the offensive line played and especially highlighted the play of some key freshmen, including Brenden Jaimes who became only the fifth true freshman in school history to start on the offensive line for Nebraska.
“I thought the freshmen went in there and played very well,” Langsdorf said. “We ran the ball consistently and for the most part we were good in protection. Mikale saved us on a couple of protections, but I think [we’re] continuing to lessen the hits on the quarterback. We didn’t give up any sacks, but Tanner Lee did take some hits. We will continue to make sure we keep the quarterback as clean as possible in the pocket and give up the fewest hits possible. The fact that we were able to protect pretty well and run the ball effectively is encouraging.”
Additionally, Langsdorf commented on Illinois’ defense and the trouble that group has given the Huskers in the past couple of years.
“They’ve got great speed, that is something that shows up again,” Langsdorf said. “I think that the defensive ends last year, that were veteran guys, gave us some trouble last year. The freshmen defensive ends they have this year are just as good. I don’t know if they are at the caliber of the two drafted guys from last year, but they have good speed all across the board. They do a nice job. They’re not going to give you a tremendous amount of looks, but they will line up and hit you hard. They don’t get misaligned at all. They’re excellent in coverage and fill gaps well. It will be a good challenge. You have to be able to sustain drives, line up and make some plays against them.”
The Huskers will continue to practice tomorrow afternoon for their road game against Illinois on Friday. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. (CT) and the game will be televised nationally on FS1 as well as carried on the Husker Sports Network.