Big 10

Husker Mentally Prepare for Autzen

September 5, 2017

By NU Athletic Communications

 | 09/05/2017

Lincoln–The Nebraska football team practiced Tuesday afternoon for just over two hours in full pads and helmets. The defense and offense switched between practicing inside the Hawks Championship Center and outside on the Ed and Joyanne Gass practice fields.

Offensive Coordinator Danny Langsdorf spoke with the media following practice and saw several areas where the Huskers can improve following last Saturday’s 43-36 win over Arkansas State.

“You have a little bit more time to digest it and look at it closely,” Langsdorf said. “There were some good things and some things we have to clean up. I didn’t think we handled some of the protection stuff very well. We took too many hits. [We] missed a couple throws, dropped a few balls and had some silly holding penalties. So we definitely had some things to clean up in that game. Always a good teaching tool.”

Coach Langsdorf mentioned that redshirt freshman JD Spielman could play an important role because of Oregon’s cover three defense. Spielman had two catches for 44 yards in the opener and also returned a kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown.

“He’s critical,” Langsdorf said. “The coverages that they play, they do a nice job of changing it up. They disguise well and give you a lot of different looks, but that inside receiver is big. A lot of times, he’s critical in finding the hole in the zone.”

Langsdorf discussed playing at Autzen Stadium and how the Huskers will need to be mentally sharp on Saturday in its first road test of the year. Langsdorf is one of several Husker coaches who has faced Oregon in Eugene during his tenure at Oregon State.

“It’s going to be similar like that (playing at Ohio St. and Wisconsin),” Langsdorf said. “We’ve played at Penn State, and Penn State was really loud. Autzen (Stadium) is the top-five places I’ve been and very disruptive. They don’t have a huge stadium, but it is really a rowdy crowd. We’ve had trouble even hearing on the phones before between Autzen and the field. It’s going to take a lot of concentration and poise. We’ve been working on it all fall camp and of course this week with the noise has been a part of our practice really from the beginning. So we’ve had plenty of work at it, but it is unsettling and they have to really focus on the ball, making sure the snap count and the false starts don’t become a big distraction.”

Coach Langsdorf talked about playing against Oregon’s 3-4 defensive scheme and how practicing with against the Blackshirts in fall camp will benefit the offense.

“You don’t have a week of practice to see a new coverage or front,” Langsdorf said. “We’ve got an entire month. That’s a good thing for us. It’s a little easier to go from practice against a 3-4 to a 4-3 team than going the other way. That’s been a good benefit for us all through fall camp having that work on the 3-4. They do play some four-down looks and change it up nicely.”

The Huskers will return to practice tomorrow afternoon as they prepare for their first road game against Oregon. Check for more information. Saturday’s kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. and will be televised nationally on FOX as well as carried on the Husker Sports Network.