NCAA Football

Practice Report: Defensive coaches review Southern Utah, preview Nebraska

September 6, 2017

Four days removed from Oregon’s season-opening 77-21 win over Southern Utah, the focus has now turned to Nebraska, which visits Autzen Stadium on Saturday. Still, Oregon’s defensive coaches spoke to the media on Wednesday for the first time since that record-setting win.

Defensive line coach Joe Salave’a thought that his players showed some “first game jitters,” but was overall happy with their performance.

“We’ve still got some ways to go but it’s always good to make those corrections after a win,” Salave’a said. “Guys know the standard and the brand of football we’re trying to attain. So it’s been good, starting yesterday.”

Defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt echoed a similar sentiment regarding his defense. He wasn’t happy with Southern Utah’s opening drive that yielded a touchdown but liked seeing how the Ducks’ defense settled down as the game progressed.

“There was some good and bad,” Leavitt said. “The first drive — none of us liked that. But I thought they settled down. They played hard and that’s what I was happy with.”

Preparing for Nebraska 

The Cornhuskers arrive in Eugene with a narrow win against Arkansas State under their belt. The game was closer than many people thought it would be, and given Oregon’s explosive start, it has many wondering if this once highly anticipated game will live up to the hype. The Ducks are now listed as a 14-point favorite on Saturday, but coaches don’t pay attention to betting lines.

“They’re really really good,” Leavitt said. “They set everything up with the run game and if they run on you, you’re not going to have much of a chance to win, everybody knows that. Then they go to play-action off that and they do it very very well. They’ve got a quarterback that can throw the heck out of the ball and they’ve got some real good playmakers. And their tight ends are very very good, can catch the ball and block. So, you’ve got all that.”

The opportunity to play a Big-Ten opponent doesn’t come around often, and Oregon expects to make the most of it

“Well, it’s big bodies, coming downhill,” Salave’a said. “You wouldn’t want it any other way.”

Oregon and Nebraska kick off at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday. The game will broadcast by Fox.

Follow Gus Morris on Twitter @JustGusMorris

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