The Nebraska football team continued its week of preparation for Saturday’s Big Ten Conference showdown with Penn State on Wednesday afternoon. The team practiced in helmets and shoulder pads for just over two hours inside the Hawks Center and outside at the Ed and Joyanne Gass Practice Fields.
Defensive Coordinator John Papuchis addressed the media after practice, noting that the Husker defense will have their hands full this weekend trying to slow down Penn State’s pro-style offense.
The Huskers will especially have to keep their eyes on true freshman starting quarterback Christian Hackenberg. Hackenberg, the No. 1 rated high school quarterback prospect in 2013, has been lighting up the stat sheets so far in his freshman campaign, recording 2,399 yards and 14 touchdowns, while completing 59 percent of his passes.
“He is a good player, he is a pro-style, old school quarterback that makes good decisions with a big strong arm,” Papuchis said. “You can tell he is a student of the game, I have been impressed with him so far.”
Hackenberg’s favorite target to throw the football to is junior wide receiver Allen Robinson. Robinson, a likely first-team All-Big Ten performer has recorded 81 catches for 1,204 yards with six touchdowns as well.
“When you look at his (Robinson) statistical numbers over the year, he is a guy that is averaging around 120 yards a game,” Papuchis said. “He is a good player. Obviously, we’ve got to be aware of where he is at all times and make sure we are matched up correctly.”
Not only is Robinson a tremendous deep threat, standing at 6-3, he poses as an offensive threat toward the Huskers in many ways, according to Papuchis.
“They feature him in their screen game, they will give it to him on a reverse. Obviously he is their feature guy on a lot of their routes. He is a big part of their offense and we need to do our best to try and take him out of the game.”
With Penn State running a pro-style offense, Papuchis noted that he was not sure how many times you will see three linebackers on the field at the same time versus the Nittany Lions. Papuchis mentioned that you will likely see a lot of personnel matchups during the game.