The Nebraska football team continued its week of preparation for Saturday’s Big Ten conference home showdown with Northwestern on a rainy Wednesday afternoon. The team practiced in full pads for just over two hours inside the Hawks Center and outside at the Ed and Joyanne Gass Practice Fields.
Nebraska Defensive Coordinator John Papuchis met with the media after practice, noting that it was good for both the Husker coaches and players to get back on the practice field this week.
“I think the best thing is sometimes just getting back out there and start going again,” Papuchis said, “There is not a lot of time to waste licking your wounds and feeling sorry for yourself. You got to learn from your mistakes, but you’ve got to move on, because the reality is we play again on Saturday.”
After last Saturday’s loss at Minnesota, the Nebraska football coaching staff decided that it was time to take away the coveted Blackshirts from the players who wore them during practice so far this season. Papuchis noted that it was the coaches’ decision, and that the defense knows they need to play at a higher standard to wear the Blackshirts.
“I think if you ask them man for man, we have a standard that we want to live up to here. Certainly what we put on the field Saturday wasn’t up to that Blackshirt standard,” Papuchis said. “I don’t wear a Blackshirt, but if I wore a Blackshirt I would take mine off too. We didn’t play good enough and we didn’t do anything well enough to warrant them.”
With Saturday’s matchup between the Huskers and the Wildcats being the third in three years, the NU coaching staff is now starting to know going into game week what to expect from a Big Ten opponent on offense.
“Being the third time we have played them, we have a pretty good feel for who they are and how they try impact us with the pass,” Papuchis said. “I don’t see them changing a whole lot from what they have done and who they have been.”
A Northwestern player to watch Saturday is senior quarterback Kain Colter. Colter, a Colorado native has been lighting up stat sheets throughout the season, even though Colter has fought the injury bug some of this season. Colter has thrown for 500 yards, competing almost 82 percent of his passes with four touchdowns and three interceptions. Not only is he a threat to pass, Colter also is a dynamic runner, accounting for 323 yards with four touchdowns this season.
“Obviously Kain Colter is a vital part of their offense. He is a dynamic playmaker and him coming back into the game vs. Iowa you could see that,” Papuchis said. “They looked revitalized a little bit and a little bit more of a big play threat with him in there.”
Nebraska will continue practice on Thursday as the team moves closer to its fourth conference game of the season. The Huskers will face the Northwestern Wildcats on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. CT.