The Nebraska football team practiced for just over two hours on the Ed and Joyanne Gass practice fields Tuesday afternoon, as the Huskers continued preparations for Saturday's Big Ten Conference showdown at Ohio State.
Defensive Coordinator John Papuchis addressed media following practice Tuesday, focusing on Ohio State’s explosive sophomore quarterback, Braxton Miller.
“We have to always know where he is. He’s about 67 percent of their total offense,” Papuchis said. “He does a great job making plays, improvising, and making something out of nothing. He’s obviously a talented runner, but he throws the ball well too. We have to always know where he is, we have to always have eleven guys flying to the football, and we have to make sure we tackle well when we get our shots.”
Papuchis is rightfully concerned with Miller’s rushing ability, as he has compiled 577 yards and 7 touchdowns on the ground so far this season. However, Papuchis also noted the Buckeye quarterback’s ability to throw the long ball.
“Probably the thing that impresses me more than anything in his throwing game is his ability to throw the deep ball. He does a good job with that, and we have to limit their big plays,” Papuchis said.
Containing Miller will be a tough task for Nebraska’s defense, but one thing that Papuchis is harping on this week is coming out ready to play at the beginning of the game. As exciting as Nebraska’s 17-point comeback against Wisconsin was, falling behind early is not something the Huskers would like to make a habit of.
“We have to come out and play better early in the game,” Papuchis said. “We’ve played pretty good second halves throughout the year, but I haven’t liked the way we’ve started some of the games. We have to make sure we don’t put ourselves in a hole Saturday night, because it’s not going to be that easy to dig ourselves out.”