Huskers shift their focus to Wisconsin after finding positives in Ohio State loss
LINCOLN, Neb. (WOWT) - The Nebraska football team is back to practice after a week one 52-17 loss to Ohio State.
Despite what the scoreboard said, there were some positives to take from the game.
“We weren’t happy with the end result. With that being said, I thought there were some positives we could take away from it,” junior quarterback Adrian Martinez said on Monday.
“As painful as it was, it was a good lesson for our kids Saturday,” head coach Scott Frost added.
The team now game-planning for Wisconsin.
They’ll have to play the first half of the game without half of their starting secondary after Cam Taylor-Britt and Deontai Williams were both ejected from the Ohio State game for targeting.
Head coach Scott Frost said he doesn’t believe there is any sort of appeal process for the ejections, and the team needs to be ready to play without Taylor-Britt and Williams against a team the Huskers would really like to beat.
None of the guys currently in the program have beat the Badgers.
“Over the years, they’ve obviously been very well-coached, well-disciplined,” left tackle Brenden Jaimes said. “We’ve closed the gap quite a bit.”
The Huskers are preparing for a team that plays hard-nosed football.
“Against Wisconsin, you have to be really detailed with your fits. They have a lot of shifts and motions that try to get you out of your gaps,” linebacker Will Honas said.
“I’ve never beat them in my time here. Obviously, that would mean a lot in this year to go out and give it my best shot,” defensive back Dicaprio Bootle said. “We just got to match their physicality and play hard.”
It’s another tough game on the schedule, but coach Frost doesn’t see it as a make or break game for the season.
“It’s important to me. I want to play well against these guys. They’re in our half [of the Big Ten]... as far as it relates to the entire season, it’s week two,” Frost said.
“We’re excited. We have a great opportunity and it’s an important game,” Martinez added.
It’s the Huskers' home opener, and they’ll be playing without fans.
Just like the Ohio State game, everyone who was asked about playing in an empty stadium talked about “bringing the energy.”
“It’s definitely going to be different. I’m sure it’ll be real similar to what it was in Ohio,” defensive lineman Ben Stille said. “We’ve got to bring our own energy.”
On the fans: “We’re going to miss them, and I know the fans are going to miss being there,” Frost said.
There are reports out of Wisconsin that the team’s quarterback Graham Mertz tested positive for COVID-19 and he’s waiting on a second test to confirm it.
Mertz was masterful on Friday night. He completed 20 of 21 passes in the team’s win over Illinois.
“I don’t think it’ll change anything for us. I hope for their sake that he’s OK,” Frost said. “Whether he plays or not, they’ve got a lot of good players and they’re a really good team.”
Frost added that he hopes it’s just a false positive for Mertz.
A few other quick Huskers notes: the Big Ten announced start times for week three.
Nebraska’s game at Northwestern is an 11 a.m. kickoff on BTN.
Additionally, Frost said the team is still evaluating tight end, Jack Stoll.
They hope to get him back as quickly as possible.
The Huskers host Wisconsin on Saturday.
Kickoff is at 2:30 p.m.
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