Husker Defense Prepares for Big Ten Opener

The Huskers continued their preparations for the Big 10 Conference opener against Illinois on Tuesday. Defensive Coordinator Erik Chinander spoke with the media after practice.

The Fighting Illini come into the game with a 2-1 record. Coach Chinander is impressed with their offense.

"They’ve got a good scheme for quarterback run,” he said. “The kid last year (quarterback AJ Bush) was a really good football player. He could almost run the football like a running back. I think the new quarterback (junior Brandon Peters) they have is a little better at working the system. He can pull it and be dangerous on the quarterback run, but he can also distribute it to where he needs to. I think he’s a little better in the pass game than they had in the previous year. They have a nice system with some difficult passes to defend and some difficult run concepts to defend.”

The Huskers have struggled on the road, since Scott Frost took over as Head Coach. Coach Chinander talk about playing on the road.

“The key to winning on the road is coming out really fast, which we’ve done and finishing the football game, which we haven’t done on the road,” he said. “The big focal point last week with Coach Frost was finishing the football game. That’s probably why we left some of the older guys in [against Northern Illinois]. We want to teach these kids that we have to keep our foot on the gas both offensively and defensively. We can’t be in prevent mode.”

The Husker Blackshirts are having a lot of success forcing turnovers in the first three games.The lead the the Big Ten and rank fifth nationally with nine takeaways.

“I think the guys are embracing the fact that it is important to our staff,” Chinander said. “It’s important to the defensive staff and it’s also important to the offensive staff. Coach Frost talks about taking care of the football. We talk about getting turnovers a lot, and we drill it. I think guys are embracing that. I’m happy that it’s happening, and I hope it keeps happening.”

Nebraska will play at Illinois on Saturday night. The game will kickoff at 7:00p.m. and be televised on the Big Ten Network.