LINCOLN — Nebraska defensive coordinator Mark Banker looked back Tuesday at some of the mistakes from the Oregon game, but he said the Huskers’ tackling wasn’t among the chief problems.
Banker said the Ducks’ yards after contact total was the lowest NU has allowed this season, at less than a yard. That stat only takes into account when a defender is in position to make contact with a ball carrier.
“The tackles that were made, you’re seeing more and more and better and better technique and power in those tackles,” Banker said.
Banker said work remains on angles and tracking, but that players have improved at making the tackle when in position.
“It’s been a lot better,” linebacker Michael Rose-Ivey said. “I think for us, you’re supposed to get better at the things you emphasize, and we emphasize it a lot. So we’ve definitely gotten a lot better with our technique. Right now we’re being very physical with our tackling.”
Asked how much the success can be tied to the Huskers’ new focus and work on rugby-style tackling, Banker said: “It’s all. It’s everything.”
Banker: Defense not at its best
Nebraska allowed 482 total yards and 6.9 per play in the 35-32 win over Oregon, and the Ducks hit the Huskers for 336 rushing yards and five rushing touchdowns.
NU also did not force a turnover.
“I thought as a total group, as a defense, we did not play our best game,” Banker said. “Now, the competition was better, the speed of the game was faster, therefore your mistakes are going to show up more. But the problem was there was just some real fundamental things that we did wrong.”
But Nebraska got the stop it needed in the final minutes, helped by a Memorial Stadium crowd that cranked up the volume.
“It was pretty intense,” Banker said.
Senior defensive end Ross Dzuris said the Huskers critiqued the film just as hard as they would have after a loss.
“There was a lot of things we need to fix,” Dzuris said. “We were over that high pretty quickly.”
» Banker said he and defensive line coach John Parrella need to be more proactive with line substitutions within games.
» Banker said Nebraska wasn’t lined up the way he wanted on at least a couple of the Oregon 2-point conversions that the Huskers still stopped. They were lined up right on the one the Ducks converted, with Charles Nelson leaping over a tackler.
» Nebraska receiver Brandon Reilly, who missed the Oregon game because of a hamstring injury, returned to practice Tuesday. Husker receiver Alonzo Moore was not in uniform.