Phillip Dillard has been moved to the WILL linebacker position.
Photo by Scott Bruhn/Nebraska Communications

Huskers Look to Slow Down Hokie Running Game

By NU Athletic Communications

The Nebraska football team wrapped up a 2 ½ hour practice inside Memorial Stadiums in near-perfect football conditions on Wednesday afternoon. The buzz around practice surrounded linebacker Phillip Dillard, who has been moved to the WILL linebacker position. Defensive Coordinator Carl Pelini explained his decision to move the senior linebacker over to the WILL position.

"(We're) creating competition wherever we can get it," Pelini said. "We have guys a little banged up. (Matthew) May has got the stinger, Blake's (Lawrence) got the ankle, and we're just trying to get guys on the field who are healthy and who are going to run to the football and execute, that's all."

Although Dillard hasn't seen game action in the first two games of the season, Pelini said that his attitude has been positive the whole time.

"He's been a good leader from the start," Pelini said. "One thing about Phil, he hasn't played in these first two games, but he's busted his tail in practice every day and he's earned the opportunity. His leadership has been evident to our defense from the start of camp. That has never been an issue. He's a great kid, a great leader, he's a positive influence on this football team."

Pelini and the Husker defense will look to slow down the Virginia Tech running game, which is ranked No. 13 in the nation with 508 yards through its first two games.

"They always seem to find the hole," Pelini said of the Hokie running backs. "They're very good decision makers, every one of them, and if you create a seam for them, they're going to find it. You see a lot of great athletes at running back every week, but the guys who have the knack for finding the seams, those are the guys that cause you the most problems."

The Huskers will practice again on Thursday before leaving Friday for Blacksburg. Kickoff for the Nebraska-Virginia Tech matchup is at 2:30 p.m. and will be broadcast regionally on ABC.


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