The Nebraska football team took the practice field on Wednesday inside the Hawks Championship Center as rainy conditions moved into the Lincoln area. The Huskers practiced for a little over two hours in half pads as they continued preparations for their Big 12 North matchup against Iowa State on Saturday.
Defensive coordinator Carl Pelini addressed the media following Wednesday's practice and said he liked the way the defense responded after a tough loss to Texas Tech last Saturday.
"It was a good week," Pelini said. "We had three good ones in a row defensively. I'm very pleased with how we practiced all week."
Iowa State quarterback Austen Arnaud presents a unique challenge for the Husker defense this Saturday as he can be utilized in both the run and passing games for the Cyclones. Pelini touched on how Iowa State has used him this season as opposed to last year.
"Similar ways," Pelini said. "The normal quarterback run game in terms of off of the zone read and stuff like that. Maybe he is a little more comfortable in the pocket this year in terms of the passing game. He's throwing the ball well. He's finding his receivers well. They're using him in the quarterback run game a little bit different, quarterback power, those things that you usually see in like a wildcat set. He gives you a lot to prepare for. He's a talented young man."
In last Saturday's loss to Texas Tech, the Husker defense missed several turnover opportunities that could have changed the momentum of the game. A point of emphasis for the Blackshirts this week has been to finish plays and capitalize on those opportunities.
"We need to make plays on the ball," Pelini said. "We're there, we got bodies on receivers, and we're challenging throws. We got opportunities to strip the ball. We just keep preaching it and keep getting after that ball aggressively and they'll start to come in bunches. I think our guys are doing everything it takes to get turnovers, we're challenging receivers, we're running hard to the football, we're doing all those things and they'll come. When they start coming I think they'll come in bunches I hope."
The Huskers will return to the practice field on Thursday afternoon. Kickoff for this Saturday's game against Iowa State is set for 11:30 a.m. and can be seen on FSN.