The Nebraska football team began to work toward rebounding from last Saturday’s 35-30 loss to Virginia Tech and preparing for Saturday’s 8 p.m. against No. 3 Missouri with an hour-and-a-half practice in shoulder pads, shorts and helmets Monday afternoon at Memorial Stadium. Coach Bo Pelini said the process from coming back from a loss started immediately after the game.
“We talked it in the locker room after the game: you have to forget about it,” Pelini said. “It’s over. We have to learn from what happened and learn from our mistakes, because there were a lot of things that we need to get corrected, but it’s time to move on.”
The Huskers started down the road to recovering from their first loss of the year in solid fashion with a brisk workout.
“We got some work done,” Pelini said. “It wasn’t a long go and it wasn’t real physical, but we got some work done. The attitude was good. The kids were upbeat.”
One area in which Nebraska claimed success Saturday against the Hokies and throughout the season is red zone defense. The Huskers have limited teams to a 70 percent success rate in the red zone, good for 27th in the country in red zone defense. In 20 trips to the red zone, NU opponents have been denied points six times and settled for field goals six other times. Against Virginia Tech, Nebraska allowed touchdowns in just three of the Hokies’ six trips inside the NU 20-yard line. The task of holding Missouri without a touchdown once they get inside the 20 will be a challenging one, as the Tigers have scored touchdowns in all but five of their 19 red zone drives this season, collecting field goals in three other possessions.
“We hope to play well down there, because it could come down to limiting them to field goals when they do get down there rather than touchdowns,” Pelini said. “But they’ve been pretty efficient in the red zone, too. It’s going to be a heck of a test for us.”
Nebraska will meet with the media during the weekly Tuesday press conference, then return to the practice field Tuesday afternoon for the second workout in preparation for the Huskers’ game against Missouri, which will be nationally televised at 8 p.m. on ESPN.