Huskers Prepping for Wide-Open Troy Offense
In a two-hour, full-pads workout inside Memorial Stadium Wednesday evening, the Nebraska football team continued preparations for Saturday night’s game against Troy. As the game draws closer, the Huskers continue to focus on the Trojans’ spread offense, which passed for 271 yards in a 24-17 loss at Florida State on Sept. 9
“They’re very similar to Texas Tech,” head coach Bill Callahan said. “They have big line splits, they’re very vertical in their pass routes, and they have a lot of three and four-wide receiver sets. Overall, their general philosophy is to put skill people in space, get the ball to them and let them make plays. We’re very familiar with that. We have to be really alert this week, not only with coming out and making plays on those very simple plays that are executed, but also the trickery off those base plays.”
With the Trojans sending more wide receivers onto the field, Nebraska defensively may look to feature more nickel and dime defenses.
“You certainly can run more nickel and dime,” Callahan said. “It’s predicated on the down and distance and how you want to match up and what coverages you want to feature.”
Among the key players in the Huskers’ defense is senior linebacker Stewart Bradley, who has recovered from a knee injury that forced him to miss the last seven games in 2005, to be tied with Corey McKeon for the team lead with 17 tackles. Bradley led the Huskers with a season-high 10 tackles against USC last Saturday.
“I think he’s done a lot better in some respects this year,” Callahan said. “He’s shown the ability to play the coverages that we’ve asked him to. He’s coming off the edge well. He’s a lot stronger.”
On offense, Nebraska will continue to rely on the strong of junior center Brett Byford, who will make his third straight start in the place of Kurt Mann.
“Brett’s done a really nice job for us,” Callahan said. “He’s stepped up at the center position since Kurt’s gone down. He’s handled everything including the communication at the line. He’s competed at a high level. He’s been really consistent for us. We’ve been fortunate that he’s done well. It’s a tribute to Coach (Dennis) Wagner and the job he’s done.”
Nebraska will continue preparations for the Troy game with an afternoon practice tomorrow at Memorial Stadium.