The Huskers will be fundamentally challenged this weekend as they had on the road to face undefeated Oklahoma State. The Cowboys have the typically powerful offense they are used to having, but they have anything but a typical wide receiver as the lead weapon for OSU. Just a sophomore, Justin Blackmon ranks second in the country in receptions per game(9.50), first in receiving yards per game (159.17 yards) and with 13 points per game, he's tied for first in scoring.
The Husker secondary is considered one of the strengths of the entire team, not just the defense. In both pass efficiency defense and defending the pass, the Huskers rank tops in the FBS. Pelini agreed, but said that even that group has some things they need to fix. "I love our secondary, (but) we didn't tackle well the other day. I don't like that aspect," he said.
The good news for the Huskers, and it would certainly seem to be just that, is that this game will be away from Lincoln, Nebraska. From what Coach Pelini said on the teleconference this morning to the comments from players after prac tice, the road seems to bring out the best in this group.
Why that is, is the question.
"The games where we weren't really ourselves, that has crept up a lot more at home than it has on the road," Pelini said.
For sophomore safety P.J. Smith, he couldn't explain it either, but said that "Us vs. the world" mentality has served them well. "Honestly, if we could play all of our games on the road, we probably would," he said.
From a health standpoint the Huskers are looking as good as they have all year, especially with the return of sophomore linebacker Will Compton. Late in the Texas game Compton was brought in, and it's expected that as he gets closer to game shape, the time he'll see on the field will increase.
For the entire team, though, Pelini said that he just wants players to get back to doing the simplest of things, because just like the tackling issues which seemed to plague the defense against the Longhorns, it's those things which matter the most. "Tackling is about technique. It's about fundamentals. You can't go out there in the game and want them to go down. You've got to bring it, wrap up and use the right technique that we teach every single day," he said. "If we do that, we'll be fine."
Click the following link to listen to the full post practice audio with Bo Pelini