Inside Slant: NU defense shows weaknesses

This might not be a good week to be a player on Nebraska's defense.

This might not be a good week to be a player on Nebraska's defense.

Nebraska enters its game Saturday against Washington having allowed 444 yards of total offense to Fresno State last week.

Defensive coordinator Carl Pelini said after the game that Fresno State's game plan of constantly rolling out quarterback Derek Carr (so as to avoid pressure from Nebraska's strong defensive line) was something coaches hadn't seen from studying film.

His brother, head coach Bo Pelini, said that's nothing more than an excuse.

"I don't buy into that. We did not execute. We didn't play well, and anything else is an excuse. Plain and simple," Bo Pelini said at his weekly news conference. "It had a lot to do with us, and that will get fixed, because we know how to fix that."

Carr completed less than 50 percent of his passes but threw for 254 yards and wasn't sacked. Nebraska got a hand on him only once. The Huskers also allowed 190 rushing yards, including 169 from running back Robbie Rouse.

Nebraska's defensive problems pretty much ran the gamut, Pelini said. Blown coverages. Poor technique. Less-than-stellar effort. Not only that, the biggest offenders were veterans, he said.

"We didn't play near to the standard of what we've established around here," Pelini said. "Plain and simple."

Nebraska, among the nation's top defensive teams the past two seasons, entered the season with three preseason All-America candidates, although one of them, cornerback Alfonzo Dennard, is currently sidelined with a leg injury.

"I think every now and then you've got to get smacked in the face and get a wake-up call, because when people are telling you how good you are, you need a reality check," Pelini said. "In this world, you get humbled in a hurry, and we got humbled last week. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter what people say you are or what you're supposed to be. You've got to put it out there."

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