Papuchis Thankful for Opportunity

New Nebraska defensive coordinator John Papuchis might have a new title and new roles, but not much will change.

Orlando, FL - New Nebraska defensive coordinator John Papuchis is approaching his first game with the title like any other. Business as usual.

"The role is different, but in terms of the preparation and the anxiety leading up to the game, it's not much different," said Papuchis at a Capital One Bowl press conference on Saturday afternoon. "Everything we do is very team oriented -whether that is from a coaching perspective or the players. When things change, they don't change that much. The team and group philosophy remain the same."

Just 33-years old, Papuchis becomes one of the youngest coordinators in BCS college football. His name will now always be linked with other Husker defensive coordinators of the past: Monte Kiffin and Charles McBride to name two of the biggest. A pretty big honor for relatively a youngster.

"You kind get caught up in the moment," said Papuchis when asked if he has been able to really reflect on the personal accomplishment. "It feels comfortable right now. Maybe after the game and when we get away from football a little bit there will be some reflection, but I have certainly been very blessed along the way.

"As a kid, or anyone that is a fan of college sports, obviously you understand and recognize the tradition that goes along with a place like Nebraska. Being in high school, watching them going through that run of national championships in the mid-90s or watching Coach Osborne as a kid. I understand the tradition that went along with being part of the program."

Picked by Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini largely due the familiarity factor, Papuchis will move from the pressbox to the sidelines – but don't him to be the only one sporting a defensive playbook.

"Regardless who the coordinator is, Bo is going to make a majority of the calls if not all," said Papuchis. "That's how it should be. He's gotten to the point he has in his career because he's a tremendous football coach. He has the talent to call games and does a great job.

"We have talked about a lot as a defense, everything we do is a team and a collaborate effort. We game plan as a staff, make game day decisions as a staff, and a lot of times make calls as a group. At the end of the day, coach is going to make the decision, but we are all going to have our input."

Josh Harvey has covered college football and recruiting for Fox Sports & since 2008. He is now the Publisher of Big Red Report, covering Nebraska athletics.
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