Nebraska defensive end Jack Gangwish used the most of his game reps last Saturday against Northwestern - registering a tackle for loss and half of a sack, to go along with a forced fumble. The former walk-on junior realizes though, it’s going to be hard dethrone anybody in front of him – no matter how well he plays.
“The fact is, we have some studs in the first group,” said Gangwish. “Those guys are excellent football players. If you can keep those guys in and healthy, that’s what you have to do.”
Gangwish says he is fully accepting of his current role for the Huskers and winning the football game is priority number one.
“If on a given snap I can perform my job better than Greg (McMullen) can, I want to be in the game, but if on the snap Greg can execute better than I can, I want him in the game,” said Gangwish. “Everyone has a role and my role at this point is backup defensive end.”
While junior Randy Gregory gets all the media attention, McMullen has quietly put together a solid season on the opposite side, registering 7.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks in seven contests. Taking his practice reps behind the two, there might not be a person more familiar with McMullen and Gregory’s game. So what are his thoughts on the younger McMullen?
“Greg McMullen is an extremely consistent football player,” said Gangwish. “He goes out every snap and does his job…it’s rare and difficult to perfect that.”
Gangwish knows his opportunities this season might be limited, so like he did on Saturday, he’s looking to make the most of them. He’s looking to “rage.”
“I might not get to play an entire first quarter, so when I do get in there, I have been thinking about it,” said Gangwish. “I’m juiced, I’m excited, I’m ready and I’m fresh. I’m ready to go. ..As a backup, by the time I get into a game, guys have played at least already 20 snaps. I’m ready to get in there.”
Last Saturday, Gangwish entered the game and could immediately see a gassed offensive tackle lined up in front of him.
“Lining up, looking across at this guy, this guy has been dealing with Randy Gregory for 20 snaps. Now is my turn. He’s in trouble is the way I thought about it,” said the Wood River, Nebraska product. “I have a statement to make.”