LINCOLN, Neb. - While much of the focus this week has been on Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini, quarterback Tommy Armstrong, and Minnesota’s offense, the topic of the Gophers defense hasn’t been looked at much.
“They are well-coached defensive team,” said Nebraska offensive coordinator Tim Beck on Tuesday night. “They are very active up front, and they play the ball well in the secondary—a lot of man-to-man stuff.
“They play their system, they have recruited to it and they coach them with good technique, and they do a good job. They are rarely out of position.”
The Gophers held Nebraska to just 23 points last year, more than a touchdown below their scoring average. While Ameer Abdullah was able to rack up 165 yards, the offense struggled to get much more going.
“They are active, they use their hands really well and get you into third-down situations. Obviously all offenses want to stay out of those situations,” Beck said regarding Minnesota’s defensive line. “They are really good in those situations, so you want to do everything you can to keep yourself out of third-and-long.”
Beck was asked how quarterback Tommy Armstrong practiced on Tuesday.
“He had a good day today," Beck said of Armstrong. "He threw the ball well. I think it was good for the guys to get back on the field and get to work. (Tommy) is getting better. He will continue to grow. He is a young guy and it means a lot to him.”
The quarterback talked Minnesota’s defense with Big Red Report.
“Watching film, they want you to beat them with the pass and really force everything inside,” said Armstrong. “We have to make sure we earn every yard they get. They have areas here and there that they can be beat. We just have to make sure we run the ball and pass the ball well to stay on the field.”
While the Gophers’ defense doesn’t rank in Wisconsin’s category; Minnesota ranks No. 33 in total defense and No. 28 in scoring defense.