LINCOLN, Neb. - Nebraska defensive lineman Maliek Collins had his best game of the season against Illinois, registering 1.5 sacks and multiple quarterback hurries. Nebraska lined up the defensive tackle at multiple spots, including as an edge rusher and as a standup hybrid DL-LB.
"He was explosive and he got a lot more 1-on-1s Saturday. A lot less double-teams," said defensive line coach Hank Hughes. "We were trying to create some pass rush and some opportunties for us and him."
Under the previous Nebraska coaching staff, the Huskers moved around defensive end Randy Gregory last season, trying to find other ways to generate a pass rush.
"Maliek Collins had a monster game," said Nebraska head coach Mike Riley. "People didn’t realize the impact that that made right before the halftime when he was the one that chased (the ball carrier down), that was a great hustle play, so we really appreciate that."