Venables, Wilson preview Nebraska

Oklahoma's coordinators talk about Nebraska's offense and defense.

Below are excerpts from OU offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson and defensive coordinator Brent Venables' meeting with the media on Tuesday.



On if the game against Nebraska is going to be an old school game between two running teams

Venables: You know, when you say that it's going to be an aerial assault (laughs). That's what happens (laughs).

On Nebraska's passing attack

Venables: They throw the ball really well. As well as they run it, they throw it even better. We haven't lost site of that either. The West Coast offense is going to have balance and they're going to do both, so we'll need to prepare and play well against both.

On Nebraska QB Zac Taylor being named the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year

Venables: We, as coaches, that was our consensus here. It doesn't take you long to kinda think back through the season. I watch as much football as I can when we're playing and obviously I've seen him a great deal here the last few days and that's a slam dunk.

Tremendous player, great leader, tough. As much as anything else, he's tough. He can wing the ball and throws it all over the lot. You can see why they've had success as a team with him as their leader.

On if Nebraska has gone back to being an I-formation running team

Venables: Yeah, they get in a lot of two-backs and run the ball. A lot of two-tight end, three-tight end, even some four-tight end sets.

They're going to get leverage on you, angles, pull, student body left and right. And then they get in four-wides and run it effectively too in their spread offense. They really attack you in the run game.


On Nebraska's defense

Wilson: Big, strong. Two excellent defensive ends — (Adam) Carriker and Moore. Both of them played last year. Two new D-tackles, but both are seniors who have played a lot. Very solid linebackers. The one linebacker (Bradley) Stewart, was injured last year but played against us a year before, is a senior. So it's veteran group. Very sound group.

A little bit of the umbrella cover-four like Texas Tech and Texas A&M. They pick their spots to blitz and then on critical downs they like to come at you with the things they do. They play good, solid run defense, put a lot of pressure on the quarterback — 25 sacks.

They look — structure-wise, talent wise, maturity — better than the defense we saw a year ago where our game went down to the wire. It will be as good and solid defense as we've played other than maybe Texas' overall team speed. They'll probably be as solid a defense as we've seen all year.

On if the weather will be a factor on what they plan to do offensively

Wilson: I think the wind and wet stuff make it a factor, unless it's just unbelievably frigid. From what we've been gathering, it's going to be a colder, brisker today. It doesn't look like the wind is going to be a factor that influences your play.

To me, both teams are playing in it and it would be an excuse if you said you didn't play well because it was such and such degrees. I don't know if there's a thermometer that we play to X-speed and to X-degree.

On the weather making the ball slicker

Wilson: Yeah, but I think again the way they do things, with rotating the balls, you have a number of balls you're checking in. You're not playing with the same ball. You play balls X-snaps. You check in X-number per game.

It's not like they're just in there freezing, they keep them in bags and things where I don't think it's that big of a deal. I think also with the gloves that the guys wear, that cushions a lot of the impact and catching.

On the quarterbacks throwing a cold ball

Wilson: Their quarterback's going to have the same slick ball. Zac's a heck of a player and Paul's played well. We're more worried about indentifying their blitzes and staying after them, and blocking them and taking care of the football again.

To me, if it's cold it's fine, as long as it's not severe wind. The way it looks right now it will be a cold, brisk day. But I don't think it's going to be a severe weather day.

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