Nebraska offensive and defensive coordinators Matt Lubick and Erik Chinander, as well as assistant coaches and players, met with members of the media over video conference Tuesday following practice to discuss last week’s win over Penn State and preview this weekend’s game with Illinois.
Lubick talked about quarterback Luke McCaffery’s performance Saturday in his first career start for the Huskers.
“He’s been making plays all fall camp long with his feet and with his arm, but sometimes you really don’t know until there’s live bullets how a guy’s going to respond,” Lubick said. “I was very impressed with his poise. He improvised a little bit when we needed him to. He kept some second-and-long situations alive just by making the play himself. Showed a ton of poise. I could not be more happy with what he did in the game.”
On the defensive front, Chinander discussed how developing depth in the front seven has helped the Huskers this season.
“There’s been times in our tenure that we’ve had to leave a lot of guys out there for a lot of snaps, and I truly believe that the more guys you can play in a football game, the better each one of them plays,” Chinander said. “There are guys that have earned the right to play through their practice habits and just what they’ve done when they’ve got their chances in the football game. I really like it right now because it’s creating very energetic, competitive spirit in practice. Those guys have earned the right to play.”
Both coordinators spoke on the team’s preparation for Illinois and what they expect to see on both sides of the ball, especially with multiple options at quarterback for the Illini.
“They are a good defensive football team,” Lubick said. “They are riding some momentum. They had a big win last week, as did we. I think they take pride in not giving up big plays, and they’ve done a pretty good job of that. So we’re going to earn everything we get, and we’re excited about the challenge. But it’s good defensive football team that’s very well coached. In this league, the big challenge that our guys have to understand is that every defense is good. If you don’t come prepared to play, every team in this league can beat you and every defense in this league can create problems.
The game on Saturday kicks off at 11 a.m. and will be broadcast on KBBN 95.3 FM with coverage on the Huskers Sports Network beginning at 9 a.m.