Huskers Prepare for Big Ten West Showdown

Lincoln, Neb. — The Nebraska football team worked out in full pads for two hours on Wednesday in Memorial Stadium on Tom Osborne Field.

Defensive Coordinator Erik Chinander addressed the media following the conclusion of practice and talked about Minnesota’s wide receivers and what kind of challenge they present.

“Really good group in the Big Ten,” Chinander said. “Illinois presented some issues, obviously Ohio State has a great receiving corps but these guys are really good, too. I recruited Rashod Bateman a little bit so I’m familiar with him, but they have a good crew. They have a guy in Bateman that… you know a lot of yards after catch, a lot of yards per catch and [Tyler] Johnson can go over the middle. They have a nice complementary offense, and they do a good job of getting those guys in position to make catches.”

Chinander went on to discuss Minnesota quarterback Tanner Morgan and how he has improved since last season.

“He’s grown a lot,” Chinander said. “He’s making some good decisions with the football, you’ve seen him make some throws that he didn’t make last year. Some mistakes he made last year that he isn’t making this year so I think he’s grown as a player, and I think he’s managing their offense very well.”

Chinander was asked about what kind of growth he saw from his unit during the Northwestern game last weekend.

“I mean other than the drive in the third quarter, it was good to have your back against the wall  a bit and stand up tall and hold that thing off,” he said. “Fighting four quarters of defense is always good. Keeping them out of the end zone for a good part of the game is good. Getting a turnover when things matter, I mean that’s a huge play in the growth of a team and a defense to make a big play when it matters. Not just make one when you’re up 43-8 or whatever, but there’s a lot of growth within the unit and a lot of growth in the team.”

Chinander was also asked about how Cam Taylor-Britt has been used more not only on defense but on special teams as well.

“I think it’s kind of standard when you’re a good player, everybody wants to use you,” Chinander said. “We want to use him in a lot of spots on defense and Coach (Jovan) Dewitt wants to use him in a lot of spots on special team. I think that’s normally how it goes. All the good ones we have, especially defensive backs, ala when we were at UCF Mike Hughes, a first-round cornerback, he played on every special team and played every snap of defense. When you’re a really good player you get played a lot. He likes it so that’s good.”

The Huskers will continue preparations for the Golden Gophers with practice on Wednesday. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. in Minneapolis.  The game will be broadcast on KBBN 95.3 FM with coverage on the Husker Sports Network beginning at 4:30.