Nebraska offensive coordinator Matt Lubick met with members of the media following Tuesday’s practice. Lubick spoke about the team’s energy surrounding game week.
“We had a really good camp, a lot of improvement,” Lubick said. “It is just really something special when you are actually competing against an opponent. The players feel that. You can feel the added energy and excitement with not just going against ourselves but going against an opponent.”
Lubick discussed the ability to tell a player’s potential through practice versus in a game.
“We do not do a lot of live stuff, we want to keep our guys healthy,” he said. “But we feel like we have done enough live stuff to see what some guys can do and even though we don’t tackle guys and bring guys to the ground and try to stay up and play full speed, you get a pretty good indication on who’s going to finish and who can make the cuts and who can do their assignments. But I do think, some guys in games take it up another notch and we are not going to know that until Saturday who that is.”
He was asked about what he says to players to calm their nerves.
“What we have found is, the more focused you can actually be on your specific assignment in that play, alleviates nerves,” Lubcik said. “If you start thinking about everything, the game, ‘I haven’t played yet,’ then that’s when you lose focus and then the nerves actually get to you. But if you can really focus in on your exact assignment, it actually helps you alleviate nerves and play better. So that is going to be our big message. Control what you can control, know your assignments, focus on that, and then play the next play. Then if you can really do that, it does a good job of kind of mellowing you out, staying in the moment and not worrying about all the other stuff.”
Lubick talked about the benefits that come with the more experienced team this year.
“We feel like we are a lot more experienced. We feel like we are better prepared than we were last year at this time, so it will be interesting to see what happens on Saturday,” Lubick said. “Speaking offensively, we are executing better. We are able to do a little bit more because last year we had so many first year players. So I think it is a combination of guys feeling confident and being able to execute better and understanding the package better so we can do a little bit more and hopefully that all will show on Saturday.”
Nebraska kicks off its season at Illinois this Saturday, Aug. 28 at Noon. The game will be broadcast on KBBN 95.3 FM with pregame coverage on the Huskers Sports Network beginning at 10 a.m.