LINCOLN–(NU Athletics)–The Nebraska football team worked out in full pads for two hours on Wednesday on Tom Osborne Field in Memorial Stadium.
Offensive Coordinator Troy Walters addressed the media following the conclusion of practice to talk about how the team is handling the national attention on Saturday’s game against Ohio State.
“Good, good. We stress the preparation,” Walters said. “There is no difference. The preparation doesn’t change whether you’re playing Bethune-Cookman, or you’re playing Ohio State, or you’re playing anybody. You’re playing in the conference championship or in the first game of the season, the preparation is the same. What we do Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday is not going to change…It is really [about] what goes on between the white lines and don’t get caught up in the hype. It is good that the hype is here, it is good that [ESPN’s College] GameDay is going to be here, all the attention, but don’t get caught up in it. It all comes down to what we do between the white lines and the guys, their preparation so far, has been good.”
Walters also addressed the challenge that Ohio State’s defense will bring.
“They probably have five or six first-or-second-round [draft] picks on that defense,” Walters said. “Overall, they fly around to the ball. They are physical [and] athletic. It really starts up front. They have some creatures up front with size, with strength, and they are athletic so they can rush the passer. They can create havoc in the run game. The linebackers are fast-flow guys. The secondary guys are going to get up in your face, pressure you, not let you get off the line of scrimmage. So, across the board they are an excellent defense. We have our work cut out for us. The guys understand that. They understand the challenge ahead and we have had a good couple of practices, so we are ready to go.”
Walters also commented on the role that ball security will play in game against a team like Ohio State.
“We emphasize it every day in practice,” Walters said. “We do ball security every day and the guys have to realize that the hopes and dreams of this program is that football. So, when you have that football in your hands, you have to make sure you end with it in your hands. The guys are focused on that. Sometimes the defense makes a good play and they put their [hand] on the ball and it happens. But, if you turn the ball over four times against Ohio State it is going to be a long, long evening. So, we understand the importance, the guys are focusing on it. We don’t want to make too big of a deal where it is in our head but, we want to stress the importance of ball security.”
The Huskers will continue preparations for No. 5 Ohio State with practice on Thursday. Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m. on Saturday with television coverage provided by ABC.