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Husker Defense Unifies in Preparation for Illinois

Lincoln, Neb. — The Nebraska football team practiced for over two hours in helmets and shoulder pads on Tuesday evening inside the Hawks Championship Center and outside on the Ed and Joyanne Gass Practice Field.

Defensive Coordinator Bob Diaco spoke with the media after practice about the Husker’s game against Illinois, their first road game against a Big Ten team this season. Diaco was asked about new players emerging for the Blackshirts, especially as injuries have hit the unit.

“It has been a lot of guys we have been prepping,” Diaco said . “That’s not a bad thing for a developing group, developing defense.

“As players and coaches we are just getting better each day. There has not been a guy that has not improved, so when you improve and you start to gain a deeper knowledge of our system and what we are getting done, and that is players and coaches, you can’t help but feel more engaged, more unified, more together and more comfortable.”

Diaco said Illinois is a “talented football team,” and that he himself has memories of playing in an Illinois game against a “talented, strong, tough-minded team and this team is no different.”

The Huskers will face the Fighting Illini in a short week with the game on Friday. Diaco downplayed the short week saying, “We don’t get to overthink anything, we’ve just got to go. Our players are engaged, our players are locked in, our players want to serve the needs of the team, university and state.”

Diaco also commented on the return of senior defensive back Chris Jones, who practiced in shorts and a helmet on Tuesday for the first time since suffering an injury in the summer.

“It’s great to see Chris feeling better and doing well,” Diaco said.

The Huskers will continue to practice tomorrow afternoon for their game against Illinois on Friday. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. and will be televised nationally on BTN as well as carried on the Husker Sports Network. Check back with for more information.

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