LINCOLN, Neb. – The Nebraska football team split practice time inside the Hawks Championship Center and outside on the Ed and Joyanne Gass practice fields for roughly two hours on Tuesday evening in full pads.
Defensive Coordinator Bob Diaco spoke with the media after practice about Iowa’s offense, which has rushed for 1,593 yards this season.
“I think that the people of Nebraska will recognize this Iowa team looks like all the other Iowa teams for a long time,” Diaco said. “Big offensive line. Physical offensive line. Big, physical, a large group of tight ends, fullbacks. A couple of backs that they can bring at you…Quarterback that drives it, you know pro-style guy that really fits nicely in their system. It’s kind of a carbon copy-stamp over the course of at least 19 years that coach (Kirk Ferentz) has been there.
“That’s the tale of the tape. Not a lot of plays. The plays that they do, they run well. They run really well. They can fit. Part of that is being able to fit what you do into whatever the defense does. So you see, as you study and watch different systems or different ways to play, whether it’s four-down or three-down or coverage or pressure. They seem to find the dent or the crack in the crease. At least they have.”
Diaco commented on his ties with alma mater, Iowa, and also the Hawkeyes’ head coach Kirk Ferentz. Diaco played linebacker for the Hawkeyes from 1992 to 1995.
“Coach (Ferentz) was in the NFL at that time….for him to go back and do what he’s been able to do has just been awesome. He’s a great coach. They have a great program and then we spoke a few times just based on the alma mater switch. So I was working at his alma mater and vice versa. So that was kind of neat for the last few years.”
Coach Diaco talked about the future of the young Husker defense.
“This defense is going to be great,” Diaco said. “When you think about the future, just on defense how much production, and they’ll be missed, but how much production is gone and how much is back. There’s been massive amount of reps poured on a ton of young players, and they’re learning how to play and they’re talented enough and they’re smart enough and eventually they’re going to be strong enough, eventually they’re going to be fundamentally sound enough, eventually they’ll be deeply entrenched in a system and understand it with great detail.”
Diaco mentioned special aspects about Nebraska as well as mentioning small adjustments that need to be made in Nebraska’s defense.
“It won’t take much more to get this organization because of this greatness, because of the place that this is,” Diaco said. “This is a very special football place, very special fans, very special supports, very special infrastructure, and very special interest nationally and there’s just a few small things. I’m talking about defending. There are things that need happen, but they will happen and as soon as that clicks up, you’re going to see the kind of defense that you want to see.”
The Huskers continue their preparation for Iowa on Wednesday. Kickoff for Friday’s game at Memorial Stadium, is set for at 3 p.m. (CT) and will be televised on FS1.