Nebraska has visited Ann arbor before, despite what one reporter said
News bullets and other important things:
Opening remarks: “It was another good Tuesday for us when you look at practice and preparation on both sides of ball. In the kicking game we really worked on the coverage game. In kickoff returns [Nebraska has] been very successful. They’ve got [Ameer] Abdullah, [who has], I think, 31 yards a return, so that’s field position, and that’s something we have to do a great job of covering -- kicking the ball and the coverage itself. In the punt game they’re averaging nine yards a return. It’s still pretty significant. We’ve got to do a great job of executing the hidden yardage you get from your special teams. We’ve got to do a great job as a team. If you’re punting the football, snapping the football, protecting whatever you may be doing, we’ve got to be very good this week.”
Will you be practicing at the stadium more these two weeks? “Well the kickers will. We don’t go up there at all as a team until game day. It’s a special day for us, and game day is important being in that stadium, but we were fortunate enough to have pretty good facilities obviously and get a lot of work done.”
Does Nebraska’s run game change how you prepare your secondary? “You know, not really. It obviously, when you’re a back end position, the discipline of your eyes and the alignment of your feet are such an important part of playing back there because you are the support at times. You are the last line of defense. You are a lot of different things, and for us, I think we’ve worked every week as far as the run game part of it, which we do a lot on Tuesday. More the passing game on Wednesday. Really work on crack schemes that they’ll run, which they do run -- they’re pretty daggone good at it -- and those kinds of things, just the reaction of where your eyes are, and your eyes will tell your feet where to go.”
(might as well jump. (JUMP!))
How would you say the receivers as a group have gotten better? “I think they run better routes. I think part of that is they’re recognizing the levels back there in the secondary, if they’re two high, one high, and that’s all part of route running and conversions of routes. I think they’ve done a good job of blocking. I couldn’t tell you how many drops you have. You’re always going to have some. But I think for the most part they’ve done a pretty good job.”
Are you always the scout team quarterback? “I become the scout team quarterback on walkthroughs. I run the scout team for the defense. I run the offense. We’ll have walkthrough Saturday morning. I’ll be a big part of that. Fridays … I was really a good quarterback at one time.” Who says? “I do. But I never played quarterback. I was a blocking fullback.”
What made you guys so good in short yardage defensively? “You know, number one, the players. They’ve done a nice job. Secondly, I think defensively staff-wise, I think they’ve done a good job of when you go through film. We usually go on four or five game breakdown. They’ll go back and look at every other tape you have -- it might be from the year before -- and they’ll see what people have tried to do, and I think we’ve responded to it.”
How much of a focus is coaching young guys like Jake Ryan, Desmond Morgan, and Brennen Beyer on things like gap and edge integrity? “Well I thought they all three practiced pretty well yesterday. Option football is assignment football, whether you get a gap scheme, an arc scheme, a load scheme, if it’s midline, outside veer, if it’s counter-G option or speed option -- they’re all different in how you need to adjust and play to them, but there isn’t a different in that initial key. So your initial key is what you have to break down and be responding to. And being disciplined. Because if I’m a dive player, I better not hop up on the quarterback. If I’m a quarterback player, I’ve got to take the quarterback.”
How difficult is it to prepare for them given that they might show you things you may not have seen before? “Their multiplicity as an offense -- because they will run the power, they’ll run the lead play, they’ll run the toss, toss-iso, and then they’ll get into some of the option series stuff. Again, it goes back to your initial key. It’s going to take you -- the discipline of reacting to that initial key will take you to where you need to be as a football player.”
How important is it get guys to Burkhead? “The difference is you’re not playing with that passion and that intensity when you’re not getting all 11 guys to the football. It’s pretty simple. Or you’re not getting off blocks well enough. Again, that’s an intensity issue you have with your team.”
Did you have to do anything after the Iowa game to get back into that groove? “I don’t think so. They take a lot of pride. You put that film up there and start rolling it through, and the guys who didn’t play as fast as you want them to play or as well, they knew who they are.”
Burkhead’s a big guy. “Yeah he’s a strong, tough runner. He’s kind of a slasher to some degree where he’ll get downhill in a hurry. He’s going to plant that foot and make one cut. If it’s not there, he’s going to run through you.”
Can you talk about your promo video, Lloyd Carr, etc.? “The whole thing -- number one, a coach is going to be honored, which is special and should be honored … I thought Lloyd handled the team as well as anybody I’ve been around. Handled players as well as I’ve seen anybody. I think that’s probably the biggest thing. Wasn’t always you’re nice -- there’s some tough love that’s in there.”
Has that influenced your style of coaching? “I think that’s always been a part of who I am, but I think you get some affirmation when you see the success that someone else has doing it that way.”
Does ’97 mean anything this Saturday? “1997?” Sharing the national championship with Nebraska, and the first time they’re coming to visit the Big House. “I’ve thought about that once this whole week. This is the second time. We’re different teams obviously. Different places. But [I haven’t thought about it] a whole lot.”
After the game in Illinois, you said defense was emphasized to you when you took the job. Was that something Dave Brandon said to you, alums said to you, or you just knew? “Well no one said it to me. I’m a defensive coach. I learned a long time ago that if the other team can’t score, they can’t win. So a defense has always been a priority personally, but it’s still those guys up front on our offensive line, and that’s why I love being a head coach who’s a d-line coach, because I get to be with those offensive linemen quite a bit when we’re doing those drills against each other.”
Do you have a problem with Ryan Van Bergen saying that this is the best defensive line in the country? “We have two games left to see that, right?” How important is it to have that swagger? “Swagger? Confidence? What is it? If I know one thing … If you say it -- if you’re gonna talk the talk, you better walk the walk.”
When did you start seeing that confidence from the defensive players as a whole? “That confidence? I don’t know. I just think they’ve continued to go to work everyday. I’m really trying to think … I think they gained confidence and someone talked about the third down stops. That gives you confidence.”
Is Barnum available? “Yeah.” Do you think he’ll play? “I don’t know. But he’s available.”
Is Denard limited at all? “No.”
Woolfolk? “Troy’s good.” Running and things? “Doing everything.”
Nebraska has visited Ann arbor before, despite what one reporter said
1962, and they beat us.
Where Nebraska lost both times.
Go ahead and ju-ump. JUMP! (Guitar Solo).
Thanks. Now I have Van Halen in my head :)
EDIT: people under 25 probably have no idea what I'm talking about.
My oldest son has a couple Pandora stations he's started with a mix of Van Halen, Led Zepplin, mixed with newer stuff he's found. Of course time in the car with dad set the base.
I love his pressers. Regardless of the question, the answer always is something like:
"Well, it begins with pride, and I'll tell you, this is about as prideful a group as I have ever seen. And so, it all boils down to playing with pride and playing with responsibility for one another. It starts during practice and then its how you translate what you do in practice on game day."
I think NE was in AA in 1962.
“Swagger? Confidence? What is it? If I know one thing … If you say it -- if you’re gonna talk the talk, you better walk the walk.”
I love Hoke, I wish I would have heard him say the word "Swagger"
At the 12:30 mark above.