Mike Riley talks offensive blueprints and the passing game in first Big Ten teleconference
The Big Ten teleconference kicked off for the first time this season on Tuesday afternoon. Nebraska coach Mike Riley answered three questions, all of which had to do with the passing game. Here are the questions and responses.
Q: Talk a little about the process you, Tommy Armstrong and the offensive coordinator (Danny Langsdorf) went through to mold this year’s offense:
Mike Riley: Well, the first thing we did when the season was all said and done is we evaluated it and went through it and hopefully learned more about our team.
We explored some stuff, tweaked some stuff, isolated some things. Some things we wanted to do, we had to improve on or find a way to be more statistically successful and play to the strengths that we have, especially at the quarterback position.
And that process takes the next step with working with the quarterback when you have the opportunity, whether it’s meeting times or practice or fall camp where you put the final stamp on it.
Q: How much does that UCLA performance show what may or may not be happening with offense:
Riley: Well, we found a good identity for the game and won. You’d like to rush for 400 yards a game and say that’s all we’ll do, but we would like some consistency running the football.
I think all of our teams have been at their best when they’re good in the run game. As we go forward, if you’re running the ball well, like that game, the passing was better, protection is a hair easier when you’re running the ball. … And sometimes you get some more isolated throws when the run game is that good.
Q: On the strength at wide receiver:
Riley: That receivers group is one of our deepest on the team. I really like the group. We really have a good blend with the three seniors, however Brandon Reilly won’t play in first game, but with (Jordan) Westerkamp and Alonzo Moore, we have some good experienced players. And we have Stanley Morgan Jr., who was a freshman that played well last year, and De’Mornay Pierson-El, who appears to be healthy. So we’re pretty strong right off the bat. So we’re excited and we want them to play well in a role.
I don’t know in our overall scheme how many times we’ll be throwing, but we definitely have some good threats out there and some guys that can make some plays.