LINCOLN, Neb. — Nebraska’s 62-3 loss to Ohio State on Saturday was historic, the second-largest margin of defeat in the Cornhuskers’ illustrious history.
And a good portion of that weight falls on the defense, which didn’t force Ohio State to punt even once.
“What could go wrong, went wrong,” defensive line coach John Parrella said on Tuesday. “It was one of those nights.”
The key for this week, defensive coaches said on Tuesday, is to make sure the Buckeyes don’t hurt the Huskers any more than they already have.
“We can’t let Ohio State beat us twice,” Parella said. “When something like that happens you can’t allow them to beat us again on (this coming) Saturday. And we’ve moved on real quick and I thought they had a really good practice today.”
Part of that process took place during Sunday’s film session, when the coaches went over only a handful of game tape with the players. Just some basic things that Nebraska did wrong; things they can fix — and should have fixed in the game — defensive coordinator Mark Banker said.
“We took the plays we broke down, really just fundamentals, things that we do every day, so we took that and said ‘hey we can correct these,'” Banker said.
The idea is there’s no reason to berate the team for its performance. The players know how bad they played, Banker said.
“There was no sense just absolutely beating them up. Beat yourself up, beat them up, it’s too late for that,” Banker said.
There’s no point making them feel worse than they already do, defensive backs coach Brian Stewart added.
“Everybody’s feelings are hurt,” Stewart said. “The main thing you have to do as a coach is you can’t let your feelings and how you feel about the game intimidate those poor guys. Because they were out there, too. My main focus is we gotta get ready for the next game.”
Parrella said he feels like his group had a good practice, and as a defense, they’ve all moved on.
The task now, Banker said, is making sure that’s true.
“It’s our job, it’s the players’ job too, to make sure that we don’t have a hangover,” Banker said.
And they better play better, Parrella said. Minnesota is coming to town.
The Gophers (7-2, 4-2 Big Ten) aren’t just a good team. They are on a four-game winning streak and now sit in a three-way tie atop the Big Ten West standings — with Wisconsin and Nebraska.
“You can keep looking back at it and keep opening the wound but for us we looked at the things we have to correct and move on as fast as we can,” Parrella said. “Otherwise it gets to be Thursday and Friday and we’re still talking about our last game. We’ve moved on.”