It’s no secret that a renaissance for Nebraska football will have to include significant improvement on the defensive side of the ball. The Huskers ranked dead last in the Big Ten in total defense in 2017, allowing an average of 436.2 yards per game.
On Thursday, Chinander said the Huskers’ defense is “ahead of where I thought we’d be.”
“I don’t think we’re the defense I heard about, if that makes sense,” Chinander said. “We’re ahead of that curve a little bit. I think they’re buying into the system. I think they’re doing what we want them to do.”
He added that it helps to play against an offense as talented as Nebraska’s in practice.
“We know there’s mistakes and with this offense, when you make a mistake, they’ll rip you for 60 so it’s great learning,” he said.
Part of the reason for the Huskers’ improvement could be the new tackling system implemented by head coach Scott Frost.
“One of the keys we talk about is the desire to excel and no fear of failure,” Frost said. “If you’re going to run through a tackle and be aggressive, you’re going to miss some until you get good at it. And I want guys to continue to make the big hit, the splash play, the big impact play, instead of being afraid to go make that play and coming to balance, coming to a stop and giving up yards.”