LINCOLN, Neb. — In Nebraska’s final practice before a week off, the Huskers quarterbacks noticeably struggled for the first time this spring on Thursday.
Nebraska did a significant amount of practice in the red zone, where both redshirt junior Tanner Lee and redshirt freshman Patrick O’Brien struggled finding open receivers.
Offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf said after practice he thought both quarterbacks tried to force too many throws, and didn’t throw enough check-downs.
“I think sometimes those guys think they can zip it into a tight window and forcing the ball can be a mistake,” Langsdorf said.
Langsdorf said that until the practice Thursday, both quarterbacks had done a pretty good job of not throwing interceptions this spring. But the windows for throws get tighter in the red zone, and seemed to have led to the interceptions, Langsdorf said.
“Today, they just forced too many,” he said.
Head coach Mike Riley said the defensive backs had a good practice — the Huskers’ final workout before spring break — particularly senior Chris Jones, redshirt freshman Dicaprio Bootle and sophomore JoJo Domann, all of whom had interceptions in the red-zone drill.
“Not so good quarterbacking and offensively in that way,” Riley said. “Those windows get tight and guys are making some plays.”
Some other notes from practice today:
- Senior DB Joshua Kalu played a significant amount of safety on Thursday, while sophomore DB Lamar Jackson took his place at corner. This was the first time coaches have tried this coverage, Riley said. It seemed like it went pretty well.
- Junior RB Devine Ozigbo did not practice much, Langsdorf saying he has been “banged up.”
- Freshman WR Keyshawn Johnson Jr., cleared to practice Tuesday, participated in drills on Thursday. He did not have on pads and must go through two more practices with just shorts, as per protocol, Riley said. But he should be able to put on pads and practice full speed shortly after the Huskers return from spring break.