Nebraska defensive coordinator Bob Diaco has a tough game ahead of him against Ohio State on Saturday, and he can take some lessons from the Huskers’ loss to Wisconsin.
“If you’re a fierce competitor, you don’t like sitting here at 3-3,” he said.
But he said his defense didn’t get “beat up, pushed, around or mauled” in Nebraska’s 38-17 loss to the Badgers.
“That did not happen,” Diaco told reporters Tuesday night. “With a 1:20 left in the first half, they had not scored a touchdown yet. And then a ridiculous play, completely preventable — and give them credit — but we caused that score at 1:20. We did. Nobody got knocked down. It was a few busts, systematically, on that play.
“And then with five minutees to play in the third quarter, they hadn’t scored their second touchdown of the game. So the game should not have got to ground and pound. It’s unfortunate it got to ground and pound.”
He lamented those scores, as well as Wisconsin’s final touchdowns.
“Every single play is correctable. Not players. It was plays, and the plays are correctable. You can’t help but be encouraged, I would think. I was encouraged. I mean, [I was] disappointed, I don’t want to minimize that for Husker nation, disappointed, but encouraged for the future.”
On the keys to defending Ohio State’s read option:
“I think eye discipline and systematic clarity. I think that’s a big deal.” Diaco said. “Not trying to throw a bunch of stuff at things, but that the players know their job on each down because you need to have the dive and alley and the forced defend on every down. With their ability to throw the ball down the field as it looks like runs, that is be the next element. So, the defensive backs have to have clean eyes and be on their work as it relates to receivers. The front needs to be on their work as it relates to dive, alley and force.”
On Ohio State freshman RB J.K. Dobbins, who is averaging 7.6 yards per attempt.
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