October 10, 2008

Voices from the Scrolls: Fixing the penalty issues

You the fans asked, and the Huskers have answered. In this week's edition of Voices from the Scrolls, we've picked five of the numerous questions submitted by our readers and asked them to Nebraska's players and coaches themselves. Here are their answers:


What kind of things does the defense work on during the week concerning mistakes and mental breakdowns? - beaglehusker


"Here's where I believe we are as a defense: Communication is an issue. We've got to get better with that. But that comes with confidence. I see over and over again where our guys are right, they know they're right and they want to say it, but they don't have the confidence to call it out. They're still worried about being wrong and making a mistake. The point there is what we have to get across to them as coaches is it's OK to talk. Even if you're saying the wrong thing, now we know where we are, and either A, someone is going to correct you, or B, you'd rather all be on the same page even if it's the wrong page. That's just the evolution of teaching a new scheme, and we need to keep getting better at that, and we are. We're stressing it every day. Getting these guys to talk is a priority for us as coaches." - defensive coordinator Carl Pelini


What is the root cause of all the penalties? Frustration? Being out of position or some other reason? - grunt167


"It comes down to keeping your focus and keeping your composure. A lot of these penalties have been the result of mental mistakes on our part, whether it's a late hit or a personal foul or whatever. Part of that is just being aggressive, but it's also a part of us not staying focused in key situations. We need to do a much better job of that and stop shooting ourselves in the foot, but at the same time, we're still going to be aggressive. We just need to be smarter out there." - Carl Pelini


"That's something we have to take care of as the offense. It's just paying attention to details in practice. We can't go in on Tuesday and have a couple of false starts and brush it off, because that stuff is going to come back and show up on Saturday. We have to pay attention to that stuff during the week, and I think we're going to heighten that attention to detail." - senior wide receiver Todd Peterson


First road game of the year. What do you look forward to most when on the road? - dantheman83


"It's not that different besides the travel part. I kind of like going on the road. It's fun running on the field getting booed and having people throw stuff at you. It's pretty fun." - senior quarterback Joe Ganz


"You're basically there as a team and you just have each other. This is our true test to see if we hit adversity when we're by ourselves and we don't have our fans behind us. I like that challenge." - junior defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh[db]


At 52-10, why not bring in Patrick Witt for the fourth quarter? - KC-Husker


"You keep him in because you're still working on things, and he still needs to work on things. I mean, we need to get better. That's evident. We've got a lot of things that need to get better. We kept Joe in because we need to do that as a unit. We've got a long season still ahead of us, and we need to get better." offensive coordinator [db]Shawn Watson


What has happened in regards to the defense improving in the number of turnovers we get? - ssmill777


"There could be way more of those we could've had. We know we can do better. We're trying to get better every week, hopefully that turns into more turnovers." - senior cornerback Armando Murillo


"That's still a very important goal for us. Have we gotten the number of turnovers we would've liked at this point? No, but that doesn't mean that that's still not something we strive for in every game. It all comes down to being in the right spots and making plays. We've been in the right spots at times, but we just haven't made the plays. But we're going to keep working at it, and hopefully we'll start seeing that number grow." - defensive backs coach Marvin Sanders

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