Monday, November 23, 2015

Black Friday update: Nebraska prepares for #3 Iowa as the fifth Heroes Game is played in Lincoln in 2015

Nebraska first year coach Mike Riley embraced his seniors and all his players
in the transition from Oregon State to Lincoln. Riley and his Huskers will face
Iowa in the Heroes Game on Black Friday, as Nebraska celebrates Senior Day.
2013_Nebraska_insertLincoln, NE --- The Nebraska football team practiced in half pads for 90 minutes on Monday in the Hawks Championship Center and Outdoor Practice Facility, preparing for a Black Friday matchup against the undefeated Iowa Hawkeyes (11-0, 7-0 B1G West) in Lincoln. Nebraska (5-6, 3-4 B1G West) looks to hand Iowa its first loss of the season and earn bowl eligibility.

Nebraska defensive coordinator Mark Banker spoke to the media following practice addressing many of Iowa’s offensive weapons
Iowa junior QB #16 C.J. Beathard leads the Hawkeyes' offense in 2015. He
played in Iowa's 38-17 win in Lincon, back in 2013 in a mop up role.

"We know they’re a quality team,” Banker said. “It starts with their offensive line. They’re extremely well coached in the offensive line…they perform at a very, very high level. Their foot patterns are very good. They’re very strong upfront. Then you go back to the running backs. They’ve got a stable of four different running backs. They use them in various ways… [C.J.] Beathard as a quarterback does a great job of knowing where to go with the ball. He’s got a good sense in the pocket of timing. The do a nice job with the tight-end, more so on third-down with number 80 (Henry Krieger Coble). They just absolutely feed him the ball. Then 89 (Matt VandeBerg) is their go-to guy. He’s got 50 catches. So it’s just a methodical approach to football. They know what they are doing. They’ve got a good system and they do a great job of it.”

Iowa is ranked third coming into Friday’s game and has yet to lose a game this season. Part of that is their efficiency on third-down plays. Banker acknowledged the importance putting Iowa in tough third-down positions. 

Iowa senior RB #33 Jordan Canzeri leads the Hawkeyes in rushing in 2015.
He was a sophomore the last time Iowa played in Lincoln and got some
meaningful snaps. With four running backs to draw from in 2015, the Hawkeye
coaching staff will need to manage the rotation well, if Iowa is going to be
successful again against Nebraska. Canzeri is one of 21 seniors for Iowa.
You’ve got to do a great job on first down to begin with,” Banker said. "Then, from there get to a third down situation that they don’t want to be in. This team, more than any other team we’ve seen this year — we break it down into third and medium and third and long and third and extra long — they have by far, more third and mediums than everybody we’ve seen all year. They get themselves on first or second down, not leaving anymore than somewhere in the range of…four or five yards that they find themselves on third down."

The Big Red will be shooting for their third consecutive win after rolling to a 31-14 victory at Rutgers on Nov. 14.

Nebraska junior FS #25 Nathan Gerry leads the Cornhuskers defense in 2015,
after finishing 2nd in tackles during the 2014 season. The Huskers beat
Iowa 37-34 (in OT) in Iowa City on route to a 9-4 season.
Complete transcripts of the Huskers' conversations at the press conference, including Coach Mike Riley, junior quarterback Tommy Armstrong Jr., junior wide receiver Jordan Westerkamp, senior fullback Andy Janovich, senior defensive tackle Kevin Williams (who will get a 6th season) and senior defensive end Jack Gangwish are available in the links below.

No comments: