Defense Dominates Second Scrimmage

By NU Athletic Communications
Cory Ross provided a bright spot for the Husker offense, carrying eight times for 49 yards.
Cory Ross provided a bright spot for the Husker offense, carrying eight times for 49 yards.
Photo by Scott Bruhn/Nebraska Communications

Lincoln -- The Nebraska defensive units effectively shut down the Husker offense Saturday during the second major scrimmage of spring practice at Memorial Stadium. 

The defense held the offense to just 263 total yards during the scrimmage, limiting the offense to just 110 yards rushing on 63 carries, and 153 yards passing on 29 attempts.  The Husker defenders also forced seven turnovers, hauling in three interceptions while recovering four fumbles.

Nebraska's defensive players put extreme pressure on the Husker quarterbacks all day, posting nine sacks with 2.5 sacks each from rush ends Trevor Johnson and Adam Carriker.  Nebraska also notched eight other tackles for loss.

"I thought the defense ran hard and played well," head coach Frank Solich said.  "For the most part they prevented the big play with a couple of exceptions when the lower units were on the field."

The only major mistake the defense made on the afternoon came on Garth Glissman's 39-yard touchdown pass to Kiffin Wigert.  It was the only touchdown allowed by the defense.  The offense also mustered a drive that resulted in a 35-yard field goal.

"The offense was really limited," Solich said.  "Jammal (Lord) has a strained muscle and was not able to accelerate.  We did not run the option at all with any units.  If pass protection broke down, he wasn't able to scramble out of it."

Lord did complete 3-of-5 passes for 24 yards, but his first attempt was intercepted by linebacker Steve Safranek to set the tone for the defense on the day.  Lord, who continues to wear the protective green jersey during the spring, was sacked three times on defensive touches.

Along with sacks from Carriker (2.5-20) and Johnson (2.5-15), Benard Thomas added 1.5 sacks for eight yards lost, while Jeff McBride also notched a sack, forcing a fumble by Glissman on the play.  Nathan Krug, Seppo Evwaraye and Titus Adams each recorded half sacks on the afternoon.

Linebacker Chad Buller also enjoyed a big day on defense, returning a fumble 23 yards, while adding a tackle for loss.  Ryon Bingham, Tyler Toline and Curt Tomasevicz added fumble recoveries, while Kevin Guse and Terrell Butler added interceptions for the defense.

Cory Ross led the Huskers offensively, carrying eight times for 49 yards, while Robin Miller added 32 yards on seven carries. 

"Cory Ross showed well today," Solich said.  "He's a guy that runs not very high off the ground, and has good quickness and moves well."

Glissman led the quarterbacks by completing 4-of-8 passes for 70 yards and one touchdown.  Brett Lindstrom completed 4-of-6 passes for 35 yards with one interception.  Curt Dukes also saw his first action of the spring, completing 1-of-2 passes for 11 yards and an interception.

"Curt Dukes saw some action today, although he wore a green jersey.  His leg is not fully recovered, but it was good that he got some snaps.  The backup quarterbacks have a ways to go and there is not a lot of time to do that.  We need to make good use of next week."

Nebraska will not practice on Sunday, but coaches and players will meet to watch film in the afternoon.  Spring practice resumes on Monday at 3:15 p.m.  The Huskers will also practice on Wednesday and Friday next week in preparation for Saturday's Spring Game, which is scheduled for a 12:30 p.m. kickoff.


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