October 30, 2007

NU Notes: Defense feeds off the blitz

Even though the statistics may not show it, the Nebraska defense played arguably their most inspired game of the season last week against Texas.

A lot of the extra fire and emotion NU played with had to do with the fact the Huskers blitzed over 75 percent of the time, compared to only 19 percent in the previous eight games.

Sophomore linebacker Phillip Dillard said he had a lot of fun playing in defensive coordinator Kevin Cosgrove's blitz heavy package last week.

"That was pretty fun actually, because you've got to get pressure on Colt McCoy," Dillard said. "It was fun. It is really funny when not that many teams have blitzed him this year, and you see his eyes get big when we bring a whole bunch of people and he goes crazy. Their offensive line got shook up and everything and kept jumping. It was enjoyable. It was really fun."

A lack of emotion and fire has been the biggest problem with the defense this year. Dillard said the aggressive style NU featured last week brought more of that out against Texas and he's hoping they do it again this week.

"There was way more energy because each play somebody was getting hit," Dillard said. "Everyone was always slapping each other, which you have not really seen that much from us this year. This game, everyone was blitzing. Every time someone was getting hit and you could hear it.

"Everyone was feeding off that. Our crowd and even Texas' crowd was booing when their quarterback got hit. It was bringing a lot of energy. The offense was getting up off the bench and congratulating us. It just brought a lot of fire. It worked pretty well."

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