Published Tuesday, November 8, 2011 AT 8:24 PM / Updated at 6:30 PM
Nebraska-Penn State: Carl Pelini postpractice nuggets
Sam McKewon Omaha World-Herald

Nebraska defensive coordinator Carl Pelini perhaps his longest postpractice interview of the fall so far, touching on a wide variety of defensive topics as NU prepares for Penn State.

Let’s get to it:

>> Redshirt freshman defensive tackle Chase Rome got reps Tuesday and hopes to be good for Saturday after sitting out last with a pulled leg muscle.

“We’re going to play it day by day and see how it goes,” Pelini said.

Rome’s absence made a once-deep defensive line perilously thin in a 28-25 loss to Northwestern. Baker Steinkuhler and Terrence Moore — along with converted offensive lineman Justin Jackson — played most of the snaps.

“We thought were deep at defensive tackle,” Pelini said. “And we were. But we’ve lost four of our six. We’re lucky we were deep but that depth is gone. They’re battling their tails off.”

Pelini said he would not burn the redshirt of Todd Peat, Jr. this late in the season. He was ready to play true freshman Kevin Williams after Williams had a strong spring, but Williams is sitting out this fall with a knee injury.

>> If Rome can’t play, look for junior defensive end Cameron Meredith to slide inside for some snaps. Pelini said NU may use different fronts and incorporate some movement, as well.

>> Though the defensive coordinator, Pelini’s spending “a good 20 minutes per day” with the line right now, and more individual time with the tackles specfically.

>> Penn State’s offensive line will try to wear out NU’s defensive front, Pelini said, with shifty running back Silas Redd bursting to daylight.

“He’s really patient in the hole,” Pelini said. “He’ll duck in there and you’ll think he’s got nothing and then you see him squirt out and there he goes.”

The Nittany Lions’ offensive structure is similar to that of Michigan State, Pelini said, but “it’s much more run-oriented.”

>> As a result, look for Nebraska to use nickel and base personnel Saturday — not much dime. Senior nickel back Lance Thorell was limited in practice Tuesday, and played hurt through much of Saturday’s loss to Northwestern. Thorell struggled at times in coverage against the Wildcats’ speedy slot receivers.

“Don’t be too hard on Lance,” Pelini said. “…There’s something about being tough and there’s about being too tough and not communicating with coaches things that are going on with you during the game. We love his toughness, but maybe he was a little bit handicapped in that game.”

>> At corner, sophomore corner Andrew Green has solidified his hold on the second starting corner spot, holding off sophomore Stanley Jean-Baptiste.

“Andrew’s playing very well,” Pelini said. “He’s got to keep coming.”

About Sam McKewon

Sam McKewon covers Nebraska football for The World-Herald. Got a tip, question or rant? Good. Email him at And follow him on Twitter at @swmckewonOWH. And call him at 402.219.3790.


  1. Old Timer says:


    If any one held you to your professed standards, you would be a weeping pile of crud.

    1. Stephen Johnson says:

      Please stop feeding the Hidef troll. He is not a fan and is just really boring. By responding to him you are even more boring. Ignore his comments completely. He will eventually go away.

      1. Highdef says:

        Name-calling instead of counterpoint again, S Johnson? Like so many others, if you don’t agree, fine. Just bring something to the table that’s an actual thought of your own.

  2. Mike says:

    Thanks for this Sam. Hope we’ll be seeing your post game commentaries again soon, tho I appreciate your lead article summarizing every game for the OWH.

    Folks seem to forget how young this team is, and how many coaches are getting their first shot at the big time. CarlP is a good example, as Bo moves to CEO. Jeez, guys, every game in this new league is a fresh start. And if you haven’t noticed, nobody is immune from the upset bug. I would rather be a Husker in the Big 10 any day of the week than a member of the football crazy SEC. The Big 10 has some perspective on things. Which is why Paterno is toast.

    Repeat to yourself;
    “Not the victory but the action; Not the goal but the game; In the deed the glory.”

    1. Highdef says:

      What’s wrong with the “football crazy SEC”? That statement doesn’t really back up your opinion. And trust me, I can’t stand the SEC. Calling them crazy is flattery, don’t ya think?

    2. NUCORNDEVIL says:

      its been a fresh start every year for someone, something or someplace……….when will the excuse end, this isnt Baylor, I dont see any team in the country regardless of tenure @ coaching, producing the EPIC fails, this Pelini bunch produces year in and year out.
      Nobody could catch the ball against Texas, nobody could hold on to the ball against Iowa State, The offense melts against A&M, Oklahoma, Washington, and Wisconsin, its not like they just lost, they looked like 3rd graders getting dominated. It was like a season of Tom Osbornes bowl games against Florida teams.
      @ least Calliham could score points and develop a QB and offense, he did wonders with mediocre QB talent, if only he had a DC.
      This team is severely unbalanced, and under coached, Pelini keeps talking about ‘execution’, I’m not sure if he understands this, but, he IS the ‘execution’ coach, this is his ‘process’, a process I might add that allows his players to sleep walk into a game. Its his job to not let that happen, I could give two sh!ts about Oklahoma, or any other ranked team that lost to an unranked team in the last 30 years. Thats their problem, doesnt mean we can use it as an EXCUSE, and doesnt make it ok. I remember seasons where NU had maybe 15 penalties all year, I know, I know, this isnt the mid 90′s, yet another EXCUSE!!!!!! When will they end?
      Its not the team thats young, its this coaching staff thats in over their heads, these kids will always be 19 to 23 forever……………………..

      1. Highdef says:

        .. you write with good wisdom and thought, Devil. It’s sad that when you and I post severe, critical comments that we’re made out to be pure evil. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it every day until things change: I REFUSE to be a Stepford Fan, blindly following the status quo, just BECAUSE. That’s not me, and it’s never been NU, either. If we didn’t believe in Husker potential, we wouldn’t waste our breath. But it’s there, we can be great again. But things are still broken and it’s not getting better.

        You’re right. How much longer will we continue to get the same coachspeak excuses? How many crybaby QB and Coach rant and raves will we have to endure during post-game losses before things are changed?

        I will accept an away loss in the Big House at Michigan. And, WE will be hard-pressed to overcome the Paterno debacle, and may face a huge loss at PSU. Their fans don’t take kindly to bad-mouthing their hero, either.

        So when our Huskers come rolling back into Lincoln for the final home game of the year against a completely beatable Iowa team, what happens after that loss? What do we discuss and write about here at that point? “Fundamentals”? “Execution”? “Wanting it less than they did”??

        1. J says:

          Tom Osborne had 1 more win than Pelini during the same time frame. It took, Tom 26 years to win a national championship. Setting the bar high is one thing. Believing that we should win or be in a National Championship game every year is ridiculous. Revisionist history is always dangerous.

  3. Solly says:

    FYI, Highdef, a player can only spend 20 hours a week with his players, and 20 minutes constitute a ton of rep time during a practice, and it’s every day of practice.

    But thanks for sharing the full depth of your football knowledge.

    1. Highdef says:

      Solly, proofread your babble the next time you post. “a player can only spend 20 hours a week with his players”??? HUH..? Thanks for sharing your full depth of IQ with us.

  4. Solly says:

    20 hours a week with his coaches.

  5. after you're gone says:

    mike-keep on making excuses for this coaching staff. after 4 years you should be pretty good.

    1. QB Club 10 says:

      20 minutes of concentrated time each day with one position is actually a great deal. In a college practice that constitutes nearly all of the position group time. I think Carl is doing the what he can do with the time they get within the rules.

      1. Highdef says:

        .. we can only hope then that “carl” spends more time with them in the film room. After this loss, there needs to be more personal interaction, player and coach. Something is missing somewhere.

    2. Highdef says:

      RIGHT ON!!

      1. Highdef says:


  6. Ed says:

    C’mon folks. All we heard all spring and summer, and into the fall,was how deep, how fast, how everything this current version of NU would be and how they were right behind UW as the second best team in the Big Ten and would win the Legends. It was bunk then and still bunk. The Big Ten has proven to be much tougher to navigate than the Big 12 and how many Big 12 crowns did they win? Yeh, that’s what I thought. Maybe next year, when they’ll be deeper, faster, . . .

    1. QB Club 10 says:

      Then get a new team Ed. Parity is a real part of college ball. We all feel things could have been better on Saturday. Maybe Penn State would welcome you as a fan.

      Where is your Husker Pride man.

      1. Highdef says:

        … hey ya QB club 10, .. how many more years of “parity” ya hopin’ for there, pal? 2.. 5.. 8 1/2 ??? There’s a difference between your phoney pride and fan reality. If you’re a fan without any goals, MAYBE YOU SHOULD GET A NEW TEAM, .. LIKE SMU..

        1. Husker Jay says:


        2. J says:

          Osborne did it with no scholarship limits and the ability to recruit partial qualifiers. I wonder if he would have been able to continue his era of dominance with the current handicaps. Lincoln is not as desirable to live as Gainsville, Tuscaloosa, Baton Rouge, LA.

          We’ll have excellent years and not so excellent years.

      2. UltimaRatioRegum says:

        No, QB, Ed’s point is valid. I too, am tired of the same muttered coachspeak that is just evasive hocum. It just begins to feel dishonest when you realize the QB competition really wasn’t all that competitive (or even real), the line play really isn’t at the level the coaches reported, ‘nicked up’ really means the player is at 50%, and you keep hearing the SAME mumbled prevarications over and over and over. They become meaningless.

    2. Highdef says:

      COULDN’T -AGREE- MORE, ED! So many Stepford Fans here, like I’ve said all along. You try to talk some intelligent, common sense with ‘em, and they think that you’re not a Husker, just a basher, or God forbid, the dreaded “TROLL”.

      Not only were we fed the info that the Huskers were gonna be real good this year, this has been going on for nearly FOUR full years! When does the learning curve turn into a bee-line out of Lincoln for those who aren’t up to par? I’m glad “we’re” in the Big 10. But ED, you’re exactly right… how many B12 Championships have we won, playing blind man’s bluff here… ? zero..

  7. after you're gone says:

    qb club 10-nice touch including your iq in with your name. ed has a point. husker pride is beating teams like northwestern at home, not getting embarrased by a team with a losing record and a defense ranked in the nineties. you-qb club 10-need to change teams-not ed.

    1. Highdef says:

      .. you mean MICH STATE at home? We haven’t beaten Northwestern for many years.

      1. Highdef says:

        I meant we haven’t lost to Northwestern for many years (until this year)

      2. after you're gone says:

        husker pride is beating teams like northwestern. i realize we didn’t and that is the point. losing to unranked teams, especially at home,has never been acceptable and never is the norm these days and (fans?) like qbclub10, mike and solly have no problem with it. that is disturbing.

        1. NUCORNDEVIL says:


          1. Highdef says:

            2nd amen.

  8. Joey says:

    I’m sorry but I have to agree,I’m TIRED of Bo pampering T-Tragic!!! Jamal Turner can run a better option game than than our starting qb, so could Carnes, and so could Marsh. Everyone knows on ANY given day they could PASS BETTER!!!! Now that the HUSKERS BEST “D” has graduated, Bo seems to think rankings means nothing when it comes to recruits. But is IGNORING the seasons STATS, that almost resemble CALLAHAN’S “D”. Because he recruits the SLOWEST DL line that even NORTHWESTERN can run circles around. 4 years, NO staying in the TOP 10, 4 YEARS NO division title, 4 YEARS and we keep losing to UNRANKED TEAMS, 4 years we’ve only had 2 good qb’s because Zac Lee & Taylor Martinez made the starter position because of their fathers name ( 1 was in the NFL, & the other rolling in $$$$ ), 4 years it’s ALWAYS the same escuses by Bo. 1st it was our offense that looked PATHETIC, now it’s our DEFENSE, and OUR STARTING QB. We look more like the OLD MIZZOU, put everything out to beat 1 team, and get our butts kicked by every other team in the division. NU should change their names to the Nebraska Colts ( Count On Losing This Saturday ) I’ve been a die HARD Husker fan, for 4 years I come on here to defend Bo and his coaching staff. I got tired of making excuses for Bill, and I’m getting very sick of making excuses for Bo!!!! This college has become NOTHING MORE than a POLITICAL PLAYGROUND. NU fans pay hundreds upon hundreds of their hard earn money to sit in the bleachers, so they can go home and listen to escuses???? You can sit at home and turn on the TV, and listen to ALL those LIEING politicians, and make escuses so they get RELECTED!!! Just like politicians, just like Bo, we hear excuses, AND NOTHING CHANGES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. Chuck says:

      Rather than try to cut all the garbage out of that post, just a couple of completely untrue items about your juvenile rant; 1. Please look at the stats, even though this is subpar for a Bo Pelini defense, it’s not half as bad as the best Cosgrove D. There not in the same zipcode, state or country, the Callahan era defenses were pathetic. 2. NU has won 2 division titles in Bo’s first 3 years, not zero. 3. It is excuses, not escuses (what are you, 12?). Finally, there is nothing political about anything that goes on with the play on the field. Stop trying to make up junk to put your caps lock on throw a few too many exclamation points in and rant about things, as you may not have learned yet in the sixth grade, have nothing do with anything. Come back when you’re out of Junior High.

  9. Terry Darnall says:

    I watched last weeks game. I tried to break down the game like coaches do on Sundays. I noticed that Rodriquez and Hardrick were not blocking anybody anytime. With 10 minutes left in the 3rd quarter, we had a 4th and 2. Burkhead took the handoff and went left, and immediately had 3 lineman on him. Why? Four offensive lineman missed their blocks. Again, Hardrick and Rodriquez whiffed completely, they blocked air. Caputo barely got a shoulder on someone, and Long whiffed. Long showed immediate displeasure with himself. I was happy to see that Hardrick and Rodriquez were taken out of the game. I’ve have felt for some time that Sirles and Choi should be starting. We will see this week who starts.
    On Defense the two who were getting beat time and time again, were Ciante Evans, in fact I don’t think he defended one pass all day. And Lance Thorell was getting beat too. I guess he had an injury, but then he should have been replaced with Baptiste or somebody. Evans should not be on the field for NU. He has not progressed infact he has gotten worse. If NU continues to play these guys, we will continue to lose.

    1. Highdef says:

      Some very good points there, Terry. I called out one player here by name, and got the wrath of God for not being a “fan” and needing to “get a life”. You’re living dangerously. lol. But you’re one of the smart ones here.

  10. NorthTexasHusker says:

    How long ago were the 90′s? Now that was Nebraska Football at it’s finest. But, time moves on. I like Bo. I hate his demeanor on the sidelines. The pre-season hype that the “N” was going to win the B10 reminded me of last season regarding the Red Out and Nebraska beating Texas and winning the B12. I just knew that neither scenario would happen. I understand losses happen…I don’t like them, and like you fellas, hurt when they happen. But Northwestern? Really? Come on! Northwestern? This is wehere I will sound like a NU homer, but I will continue to support the University and this football program. TO is at the helm (for how much longer though) and will surely help right the ship. Or at least I can hope. Some of these players seem to be the caliber that Frank Solich would have recruited and we know what happened to Frank.

    NU 82″

    Proud to be Husker

  11. Tbear says:

    I am not a koolaide drinker either, but some of you guys want to bring down the house! I do agree with you that Bo has failed to develop a good quaterback after Joe Ganz’s departure and we have suffered each season for it. T-Mart is getting better in many ways, but I would prefer well, a Joe Ganz type of player (remember how lightly recurited he was?) who thinks pass first, then run if I have too (maybe like a Dan Persa). I certainly think the Pelini’s can coach talent as they have demonstrated that at NU, LSU and again at NU. The real question is can they recruit it. Certainly made some good finds with Rex, David, Dennard, Gomes, etc. but the depth of recruits is not here yet which causes games like last week. We have to recognize that Lincoln is not a place that appeals to kids from the south and on the coasts so it is an uphill battle. The only thing we have going for us is the fan base and the passion for it.

    As for this week, I think it w/b a good move to invite the Penn St. players/coaches/fans for a prayer and moment of silence before the game (not after) for any and all victims of child sexual abuse. The road to heal these sins will be long, but should start with us on Saturday..

  12. DJ says:

    I agree with Tony Darnall 100% that Ciante Evans should be on the field. I guess I am the only one seeing whining like a baby against Wisconsin. At least next year Andrew Green and Stanley-Jean Baptiste starting at corner.
    Is Ray Guy any good or not?