Published Tuesday, October 2, 2012 AT 6:59 PM / Updated at 8:02 PM
Practice Report: Papuchis talks Ohio State, defending the deep pass
Sam McKewon Omaha World-Herald

Quick hits from Nebraska’s Tuesday practice, which lasted until 6:15 p.m.

>> Defensive coordinator John Papuchis called Ohio State coach Urban Meyer’s offense “creative, disciplined and explosive”– a touch matchup for any defense.

>> The strongest part of OSU quarterback Braxton Miller’s game, Papuchis said, is how he throws the deep pass. Both Wisconsin and UCLA completed deep passes on the Huskers and drew pass interference penalties. Papuchis said he wants better play out of safeties Daimion Stafford, Harvey Jackson and P.J. Smith.

“I thought they played better in the second half and settled in,” Papuchis said. “We gave up that play on the second play of the game that – give them credit for making the play – but we didn’t handle that very well. We can’t have those explosive-type plays. It leads to points.

“We’ve got to play better early in the game. I thought we’ve played pretty good second halves throughout the year. But I haven’t really liked how we’ve started some of the games. We’ve got to make sure we don’t put ourselves in a hole Saturday night because it’s not going to be that easy to dig ourselves out.”

>> Ohio State runs a lot of spread, one-back sets, Papuchis said, which points to more Ciante Evans at nickel.

“If they stick with what they’re doing, we’ll probably be nickel more than anything else,” Papuchis said.

>> Papuchis said the potential absence of Buckeye running back Jordan Hall — who has a strained PCL — shouldn’t hamper Ohio State much. Carlos Hyde, who is available to play Saturday, ran for 104 yards vs. the Huskers last year.

>> No clear word on whether junior defensive tackle Thad Randle will get the start Saturday. Randle tweaked an already-injured knee in the win over Wisconsin. Papuchis said “we’ll see how the week goes.”

>> Check out Jon Nyatawa’s story Wednesday on how Nebraska’s offense is trying to work through some of the small, nagging mistakes that still dog the unit – despite its explosiveness.

>> Video: Husker football practice (Oct. 2):

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. Joey says:

    I guess that answers for our offensive problems. Wow what LAZY performance at practice. Ya think Ohio St practices this bad. I expect a lazy practice from a HS team that’s lucky if they win 1 game. NOT NU foottball. That couldn’t even be considered a WARM UP..yikes,..not good.

    1. Tom in KC says:

      Hey JOEY….Are you really going to conclude that we have LAZY performance at practice based on a 45 second video???

  2. NUCORNDEVIL says:

    There is no question the intensity, and physicality of practice translates on to the field.
    I can only remind people of Tommy Frazier’s intensity, and his counterparts, Christian, and Jason Peter.
    I welcome anyone to contact any player from the 94 thru 97 NU seasons, and ask them to compare practice intensity.
    The bar was set high by special, intense people.
    Today Pelini continues with Calliham’s Pro ‘Thud up’ practice system, which players do NOT hit or tackle after fall practice.
    More time is spent on film Room, and drills.
    All of Pelini’s teams have rarely practiced full contact as a complete unit, in fear of injury.
    Will explain all the miscues, and D-Line failures.

  3. Larry says:

    Maybe te low intesity/no tackling practices explain our sluggish starts. Until the team gets slapped around and down a couple of scores, it is shear anger that propels the teaqm when able. I doubt that will work with the buckeyes

    1. A Fan says:

      The sluggish starts against quality opponents is a disturbing trend. Not sure if we get to amped up, what it is.

      1. NUCORNDEVIL says:

        Marvin Sanders, Jimmy Williams, Tony Samuels, Grant Winstrom, bleed Husker football, as intense as they come.

        1. ATX HUSKER says:

          How sad, one of the greatest rush ends in NU history, and he can’t get the CornDevil to spell his name correctly. Ouch.

          Sorry CD, I know you are always stuck in 1995, and trust me, I would love to go back too, but it’s never gonna happen again. Just like Notre Dame will never have the 4 Horsemen back, Bud Wilkinson will never be back at OU, and the Pony Express isn’t walkin’ through that door at SMU.

          Point being, what Nebraska did in the mid-90′s, and likewise, what Alabama is doing today is extremely rare, and should be enjoyed at that time. But times come and go, and I don’t think these apices should be used as an example of “setting the bar” for any program.
          Trust me, there will be a time in the not so distant future where Bama fans are calling for the head of the coach and getting tired of 9 win seasons, wishing they could recapture that magic of the 20-10s, and get this team to start practicing harder, dammit!

          1. NUCORNDEVIL says:

            I do it every time, i have cousins with the last name Winstrom…….but at least you got to vent.
            If I’m not mistaken, NU football was relevant from 1970 to 2001, we have had an 11 year drought, tinkering with outsiders.
            I think it is time we get the swagger back, and invest in our roots.

    2. Dennis says:

      Wasn’t no tackle practices what Callahan preached….tackle on Saturdays? Sure Miller can pass, but the HT recognition comes from his RUNNING. But, hey, we handle dual threat QBs well…ask Hundley, Robinson, Miller (last year till he got hurt). We need a very tight, aggressive game plan this weekend.