Published Wednesday, November 14, 2012 AT 8:13 PM / Updated at 9:51 PM
Playing the (passing) percentages
Rich Kaipust Omaha World-Herald

Nebraska assistant coach Terry Joseph contends that he wouldn’t even know the statistic without people bringing it to his attention.

The Huskers are allowing opponents to complete just 46.4 percent of their passes. No team at the Football Bowl Subdivision level is doing it better.

How?

“Basically what we’re trying to do defensively, especially on the back end, is we want to challenge every throw,” said Joseph, NU’s secondary coach. “And that means that we want to make them work for every completion that they get. So if we can put bodies on bodies and we can be in the right spot, we’re going to be there to challenge the throw. But we still got to finish.”

Joseph said Wednesday the credit also doesn’t just go to the secondary. The low number also is the byproduct of the Huskers’ pass rush and the linebackers’ work on underneath coverages.

In Big Ten play, only Wisconsin has managed to complete better than 50 percent of its passes against Nebraska at 15 of 28. Both Michigan and Michigan State finished just 9 of 27 against the Huskers.

Joseph said for now, however, the “number is just a number.” The staff will take a closer look at it all after the season concludes.

NU would take another low one Saturday against Minnesota, though.

“It goes to the whole defense that we’re in the right spots a lot more, and I think that’s why we’re having a little bit more success,” Joseph said. “But I still think we have a little ways to go to get there.”

About Rich Kaipust

Rich Kaipust is a staff writer for The Omaha World-Herald and covers Nebraska football. You can follow Rich on Twitter (@RKaipustOWH) or email him at rich.kaipust@owh.com