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** 2022 Opponent Previews : Illinois (Game 8) **

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14 hours ago, SouthLincoln Husker said:

Illinois has played some offensive juggernauts.  4 of which are in the bottom 40 in total offense & Wisconsin is not far behind being 77.

SP+ (which adjust for opponent and tempo) has defenses as


1 Iowa

2 Illinois

3 Minnesota

8 Michigan

17 Wisconsin



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42 minutes ago, SouthLincoln Husker said:

Bad numbers as 4 of these played no one outside the conference.

That is just a silly comment.  If you've made it through 6 games with these numbers, you are pretty good on defense no matter who you've played.  Our offense is going to struggle the rest of the season. 

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Nebraska's defense has struggled with tackling this season so those Chase Brown yards after contact numbers are something the defense better prepare for (ex. wrap up, hold on, gang tackle) during the extra bye time.


Tommy DeVito, Illinois' QB, is a game manager; not a play maker.


Defensive Game Plan:

  • Stack the box, maintain gap integrity, get to Chase Brown in the backfield, wrap up (don't over-pursue), hang on and gang tackle until he [Chase Brown] is on the ground or the refs blow the whistle.
  • Force Tommy DeVito to consistently beat you with his arm and not his legs or Chase Browns' legs. A lot of DeVito's completions and yards come off play-action so corners and safety in coverage cannot get caught looking in the backfield; let the front 7/8 focus on the run.
  • Blitzers should focus on Chase Brown first and adjust to Tommy DeVito once they see DeVito is passing/keeping.
  • Illinois is coming off a bye too so maintain focus and discipline to thwart trick plays.
  • A lot of zone and match zone (corners go with receivers first on action to running back and adjust accordingly to help with run) with the strong safety coming down to support the linebackers in the box to stop the run game.
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Just now, Xmas32 said:

If Nebraska can somehow jump out to an early lead this game might be interesting as they might be able to force Illinois to get a little more one-dimensional.  DeVito is basically welfare Joel Stave.


Chase Brown is a hammer and will be a PITA to deal with.  


DeVito is not exactly a dual-threat, but he's far from Joel Stave. I agree we have to make them throw, but even then he can extend plays a bit and they have some lengthy receivers and a playmaker in Isaiah Williams. I also just don't see it happening unless Reimer and the DL play out of their minds, and another LB figures out how to tackle. Brown might get 40 carries again.

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I am actually excited about this game.  Looking forward to it.


(Coaches) You got 2 weeks to focus on one thing: contain the running game


And if your Corners/DBs play back, you are setting yourself up for a disaster.


Be Blackshirts.  Contain the run game.  Be physical at the LOS with the DBs, and challenge THE OPPONENT (illinois) to make big plays over and over to beat you.  


I mean, every team in the west wants the Huskers to allow them space and lots of plays to get it done.  Enough is enough.  Scheme it up and go get them.  


After the game though, I don't want to hear "wow, Chase Brown is a good back"....... because we already know that.


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