Husker offense backs Sims at QB, defense looking for more turnovers
LINCOLN, Neb - As Nebraska heads into their home opener this weekend with Northern Illinois, the offense and defense continue to trend in different directions.
On offense, the Huskers continue struggles with turnovers, and have yet to score in the first half in the first two contests this season. Defensively, the Blackshirts are a top-10 rushing defense, and lead the nation in sacks.
On the offensive side, Jeff Sims' teammates continued to show support for their quarterback.
"Jeff is handling this adversity really good," running back Gabe Ervin Jr. said. "He's keeping himself up along the way and handling it mentally."
Tight end Thomas Fidone caught the first touchdown reception of his career late in Saturday's 36-14 loss to #18 Colorado. Fidone says, what gives him confidence in Sims under center, is a short memory.
"Everyone's going to have those moments, you just have to bounce back from them," Fidone said. "He doesn't let one play define the next. He does a great job bouncing back and you wouldn't be able to tell something bad just happened."
For offensive lineman Ben Scott, he believes it's not all on Sims, but successes and failures result from the offensive unit collectively.
"I trust Jeff back there," Scott said. "Not all of it is on him. It's us as an offensive as a whole. We have to clean stuff up and get going."
Defensively, Nebraska's 11 sacks have them tied for the nation lead with Tennessee. Additionally, Nebraska is allowing 56.5 rushing yards per game ranking eighth nationally and second in the Big Ten. If there's one thing the Blackshirts would like to see more of, it's turnovers.
"We know we're a good a defense, but to be a great defense you've gotta get turnovers," defensive back Isaac Gifford said. "And you've got to get the offense the ball in good spots so we still have some stuff to clean up."
"We're going to force the ball over and get a lot of turnovers this year," linebacker Mikai Gbayor said. "We're going to be a great defense, we are a great defense, and we're just going to get better everyday."
Nebraska meets with Northern Illinois for the fifth all time meeting between the two schools on Saturday. The Huskies enter with a 1-1 record, a win on the road at Boston College in week one, before a 14-11 loss to Southern Illinois last week.
Kick off is set for 6:00 p.m. central time, 5:00 p.m. mountain time.