Lincoln, Neb. — The Nebraska football team worked out in helmets only for over two hours on Thursday inside the Hawks Championship Center.
Head Coach Scott Frost addressed the media after practice to explain who will be filling in for senior defensive lineman Khalil Davis on Saturday. Davis was suspended by the Big Ten for one game because of an incident during the Ohio State game.
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“I know [junior defensive lineman] Ben Stille is ready to be the starter at that position and he’s capable,” Frost said. “He’s worked hard and is ready. Beyond that, [sophomore defensive lineman] Deontre Thomas has been doing good things for us and I’m sure he’ll take some of the reps, but we’ll see beyond that.”
Frost also commented on the physicality of Northwestern.
“That’s the thing you always respect about Northwestern. They play hard and they’re physical and they don’t make mistakes,” Frost said. “Looking at how this season has played out, this is probably as important of a game as it is for them all year. I just got done telling the guys that I think it’s the same for us. I know they’re going to come in ready to play with where their season is. We have to be ready to play where our season is. I expect it to be a physical game. I think they key to the whole game is going to be turnovers. If you look back at last year’s game and everything that happened, if we just hadn’t given them that strip, sack, fumble on defense, we most likely would have won the game. That was the difference between the game. These guys don’t beat themselves very often, so we need to make sure we do the same. They have a really good defense, so we just have to make sure that we’re trying to win the field position battle and a big part of that is not turning the ball over.”
Frost mentioned the turnovers against Ohio State last Saturday.
“If you take care of the ball in practice, you take care of the ball in the game,” Frost said. “Last week they had some special players and a couple of the turnovers were just created by good plays by a couple of guys. I don’t think we were careless with the ball. One sailed throw maybe was careless, but other than that we weren’t careless with the ball. They just made a play and had one land on them, but it has happened too often to just say it’s coincidence. We need to be as dialed in to protecting the football as we possibly can on Saturday.”
Frost talked about the progression of the offense.
“The guys responded really well,” Frost said. “They had fun with each other this week. I think we improved in practice all week. It was a really good Thursday practice today, so I think the guys are as familiar with the game plan and ready to execute it as we have been. We still have to go do it on Saturday and keep from making mistakes.”
Nebraska welcomes Northwestern to Memorial Stadium on Saturday for Homecoming. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. with television coverage provided by Fox.