The statistical trend is what Nebraska’s defense needs to reverse

Dissecting Nebraska’s issues over the past four to five years tends to focus on certain parts of the program. There are special teams that seem to be well documented. There is an inability to win close and late. There has been a lot of discussion about skill players, offensive line and of course coaching.

One thing that has changed dramatically over the past two seasons, and it explains why Nebraska’s defense, which was vastly improved since 2019, has not lived up to its potential. In 2018 and 2019 the Huskers forced a combined 41 turnovers in 24 games. The Huskers forced just 20 turnovers over the next 20 games.

All of those extra possessions led to points or a loss of field position and didn’t help the Huskers set up any offense.

2021: 13 takeaways

2020: 7 takeaways (in a short 8 game season)

2019: 21 takeaways

2018: 20 takeaways

Given Nebraska’s own issue with turning it over — 79 times in that stretch — it’s no surprise the Huskers didn’t often finish close games or collect wins.

But if the 2022 Nebraska team can return markedly better than the 2018 and 2019 numbers, it could go a long way for the entire team, especially if the Huskers maintain leverage from other parts of the defense in 2020. and 2021.

This group has the potential to be very disruptive with a pass rushing unit that could be the strength of the defense and a secondary that could be on par with the last two seasons. Those two things should result in more opportunities for interceptions, but the Huskers should also come down with the ball. A look at the Oklahoma game last year shows the missed opportunities that flipped the game even more than the point-after-touchdown attempt.

Brian Kristofferson on the podcast points out the craziness of how few fumbles Nebraska has recovered over the last two years. Many smart football people talk about how fumble luck is not quantifiable because it has high variability from year to year. Nebraska could certainly stand to use some good luck after recovering just five fumbles over the last 20 games.

And it’s no way Eric Chinder Things wanted to go. The longtime defensive coordinator presided over a UCF defense that absolutely ruined life with takeaways, hauling in 32 total tackles with 12 fumble recoveries and 20 interceptions in a magical 2017 season.

It was a true destruction defense. Nebraska wants to be in 2022.


The crew at Husker247 on Monday wrote down each newcomer they’re looking forward to seeing while I focus Tommy HillA name in the back of my mind was the expected starter at placekicker Timmy Blackroad.

Bleekrode has a lot riding on his legs, which he arrives to replace Connor CulpA former Big Ten Kicker of the Year who committed in 2021.

If Bleekrode is consistent between 35 and 45 yards it will be a huge boon for a Nebraska team that never knows if it will score points on stalled drives inside the opponent’s 30-yard line.

A constant kicking game makes life easier Casey Thompson, Mark Whipple And nearly two million Nebraska fans.

We don’t know much about Bleekrode, but he was successful at Furman and hopefully he can be as successful for Nebraska.


Charleston spoke to a group of Nebraska fans in Omaha this afternoon and one of the things they were most interested in was what Trev Alberts is doing with those poll results at Memorial Stadium.

It seems unlikely that anything will be different for 2022, but the athletic department should be serious about a stadium renovation that includes widening the seats for fans and creating a better experience that mirrors the 2020 production.

How do you want to handle renewal? What do you want to do?

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