Nebraska considering defensive overhaul

The SportsXchange

Only two games into the season, Nebraska coaches are contemplating personnel changes on defense.

That's what happens when your opponent was a couple of kneel-downs away from accumulating the most yards ever against a Nebraska defense. As it was, UCLA amassed 653 yards, prompting an early-season evaluation by the NU staff.

"Everybody is in the equation right now," first-year defensive coordinator John Papuchis said. "If we have to work 24 hours a day for the next seven days, and really for the next three months, we're going to figure it out."

NU coach Bo Pelini said he's been sick to his stomach since the 36-30 loss in the Rose Bowl, a loss he described as embarrassing.

"I felt we should have won that football game. We didn't," Pelini said. "You know, it hurts. It's hard to live with. But you have to move on. You have to. That's part of the deal. It's part of this profession. It's sickening to you, but you can't turn back the clock."

Pelini said he's dissecting "every little piece of what we've got to do," particularly on defense, where a bevy of freshmen could figure into the mix.

While Nebraska is a considerable favorite Saturday, its defense will face a challenge from an Arkansas State team coached by Gus Malzahn, who had major success as the offensive coordinator at Auburn.

Arkansas State runs a spread attack and currently ranks seventh nationally in total offense, averaging 574.5 yards a game.

"We will be tested," Pelini said. "We need to get better against that offense. It comes kind of at the right time for us. We need to make a jump and evaluate how far we are coming."
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