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FOOTBALL

Husker notes: Mickey Joseph wants to reassess Nebraska's playing rotation

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Oklahoma vs. Nebraska, 9.17

Nebraska offensive coordinator Mark Whipple (left) and interim head coach Mickey Joseph walk together on the sidelines during the game against Oklahoma on Saturday at Memorial Stadium.

Sam McKewon, with the Omaha World-Herald, breaks down the Oklahoma vs. Nebraska football game at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln on Saturday, September 17, 2022. Oklahoma won the game 49-14.

LINCOLN — Time to dig deep, both in players’ hearts and on Nebraska’s depth chart.

After the Huskers’ 49-14 loss to Oklahoma on Saturday, interim coach Mickey Joseph says NU needs to reassess its playing rotation.

“We can re-evaluate some players,” Joseph said Saturday. “We’ve got some young kids that got some snaps and had some good snaps, I thought. So we’ll look at some young players and see if they can help us. If they can help us, we’ll increase their reps.”

Those reps will depend on fundamentals. Along the offensive line, Joseph thinks NU is still searching for the best combination of blockers. Young players and backups are under consideration for playing time.

On defense, Joseph’s requirements are simple: fit your gap and tackle. He plans to “dissect” Saturday’s film and find the players who can execute that vision.

If those players weren’t starting on Saturday, they might against Indiana.

“We’re gonna find the kids that were doing what we asked them to do,” Joseph said. “The kids that can tackle, that can block and do the right things, we’re gonna increase their reps if they weren’t a starter.”

Comparing talent

How does Nebraska’s talent compare to Oklahoma’s?

“I think we’ve got to do a better job recruiting,” Joseph said. “They had better skill players. We’ve got to do a better job.

“But we have really good skill players, also. We’ve just got to get them to execute.”

Keeping spirits high

How will Nebraska’s defense keep their spirits high?

“If you’re going down at this point, you ain’t meant to play football,” Farmer said. “Football is football, dog. Win some, lose some, you gotta keep playing.”

Players talk coaching adjustments

It was a tough week for the Huskers after the firing of Scott Frost, but they are now all-in with interim head coach Mickey Joseph.

“It's definitely been a challenging week,” linebacker Nick Henrich said. “A lot of the players here were recruited by Frost and believed in him. Now we believe in coach Joseph and what he's doing.”

Henrich added that Joseph did an incredible job all week and that the team will continue to buy into what he says.

Defensive back Myles Farmer agreed, saying that the change to Joseph has been a positive one.

“Joseph brings energy,” Farmer said. “He's very enthusiastic and brings an upbeat mood. There's never a down moment.”

Tight end Travis Vokolek saw the change as a mix of emotions.

“We all loved Frost and he's like a father figure to me, but it's a business,” Vokolek said. “We were upset but we've got to move on.”

He added that Joseph is a great coach and he is glad he is a part of the team.

Joseph and players talk bye week

After the Oklahoma loss, Nebraska is looking forward to the upcoming bye week before facing Indiana on Oct. 1.

Joseph said that it will help them re-evaluate players and maybe look at some younger players to get some reps.

He added that the team will especially look at “more drill work and less team work.”

Both Henrich and Vokolek said that the Huskers have to use the bye week to get better, and to do so will continue to buy into what Joseph says needs to be changed.

“We believe in coach Joseph and we believe in this team,” Henrich said.

To get better, Farmer thought that the team simply needs to practice.

“Football is football,” Farmer said. “You win some you lose some, you just gotta keep playing.”

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