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The Huskers scrimmaged on Wednesday. Defense gets the edge and offense gets a 'wake-up call'
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The Huskers scrimmaged on Wednesday. Defense gets the edge and offense gets a 'wake-up call'

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Nebraska football practice, 4.17

Nebraska assistant coach Greg Austin (bottom left) watches warmups during a football practice Saturday at Memorial Stadium.

Steven M. Sipple and Parker Gabriel react to post-practice availability following practice on Wednesday, April 21, 2021.

Nebraska's practice Wednesday was highlighted by a major scrimmage. 

The main highlights were on defense, according to Husker players and coaches who addressed media. 

"The offense and defense have been going back and forth all spring," Nebraska tight ends coach Sean Beckton said. "Today, I didn't think the offense came out with the right attitude or mentality that we need to be champions on a daily basis. We have to learn from that.

"We picked it up as the practice went along. But in order for us to be great, as soon as we hit that grass field, we have to make sure we're locked and loaded. For the most part, the defense pretty much gave it to us today." 

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The defense showed right at the start — on the first play, in fact — that it had the upper hand, Beckton said.  

Nebraska's offense, of course, has a chance for major redemption May 1 in the Red-White Spring Game. 

All told, the Huskers, coming off a 3-5 season, have completed 11 practices this spring. They'll continue on-field work Friday before taking the weekend off from drills. They'll have practices Monday and Wednesday in advance of next week's Spring Game.

Nebraska tight ends coach Sean Beckton speaks during a news conference, Wednesday, April 21, 2021.

Nebraska offensive line coach Greg Austin echoed Beckton's sentiments about Wednesday's scrimmage, saying the offense lacked consistency.

"Guys have been consistent all spring and they didn’t come out as consistent as we wanted to today across the board," Austin said. "The whole offense. Pick a position and guys weren’t dialed into the details of what they were doing. Certainly our defense played with more energy this morning initially and they carried it throughout practice. We had some bright moments but overall just was not to our standard.”

But there have been good days?

“Absolutely. Sometimes you have to have wake-up calls to let you know, ‘Hey, you’re not as good as you think you are,'" Austin said. "I think today was one of those days.”

He added, "We had been hitting our standard and exceeding our standard some days prior to today, so that when a day like today happens, you kind of have to go back and say, ‘Hey, all right, this is not our standard. We’ve got to get back to where we were.’ It’s not about an end-point, it’s more of just a process. Just continue to work the process and that’s what we’ve been preaching to the boys every day.” 

Nebraska offensive line coach Greg Austin talks during a news conference, Wednesday, April 21, 2021.

Redshirt freshman offensive lineman Brant Banks said executing properly helps generate the emotion and energy needed to prevail. The defense definitely executed at a higher level, he said. 

"They all got super-hyped, and we just had to match their energy," Banks said. 

Beckton agreed, saying Nebraska's defense, which returns nine starters from last season, simply practiced with more intensity. 

"You can tell they had the energy," the coach said. "Offensively, we didn't have it. That's on the offensive coaches and the head coach to make sure the entire team is ready to go to practice. We shouldn't wait 20 plays in to put our offense together. 

"But we're going to bounce back. We're going to fix it."

Contact the writer at pgabriel@journalstar.com or 402-473-7439. On Twitter @HuskerExtraPG.

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Husker football reporter

Parker joined the Journal Star as the University of Nebraska football beat writer in August 2017. He previously covered Montana State athletics for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle and graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 2012.

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