Presser Bullets: Nebraska's Mike Riley Laments Wisconsin Loss, Says Huskers Must Elevate Offense, Previews Ohio State Game, and More

By D.J. Byrnes on October 31, 2016 at 12:59 pm

No. 9 Nebraska lost to No. 8 Wisconsin Saturday night in Camp Randall Stadium. Rest, however, won't come this week for the Cornhuskers after suffering their first loss of the 2016 season.

Mike Riley met with reporters in Lincoln, Nebraska, on Monday afternoon to lament the Wisconsin loss, update Husker health statuses, preview this week's primetime tilt with the No. 6 Ohio State Buckeyes, and use the word "haunting" three times on Halloween.


  • On Wisconsin loss: "Our opportunities lost are somewhat haunting. ... I thought we were going to win the game."
  • Nebraska needs to run the ball better on first and second down.
  • Riley, however, is pleased with the Huskers defense — "In total defense, we're up to 20th in the country" — and their positive turnover margin.
  • On Ohio State: "They're ranked nationally and in the conference high in most of those [defensive] categories. They have good talented players from front to back. DaVon Hamilton, Nick Bosa, and Robert Landers all drew praise. 
  • "They play a lot of man to man coverage. They're stingy."
  • "It will be a complete chore for us. We will have to play a complete ball game."
  • On linebacker Dedrick Young's status: "My hope ... I don't want to say hope, I think it's higher than that. But I hope he will play."
  • Offensive lineman Tanner Farmer won't play as he's still battling a high ankle sprain.
  • Tight end Cethan Carter is "on his way back, but I don't know about this game. .... He's close. We'll see how this goes this week."
  • Quarterback Tommy Armstrong, "who was under duress a lot" against Wisconsin, "battled his heart out." Nebraska surrenders the least amount of sacks in the league, and Armstrong's dynamism plays a big role in that.
  •  Along with elevating the run game, Riley would like to see more screens to alleviate some pressure on the offensive line.
  • Nebraska doesn't run a lot of uptempo, no-huddle offense. "It's not up our alley." But the Huskers still need to execute with haste in crunch time. "You think you need those big hits in those two-minute situations, but you need yardage."
  • Do they think they could've ran the ball on the last drive against Wisconsin with two timeouts. "Yes. I felt we could do anything we wanted ... but we weren't really dynamic running the ball... Those things are haunting."
  • Riley admires the work of Urban Meyer, who "set the standard" of Big Ten coaches.

Nebraska–Ohio State kicks off this Saturday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

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