football Edit

Everything Mickey Joseph said during final preview of Indiana game

Mickey Joseph made his final media appearance of the week prior to the Huskers' matchup with Indiana.

Here is a rundown of everything Joseph talked about on Thursday:

Final vibes on the team ahead of Saturday's game

"It was good today. I thought they flew around, thought we was good on all three phases – offense, defense and special teams. Thought the coaches out there coached with their hair on fire, thought that the kids flew around the day. So I was pleased with what I saw today."

Emphasis on tackling

"I think anytime you do something that's new and you keep doing it, you're gonna see improvement. Because we couldn't do what? We couldn't do nothing but go up. We had a lot of missed tackles because we couldn't do nothing but go down – I mean go down and tackle, So they're doing a very good job."

Challenges of facing Indiana defense

"I think they did a great job last week against the run. I think they were ranked like 115th in the country in rush defense. But I thought last week, they held Cincinnati to under 50 yards rushing, so I thought they did a really good job in the run game."

Buy in from the defense under Bill Busch

"Well, I think right now, like I said we cut some calls out, we simplified it. We're doing what they can do. And they bought in, and I think they're gonna fly around. And they're in a good spot right now with the defense."

On the defensive backs' challenge against Indiana's passing offense

"You play the call and use your technique. That's a lot of throws that you have to defend. So we got to play the call and use your technique."

On staff shakeups: Who will be on the field and who will be in the booth

"I'll let you see that on Saturday."

Injury report

"I'll let you talk to (athletic trainer Mark Mayer) about that. I haven't looked at an injury report today yet."

Leadership from players during bye week

"I think Garrett (Nelson) and the crew – Travis (Vokolek), Caleb (Tannor), Nick (Henrich) – are doing a great job. I've met with the Unity Council on Monday, and they were good. The guys are doing a really good job of leading this team. And we always say a player-driven team is a really good football team. So I'm trying to give them more responsibility as far as leadership, and they're doing a great job right now."

On the "hunt" mentality that Joseph talked about during a Twitter video released by the Huskers' social media team on Wednesday

"Just what I said. You want to hunt, you don't want to be hunted. You want to come out and hunt, you don't want to be hunted. You don't want to sit back and let them punch you. You want to hunt as a football team. So we want to be aggressive coming out. I've seen it (from the players) in the last two days."

Do you give the same "hunt" mentality to your assistant coaches on the recruiting trail?

"No, because it's really a little different. When you're going out to recruit, the kid's already hunted. You already know who you're going out to get. Because, right now, we're going out to get Power 5 kids. So the table's already set for them. When they go out, they just got to go and close the deal. And I gotta be a closer."

On the offensive line health

“I think the bye week helped us as far as healing up a little bit. But at the end of the day, Donny (Donovan Raiola) is going to get his best five on the field. And that's what we’re trying to do — get our best five on the field.”

On Homecoming Week and former players coming back

"Well we have such a great fan base that they show up for every home game. They sell it out. So I think the kids recognize that. I'm sure they know that it's Homecoming and ex-players will be back and students that was here and faculty will be back. So I'm sure they're going to take the moment in. But I think they also want to focus on the game, but I think they always take the moment in because we have such a great fan base and they really appreciate that. They always talk to me about that, that the fans have our back. And they do, and we appreciate that."

Will the second game as interim head coach feel different than the first?

“No and yes. Just bringing them out and leading them and trying to coach them to a victory. So, yes, I want it to be different. But my thing is, I'm gonna approach it the same way, that we're going to detail everything, we’re going to coach them up to kickoff, and when they come out of the locker room, it's our job to have them ready to play.

"It's very helpful when you can go through something the second time. It's gonna be much better. So, yeah, it's very helpful."