HuskerOnline - Huskers change up defensive play calling methods at Indiana
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Huskers change up defensive play calling methods at Indiana

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Nebraska defensive coordinator Mark Banker ruffled a few Indiana feathers this past week when he said the Hoosiers where well known for their ability to steal opposing team's defensive signals.

Going into Saturday's game in Bloomington, Banker and his crew came up with a whole new way to call the defense from the sidelines.

The Blackshirts used play cards that featured different pictures from everything to Ken Bone to Gabrielle Union.

It's safe to say the new play calling method on Saturday went off without a hitch, as NU (6-0, 3-0) put together one of their most complete defensive performances of the season in their 27-22 win at Indiana.

“We had some key people in the media on the (play cards), we had one of a vivacious UNL grad on the board and she’s been in the office a few times, Ken Bone made a board,” Banker joked. “They all represent who’s giving the signals and then Trent (Bray) gave the signals all the time and we did some other subtle things to mix things up.

"I think there was probably only one time where I felt they really honed in on what we were doing and they were able to flip some things in terms of the run-pass situation. That just all kind of goes with the deal and there’s some gamesmanship with it too.”

Whenever you switch things up like that there's always some concern it may not go to plan.

“We kind of did a little bit different stuff really to just kind of get the call in a different way,” senior linebacker Micahel Rose-Ivey said. “As we get through the season, there’s people’s jobs up top in the booth to look for signals. We have to switch things up a little bit and kind of adapt. That’s just football.”

Going forward Rose-Ivey said he would have no problem if they continued to use cards to make defensive calls.

“It’s just another way for us to get the call in,” Rose-Ivey said. “It helped today, so maybe we will do it every week.”

The Huskers also mixed up their pressure packages quite a bit on Saturday, getting constant pressure on Hoosier quarterback Richard Lagow.

Banker said they tried to confuse Lagow by bringing different pressure packages from different zone and man schemes.

“We just broke down their protection and utilized the people that we had in spots in terms of who was coming and who wasn’t coming,” Banker said. “I just think we mixed it up.

“We came with zone pressure one time where we made it look like everyone was coming and then we only brought four. Their protection, you know what you are going to get. As soon as you show single safety high they are going to keep everybody in and just release three (receivers).”