PFF snap counts and grades for Nebraska's defense vs. Illinois
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PFF snap counts and grades for Nebraska's defense vs. Illinois

Here are the final snap counts and grades for Nebraska's defense against Illinois, courtesy of PFF.

Saturday was an up-and-down performance for Nebraska's defense.
Saturday was an up-and-down performance for Nebraska's defense. (Associated Press)

DEFENSIVE LINE

Defensive line grade out
Player Snaps Run defense Tackling Pass rush Overall

Ty Robinson - RFr.

46

61.1

73.0

59.7

61.4

Ben Stille - Sr.

41

66.5

48.5

61.0

66.6

Damion Daniels - Jr.

37

60.2

73.4

73.4

66.9

Deontre Thomas - Sr.

36

65.4

74.0

64.6

67.2

Jordon Riley - Jr.

4

71.2

69.9

60.0

77.2

HOL Take: Nebraska pretty much leaned on a four-man rotation up front with Robinson, Stille, Daniels, and Thomas, and it got mixed production out of that group across the board.

Robinson led the d-line in snaps and posted the unit's second-highest tackling grade, but he struggled in his pass rush and run defense to record the lowest grade of the group.

Stille's 48.5 tackling grade also jumps out, but he was only listed with one missed tackle in the game.

It was interesting that Daniels had the position's highest pass-rushing grade as a nose tackle. He was credited with two quarterback hurries and a batted pass.

Nebraska's linebackers combined for 2.5 sacks and 6.5 tackles for loss at Illinois.
Nebraska's linebackers combined for 2.5 sacks and 6.5 tackles for loss at Illinois. (Getty Images)

LINEBACKER

Linebacker grade out
Player Snaps Rush defense Tackling Pass rush Overall

Nick Henrich - RFr.

61

84.7

84.9

56.4

67.5

Luke Reimer - So.

60

50.9

68.9

63.2

56.7

Garrett Nelson - So.

54

61.2

77.6

60.3

62.5

Caleb Tannor - Jr.

51

64.2

75.4

71.7

64.5

JoJo Domann - Sr.

43

70.0

74.8

-

68.5

Pheldarius Payne - Jr.

20

49.6

76.6

73.0

60.2

Chris Kolarevic - Jr.

15

67.0

77.7

-

52.9

Damian Jackson - Jr.

11

51.2

73.0

60.0

42.1

HOL Take: There were a few strong individual category grades from Nebraska's linebackers, including Nick Henrich's team-high run defense and tackling grades.

But Saturday was an overall tough day for the group. Luke Reimer and Pheldarius Payne really struggled against the run, posting the two lowest run defense grades on the defense.

Heinrich's performance was leveled out with the team's lowest recorded pass-rushing grade, and Jackson's overall grade was more than 10 points lower than any other defender.

It’s also notable that Chris Kolarevic, lauded most of the offseason, only played 15 snaps.

SECONDARY

Secondary grade out
Player Snaps Run defense  Tackling  Coverage  Overall 

Cam Taylor-Britt - Jr.

68

53.2

76.2

62.8

60.6

Quinton Newsome - So.

65

52.3

29.2

63.1

59.4

Deontai Williams - Sr.

63

64.5

53.9

65.8

66.0

Marquel Dismuke - Sr.

55

73.3

84.3

51.4

61.4

Myles Farmer - RFr.

18

64.3

77.4

72.1

72.8

HOL Take: There were a handful of bright spots for Nebraska's secondary, like Marquel Dismuke's tackling grade that was the second-highest on the defense Myles Farmer's solid marks in limited action.

But the Huskers primarily played just four defensive backs at Illinois, and all struggled mightily in various areas.

Quinton Newsome played the second-most snaps but posted the lowest overall grade, including a dismal 29.2 tackling grade after being marked with three missed tackles.