Minnesota will be without its top two running backs Saturday, but that's not exactly comforting to Nebraska defensive coordinator Erik Chinander.
With Mohamed Ibrahim and Trey Potts sidelined for the rest of the season, true freshman Mar'Keise Irving appears to be the next man up for the Gophers. Irving has 25 carries for 112 yards.
"You have a little bit of the unknown...," Chinander said after Tuesday's practice. "He could be the next great one, so we've got to prepare like it's the best running back we've seen back there."
Adding to the unknowns on both sides of the ball is the possibility of new wrinkles from Minnesota after its off week.
One thing for certain is that Nebraska offensive coordinator Matt Lubick is preparing for another talented pass rusher in the Gophers' Boye Mafe. Mafe has five quarterback sacks so far this season.
Besides good technique and blocking schemes, Lubick said, a pass rush can be neutralized with an effective running game and "having pass concepts where the ball can get out fast."
Also Tuesday, it was announced that cornerback Quinton Newsome has become the 13th member of the Nebraska defense to receive a Blackshirt.
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- Hail Varsity | Nebraska Coordinators Lubick, Chinander Talk Minnesota
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- Husker247 | Tuesday Husker Quick Hits: Prepping for Gophers, moving past heartbreak
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- Husker247 | Newsome earns Blackshirt reward
- HuskerOnline | Tuesday Nuggets: Newsome earns a Blackshirt
- Nebraska Athletics | Chinander Prepares Defensive Strategy for Minnesota
- Lincoln Journal Star* | Red Report: Minnesota native Levi Falck doesn't much care for the Gophers; WR Betts 'a little banged up'
- Lincoln Journal Star* | Newsome steps up to the challenge, earns Blackshirt while starting every game this season
- Omaha World-Herald* | Huskers prep for another of Big Ten's best pass rushers
- Omaha World-Herald* | Husker notes: Huskers' Minnesotans don't like the Gophers — 'at all'
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