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Huskers Prepare for potent Tennessee offense

Photo courtesy: MGN

The Nebraska football team continued preparations for Friday’s Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl with an hour-and-a-half practice Tuesday afternoon at Vanderbilt University. The Huskers practiced for a second straight day in Nashville with two more practices scheduled before facing Tennessee on Friday.

Defensive coordinator Mark Banker met with the media following Tuesday’s practice and discussed some of the challenges his unit will face against Tennessee, including the Volunteers’ no-huddle offense and potential mismatches in the passing game.

“Everything’s at the line of scrimmage, there will be no huddling,” Banker said. “They substitute a little bit like Illinois did where it’s a lot of bodies going back and forth, so we’ve got to be sharp on that up in the booth.”

“And then the biggest thing across the board, wide receivers and tight ends, we’ve got to be conscious of possible mismatches from a standpoint of height. You’ve got receivers and tight ends 6-5 and 6-3, so we’re going to have our hands full, no doubt.”

Banker and the Blackshirts will face a balanced Tennessee offense on Friday, as the Volunteers average more than 200 yards passing and 200 yards rushing per game. Tennessee ranks second in the SEC in scoring (36.3 points per game), and the Volunteers put up 201 points in their final four regular-season games for an average of 50.3 points per game.

Banker said Tennessee’s offense is made even tougher to defend because of quarterback Joshua Dobbs, who has accounted for more than 3,300 yards of total offense.

“You’ve got a senior quarterback who’s been in the offense for quite some time. He knows it inside and out. He’s athletic, he’s got a good arm. I think he’s really a good quarterback. He’s perfect for their system,” Banker said. “He’s a good quarterback and those are always tough not only in any system but (especially) the system that they run.”

Following practice, the Huskers returned to the team hotel to prepare for a welcome party for both Nebraska and Tennessee at the Wildhorse Saloon on Tuesday night. The Huskers will practice again on Wednesday and Thursday afternoon. The 2016 Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl is set for 2:30 p.m. Friday on ESPN.

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