Nebraska Football: Defense will be a strength for Huskers in 2021

Nebraska football was once known for its smothering defense but that hasn’t been as much of the case in recent years. This year, however, the Huskers’ defense could be quite respectable despite losing Will Honas to an injury.

Tom Fornelli of CBS Sports penned an article about overreactions from each team’s spring game and for the Huskers, said “The Blackshirts are back!” and offered this analysis:

Listen, was the Nebraska defense supposed to be the strength of the team entering Scott Frost’s fourth season in Lincoln, Nebraska? Of course not, but whatever you want to take away from it, the fact of the matter is Nebraska’s defense is further along than its offense at this point.

The unit dominated during practice and really showed out during the spring game. The first team allowed only one rushing yard on nine attempts and only let two of the eight passes attempted against it find a receiver. What’s more encouraging is that the defense was without some of its starters — and lost Will Honas during the spring game — but players behind them on the depth chart stepped up and performed well.

It’s hard to argue with what Fornelli said above. When Nebraska hired Scott Frost to take over the program, they figured the offense would be firing on all cylinders while the defense would struggle. The defense hasn’t exactly been setting the world ablaze but they’ve definitely progressed more than the offense has.

Don’t sleep on Nebraska football’s defense this year.

With the Huskers’ offense still trying to find its footing, it’s important for the defense to improve and keep the team in games. With the talented wide receiver corp that Adrian Martinez has at his disposal this year, the offense should hopefully be a much better unit (though we’ve said that every year since Frost has arrived) and that’ll take the load off the defense.

Losing Honas was a tough blow, especially during the spring before any real games were actually played, but the Blackshirts might make their return to the gridiron this year. If one side of the ball can figure it out, maybe the other side will be able to get it together enough that Nebraska can win a few extra games this year.

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This isn’t to say that Nebraska’s defense is going to be one of the best in the league, but they might surprise some people this year. People expected the offense to be what got the Cornhuskers back to relevancy but the defense is making strides and this could be their year to put it all together.