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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

September 13, 2011 at 5:23 PM

Huskies looking for some better tackling

When the Huskies look back on the two Nebraska games last season, one big difference is one of the most obvious facets of the sport — tackling.

UW missed a number of tackles in the first game — either being out of position of taking bad angles or just not wrapping up — mistakes the Huskies limited greatly in the rematch in the Holiday Bowl.

So now as the rubber match approaches, tackling is again a focus, in due to having some young players at key spots — specifically, both outside linebacker positions — and due to what coaches say was some subpar work in that area last week against Hawaii.

“Last week I don’t think we tackled very well,” linebacker coach Mike Cox said today. “We had too many missed tackles last week, something that we’ve been working on today, working on tomorrow and we got to do a better job tackling.”

Cox doesn’t need many reminders of the issues that caused in the first game, such as Taylor Martinez’ 80-yard run to start the second half that just about sealed the deal.

“The long run that he had a year ago we had a busted assignment and he did a nice job of just out-running everybody,” Cox said. “He still had his runs in the Holiday Bowl. He got out on us a few times and we were able to make our tackles — that’s one thing we got to do is do a good job tackling this weekend.”

And the keys to containing a good running quarterback like Martinez?

“Part of that is just not letting him out that far (to get outside), but when you do you’ve got to take proper angles,” Cox said. “And like I said before we’ve got to do a good job tackling. One missed tackle on him and it creates long plays.”

Martinez might not have been 100 percent for the Holiday Bowl, but UW coaches say he looks it now.

“He looks faster,” Cox said. “He is really fast. He is a great athlete.”

When Martinez does get outside, a lot of the onus for making the play will fall on the team’s new starting linebackers, John Timu and Princeton Fuimaono. Cox said the advice for those two is simple this week.

“That’s something that we talk about constantly is don’t try too hard,” he said. “Make your plays as your plays come to you and do your job. Hopefully these guys will execute what we’re trying to get done and make their plays as they come to you and that’s part of playing good defense.”

It doesn’t hurt, though, that the Huskies don’t have to look back far to remember having success against Nebraska.

“They’ve changed a little offensively; they have some new coaches on their staff this year so they’ve changed some things,” he said. “There are some things and some carryover that we did so hopefully we can build on that and tweak what we did in the past and see what we’re doing now and move forward with it.”

The most notable change in Nebraska’s offense is adding some more option to try to take advantage of Martinez’s skills.

“They do more of the belly-g option stuff that they used to do a few years ago at Nebraska,” he said. “So they’ve combined a lot of the spread stuff with that so it presents some issues.”

Below, here’s some video of Timu talking about the challenge of facing Nebraska and other topics:
[do action=”brightcove-video” videoid=”1158170391001″][/do]



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