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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Nebraska coach’s confidence intact

Pelini puts loss to Missouri in past

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— Bo Pelini says his faith in his plan to rebuild Nebraska isn't shaken after a 35-point loss to Missouri.

"I know how to get the job done," the first-year head coach said Tuesday. "I know exactly where we want to head and how to get there, and I'm committed to doing it. I'm working day and night to get it done."

The Cornhuskers (3-2, 0-1 Big 12) go into Saturday's game at seventh-ranked Texas Tech off back-to-back losses to Virginia Tech and Missouri.

In last week's 52-17 beating, Missouri scored on eight of its first nine possessions, with two Nebraska turnovers leading to Tiger touchdowns.

The Huskers still are looking to establish a semblance of a running game, and their defense ranks no higher than 50th in any major statistical category.

"There is enough talent here to play better than we did Saturday and to compete and win," Pelini said. "I'm not a guy who sits here and makes excuses, and I'll never be that way."

Pelini again offered a mea culpa for the Huskers' performance against Missouri.

"I look back, and sometimes as a coach you try too hard," he said. "I regret some of the things we did in our plan, especially defensively."

Pelini declined to go into specifics about how the plan fell short. Nebraska came out using three down linemen and had defensive end Pierre Allen float behind them, looking for a pass-rush lane. The Huskers also used a number of different blitzes.

Missouri quarterback Chase Daniel threw for 253 yards and three touchdowns and wasn't sacked.

"I don't have all the answers," Pelini said. "You're going to make some mistakes along the way, but at every turn you have to learn from your mistakes."

Defensive end Zach Potter said Pelini told the players after the game that he had designed a flawed plan.

"He said we might have been trying to get too cute and too advanced," Potter said. "I thought we had a good plan. It just didn't work."

Potter said Pelini and the assistants shouldn't shoulder all the blame, however.

"We're the ones going out on the field and making mistakes, missing tackles, missing blocks," Potter said. "He can take all the blame for it he wants, but really it's on us."

Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh said the difference between this year and last year is that the Huskers never gave up when they fell behind.

"We're not in the middle of the game saying, 'Oh, shoot, here it goes again,"' Suh said. "We're not just saying, 'Oh, we're down by 30 points, let's just lay over and die.' That's not only preached, but it's being done."

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