Troy Walters

Nebraska offensive coordinator Troy Walters said it's difficult to put together long drives on Ohio State, and the Huskers will need to find long runs and passes to keep up with the Buckeyes. 

LINCOLN — Nebraska offensive coordinator Troy Walters said what you’d expect him to say about Ohio State’s defense.

The Buckeyes are deep, they’re athletic, they’re big, they create havoc and issues across the depth chart.

“They didn’t play well against Purdue but that’s not the team that we’re gonna play,” Walters said. “We got to be ready for a good defense.”

Two of the main keys for this weekend’s test, Walters said, are running the ball and getting chunk plays.

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“We got to be able to run the ball against Ohio State, you can’t be dropping back 50 or 60 times and think you’re going to be successful,” Walters said.

Held said they really like the 1-2 punch of Devine Ozigbo and Maurice Washington. Washington was not in pads after practice. He was taken out of the Bethune-Cookman game after getting hit hard on his 11-yard touchdown run.

Getting “explosives” are equally as important, Walters said. It’s difficult to put 12- or 15-play drives together against the Buckeyes.

“We have to find explosives here and there in the run game and the pass game,” Walters said. “That’s gotta be important for us, to get some chunk yardage.”

Walters compared Ohio State's defense to Michigan's. The Wolverines walloped Nebraska last month, but Walters believes this is a new Nebraska team. 

"I really believe we're ready to go," Walters said. "We've had a good week of practice, our last three or four weeks have been good, we're getting better each day and each week and so I'm looking forward to go against a great Ohio State team on the road, hostile environment, and seeing what we can do."

Some other notes from practice: 

» Quarterbacks coach Mario Verduzco was emotional on Wednesday thinking about Noah Vedral's touchdown run. The Wahoo native told Verduzco after the game he was happy to knock some of the rust off. 

» Verduzco said starter Adrian Martinez has gotten better over the last few weeks at short passes. They've been working on arm angles and footwork to improve those throws. Verduzco has been pleased with the way Martinez has carried himself and played on the road, and expects the same out of him this weekend in Columbus. 

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Chris Heady covers Husker football and is the Nebraska men's basketball beat writer. He started at The World-Herald in 2017. Follow him on Twitter @heady_chris. Email: chris.heady@owh.com.

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