After losing both running backs Rahmir Johnson and Gabe Ervin for the season due to injuries, Matt Rhule and his Nebraska football coaching staff are working hard to lessen the impact of their absences on the team.
Speaking to reporters on Thursday as they prepare for their Week 4 game against Louisiana Tech on Saturday, Rhule revealed that running backs coach EJ Barthel “has been working overtime” to get backup running backs Emmett Johnson and Kwentin Ives up to speed with all their schemes and plays, per 247 Sports.
“Obviously we have a running quarterback so you can do some things in the running game on third down to off-set pressures, but at some point, you're going to have to stand in there and pick up blitzes and exotic pressures,” Rhule said while also explaining how Louisiana Tech often tends to put high pressure on their rivals during third downs.
“It's been overtime work on that. There’s a lot of things we're doing, but they had a good week. There's a standard of play and we expect them to play to that standard.”
It's certainly a big blow for the Cornhuskers to be without their top running backs in Rahmir Johnson and Gabe Ervin, and it's even more concerning with quarterback Jeff Sims recently dealing with an injury.
Clearly, for Nebraska football to stay in the win column after losing their first two games of the season, the rest of the team needs to step up. It goes without saying that Emmett Johnson and Kwentin Ives' plays will be crucial for them to remain successful.
Hopefully, what they have done so far is enough to keep the Bulldogs at bayon Saturday.