LINCOLN - It’s a different week for the Huskers as the group heads to Rutgers to play on Friday. Mickey Joseph told reporters today the team had the 24-hour rule to enjoy Saturday’s 35-21 win over Indiana before prep began for the Scarlet Knights. He also talked about the wide open Big Ten West, defense, and the decision to briefly bench Casey Thompson.

“Indiana was one game,” Joseph said. “The sign of a good team is who can move forward and get to the next one.”

Nebraska’s defense showed lots of of improvement under their first game with Bill Busch as defensive coordinator. The Huskers showed major improvement in several key areas, getting home for multiple sacks, held Indiana to under seventy rushing yards, and scoreless in the second half. Mickey Joseph discussed a few key pieces to the improvement.

“We talked about it last week, getting lined up. That’s the big thing on defense,” Joseph said. “If we can get them lined up, they’ll recognize the formation and understand what’s going on, so once we got them lined up, they played with their hair on fire.”

In the second quarter, Casey Thompson was briefly pulled from the game. Thompson and Joseph had a conversation about it and Thompson says, he didn’t want to be pulled because he has a competitive nature.

“I told him, I don’t want to be out of the game,” Thompson said. “Not if I’m healthy enough to play, I don’t even like when they don’t give em certain plays and they put Chubba or Logan in. Me, personally, I’m just a competitor. I don’t ever want to be on the sideline.”

Joseph said it’s the way he’d treat any player in that situation.

“He’s no different than anybody else,” Joseph said. “If we think he’s struggling, he’s coning out. You can’t treat him any differently, and he doesn’t want to be treated any differently. But he expressed how he felt, and I appreciated that, but at the end of the day, he understands who’s the coach.”

After Saturday’s win, Nebraska is 1-1 in Big Ten play, in a tie for the lead in a wide open Big Ten West with all, but Wisconsin who’s 0-2. Joseph says, it’s still college football, and the team is focused on Rutgers.

“It’s the Wild West right now,” Joseph said. “The games are coming down the fourth quarter, they’re really tough games, We’re focused on Rutgers, but, yeah, the west os wild right now.”

Nebraska will look to get back to .500 against the Scarlet Knights. The Huskers have also never lost to Rutgers, leading the all time series 5-0, most recently winning during the infamous covid year, 28-21, in 2020. The game kicks off at 6 pm Friday.