Lincoln, Neb. Nebraska's defense is getting better, and Coach Bo Pelini says the Cornhuskers' offense deserves some of the credit.
The Huskers gave up a season-low 218 yards in Saturday's 35-7 win at Iowa State. The week before, Nebraska allowed 421 yards to Texas Tech in a 37-31 overtime loss. The Red Raiders' total, though impressive, matched their fewest yards since Missouri held them to 388 last October.
Nebraska's offense generated 471 and 548 yards, respectively, against Texas Tech and Iowa State. More important, the Huskers have had possession for 77 of the last 120 minutes and have taken 158 offensive snaps to their opponents' 102.
"We've been chewing clock," Pelini said during Monday's weekly Big 12 teleconference with reporters. "The best defense is not being out there for a ton of plays. The more teams have a shot at you, the more plays they're going to make."
It should be noted that the Huskers' big defensive performance against Iowa State came against an offense that ranks 94th in the country. The Cyclones' total yards were the fewest by a Nebraska opponent in 19 games, and their seven points were the fewest by a conference foe since a 21-3 win at Kansas State in 2006.
Nebraska limited Iowa State to no points, two first downs and 45 yards in the first half.
"We probably had a little more consistency last weekend, but ultimately you have to do it all the time," said Pelini, whose team plays Baylor in Lincoln this week. "The kids are still working to get better every week, and it's happening. But by no means are we where we want."
Nebraska is up to fifth in the Big 12 and 64th nationally in total defense (360 ypg) and sixth and 63rd in points allowed (24.9 ppg).