Nebraska defense puts emphasis on ball-hawking in effort to turn around woeful turnover margin

Creating turnovers is a point of emphasis during Nebraska's preseason practices.

The Cornhuskers have had one of the worst turnover margins in the nation the last two years. Defensive coordinator John Papuchis said it's important for his charges to become a more ball-hawking unit.

The Huskers were tied for 119th out of 125 Bowl Subdivision teams in turnover margin. They gave up the ball 11 more times than they took it away last season. Their combined minus-23 the past two years is last in the Big Ten and seventh worst nationally.

Papuchis is tracking how many takeaways the defense generates in practice. He also is counting how many times his players miss opportunities to knock a ball loose or intercept a pass.