LINCOLN, Neb. - Bad things do happen in threes.
Sophomore linebacker Michael Rose, who was contending for the starting middle linebacker spot, will miss the entire 2014 season with a knee injury. Rose set a Nebraska freshman record last season with 66 tackles.
”He will have season ending surgery some time this next week. I feel for Michael,” Pelini said after practice. “It was a bad break for him. It was a non-contact injury.”
Sophomore Josh Banderas, who did start at various times during his true freshman season in 2013, is expected to be the Huskers opening game starter at MIKE on August 30th, against Florida Atlantic. Trevor Roach, who had been practicing at the BUCK linebacker spot, slides over to backup Banderas.
Harvey’s practice donuts:
* Rose did watch from the sidelines on Saturday, wearing an extremely big brace around his wrapped knee. The Kansas City native was very slow going.
* Quarterback Tommy Armstrong took a good hit during practice. Was down for a little while. "Tommy will be fine, he got just got dinged a little bit," said Pelini. When Armstrong came out, Ryker Fyfe took his place.
* Speaking of quarterbacks and injuries, freshman Zack Darlington took live hits for the first time since his head injury last fall. “I don’t think he’s really worried about it right now,” said Pelini. “He hasn’t even batted an eye about it.”
* Junior Givens Price has received reps at offensive tackle this week, after spending most his career in Lincoln at guard. “He’s had a good week at tackle. I think that is the spot for him,” said Pelini. “I know he could play guard.”
* Running back Adam Taylor did go down late in practice with a lower leg injury. He was helped off the field, unlike Armstrong. Pelini was asked about the injury following practice, but without time for the medical staff to evaluate Taylor, it’s unfair for the head coach to give a prognosis. Expect more on Monday. The way he came off the field, it did look like an injury that could force him to miss some time.
* Catch of the day belonged to Lane Hovey, who ran a drag route and received a pass behind him from Darlington. Hovey snagged the ball with one hand with his body completely turned around.
* The offensive play of the day belonged to Tommy Armsrong and Alonzo Moore, who connected on a go-route, burning the first-team secondary in the process. It was a perfect pass from Armstrong.
* Wide receive Brandon Reilly sat out of practice. The sophomore hurt his hamstring on Thursday. No timetable on his return was given by Pelini, but he wasn’t asked about the Lincoln product.
* David Knevel received some first-team reps today at offensive tackle.
* There was a moment today during practice that defensive coordinator John Papichis got after one of his defensive units. The group – consisting of mostly first or second year players, weren’t hustling onto the field. Papuchis reminded them strongly how things are done at Nebraska.
* True freshman safety Kieron Williams has been one that has impressed reporters during the Huskers first week of camp and Pelini was asked about the Air Force Prep transfer on Saturday. “I think Kieron is aggressive, he has good instincts,” Pelini said. “I think his understanding, the more we install, it is all starting to run together for him.”
* All in all, Pelini was happy with the week as far as how the team is meshing. “We had a good week, our kids are making progress. There is a lot of competition going on for spots and that competition will continue,” said Pelini, who was asked about the morale of the team with so many injuries. “Our team morale is fine, I feel for those kids…As far us going forward, we have a lot of good players and a lot of good competition. We will be fine.”