LINCOLN, Neb. - Practicing for nearly two hours on one of the hottest days in August so far, Nebraska wrapped up their second week of fall camp on Saturday.
“We just finished up what I thought was a pretty good week,” head coach Bo Pelini said. “I think we are in a situation now, more on defense than offense that I think there is a bit of too much separation in a couple positions between the 1’s and the 2’s.”
The team will have one more week of what the coaches like to call, good-on-good, before they start to game prep for Florida Atlantic on August 30.
“I feel good about where our upperclassmen or 1’s are now, the 2’s are still coming and there is still good competition on the offensive side of the football,” Pelini said. “I think we are right where we want to be—we have to keep plugging along."
Congrats are in order…
Nebraska was without a trio of players on Saturday, but it was for good reason. Senior left guard Jake Cotton, junior defensive tackle Kevin Williams, and senior linebacker Zaire Anderson all took part in Nebraska’s graduation ceremonies. It is unknown if the three will start to work on Master Degree programs at Nebraska this fall.
Kicking battle heating up…
It was a close call, but it appeared Bondi got the best of Brown on this day, connecting on four of five kicks – including one from what appeared to be 57 yards (he had room to spare). Brown also knocked two in from 50+, but had a few misses between 40-45 yards.
“When we start game week I will have a feel and we will name how we are going to do it,” said Pelini. “It is really close right now, they have both hit the ball pretty good, consistently and pretty solid.”
Pelini was asked if he was surprised at all by the level of play Brown has brought to the position despite being just a true freshman.
“We have been watching Drew for a long time,” said Pelini. “So no, I had high expectations coming in and he hasn’t surprised me at all.”
Armstrong makes a jump in week two…
Sophomore Tommy Armstrong took all the first-team reps on Saturday, moving the football on a defense that looks to be in mid-season form at times. While Armstrong did have his mistakes, including an interception (caught by Josh Mitchell), he didn't look rattled.
“Tommy had a good week, a very good week. Defensively we have installed a lot so we have been throwing a lot at him,” Pelini said. “I think he has progressed, is he exactly where we want him to be at? No. He plays the quarterback position which is difficult, but he has seen a lot of looks and I think he is managing the offense really well.
“When he makes a mistake, he comes back from that mistake very strong, with a lot of confidence,” he said. “To me that is important to have at the quarterback position, he is showing a lot of maturity, I like where he right now but he has to keep going.”
Behind Armstrong, Ryker Fyfe took all the second-team reps on Saturday.
Harvey’s practice observations:
The injury report: LS Gabe Miller (out - back), RT Zach Sterup (unknown, getting evaluated today), FB Andy Janovich (out, with a wrapped knee. Bo said he's 50/50 for opener), WR Brandon Reilly (hamstring), RB Terrell Newby (out, will be back on Monday), TE Greg Hart (out- unknown), OL Corey Whitaker (out - Bo said it's a torn ACL).
* Pelini said cornerback Daniel Davie and Jonathan Rose are co-first team CBs at this point, and have a big week ahead of them to clean up technique stuff. On Saturday, Davie took the first-team snaps. “They are making plays on balls, their understanding of the defense is night and day, of even where it was back in the spring."
* MIKE linebacker Trevor Roach had one of his better practices of the year on Saturday, making an interception (Fyfe never saw him), and recording a nice breakdown tackle of a slot receiver over the middle in the latter portion of practice. Pelini said Roach struggled on Friday, but the head coach told him to not worry so much about the younger guys around him – to focus on himself. Apparently his pep talk paid off.
* Nathan Gerry was the first-team long snapper for the punt unit on Saturday, as the South Dakota native and freshman Josh Faulkenberry battle it out for the job. Faulkenberry appeared to be the one handling the long snapping duties for the field goal unit team.
* Tarriq Allen received first-team wide receiver reps on Saturday, getting a majority of Alonzo Moore’s snaps, who appeared to be limited in practice. Moore did not appear to take the normal amount of reps he usually does. It is unknown why.
* Jumping between linebacker and speed-rush defensive end, redshirt freshman Marcus Newby recorded a sack from the defensive end spot against the second unit. Newby beat offensive tackle David Knevel on the inside to sack Fyfe.
* Getting first-team reps at the WILL linebacker spot in place of the graduating Zaire Anderson, Courtney Love had a good day of practice and looks like he’s come a long way since the beginning of fall camp. “Courtney, I thought he handled it really well today," Pelini said.
* True freshman defensive backs Josh Kalu, Kieron Williams, and Chris Jones both continued to receive second team defensive reps on Saturday. Pelini said things should shape out in the next few days on who will likely redshirt, but said Kalu and Williams both will likely help the team this year.
* With Zach Sterup out on Saturday, junior offensive tackle Givens Price received the first-team reps at tackle.