The health issue regarding junior linebacker Phillip Dillard has been an ongoing one for going on the better part of three weeks That's how long he's been dealing with a nagging ankle injury suffered earlier in the year. But for the second day in a row Dillard is back in practice, today back in full pads, and the Head Coach likes what he's seen thus far. “He's doing OK. He's working through it. I'd say he about 85 percent right now,” Pelini said.
Even with Dillard not quite at full health now, though, Pelini said that he was optimistic about his chance to play against Colorado. “I've got to look at the film and see at where he is, mentally,” Pelini said. “I like what I've seen so far. I anticipate him playing. Whether he'll start the game, I don't know.”
Also back at practice for the second day in a row is senior quarterback Joe Ganz. While Pelini said that Ganz didn't necessarily need the time off, it was good for him to get. “He looks great. He was nicked up a little bit, but he's fine. Joe's ready to roll.”
A little outside the normal back-and-forth as you head into the last game of the regular season, has been the talk about Wide Receivers Coach Ted Gilmore perhaps finding himself at another college after his time at Nebraska is done. The reports continue to stream out about Gilmore potentially interviewing for the Head Coaching position at Wyoming. But for Gilmore, he's not saying a thing. “If there is something to talk about, I'd be more than happy to share it with you. But my focus is on Colorado,” Gilmore said after practice today.
Even with the situation allegedly so advanced that it's gotten to the point of an interview, the situation which Pelini talked about this morning on the Big 12 Teleconference, stating that he hadn't been contacted by Wyoming for permission to speak to his assistant coach – it's the same thing situation even now.
But that doesn't change how Bo feels about the hypothetical situation of him being a candidate for the job. “He'll have my full blessing. I think Ted's ready to be a Head Coach,” Pelini said. “Especially at that University where he has strong ties, I'll be fully supportive of him, because I know he's responsible enough and professional enough to be able to handle it the right way.
“It's not a real big issue for me. To me it's about promoting your guys and making sure everyone has the best opportunity to advance in their career. As long as you know you have confidence that they are still going to do their job for you, and I know that's the case for Ted.”
The theme of coaching in this post-practice didn't stop there. Even a school two and a half hours south jumped into the conversation, Bill Snyder, the Head Coach of Kansas State when Pelini was at Nebraska in 2003 is the Head Coach of Kansas State once again.
Pelini said jokingly, that he could have stayed gone. “I wish he would have stayed retired.”
Pelini might be referencing in jest the pounding his Husker defense took at the hands of the Wildcats, KSU beating Nebraska in Lincoln, 38-9. Then, of course, there were the comments Pelini reportedly said to Snyder after the game, saying in no uncertain terms just what he thought about Snyder leaving his starters in for so long.
We'll call that water under the bridge, though, because five years later circumstances have changed, and as for KSU bringing Snyder back into the fold, he thinks they made the right choice. “I think that was a good choice for Kansas State. He's the guy who built it. He knows where it's got to go and get it back on track,” Pelini said.
“I wish him luck.”
Nebraska will have its weekly press conference the week before the game tomorrow morning as the Head Coach and players will talk to the media about the last regular season game of the year. And stay tuned to Big Red Report as we will bring you from some seniors talking about their last game for their Husker career.