In the last two games you could say that Nebraska has played some of their best ball.
The defensive line has looked staunch, the offense has looked solid and two teams they were favored to beat they did....
But it still wasn't a complete game.
Neither was a full product, according to the head coach and going into the last game of the regular season, that's still what he wants to see.”I want to see four together. I don't want to see any lapses. I want to see our best football, and like I've said, I want to play to a higher standard that we haven't been to yet,” he said.
The first half against Kansas State was a time where Pelini thought the team played well, the Huskers holding the Wildcats to just one offensive score before the intermission. But that's a half, not a complete game. “We played pretty well, but there is always that level you haven't been to no matter what. We just have to keep going, keep working at it,” he said.
With families of players coming in from all over the country, one might assume that focus might be a little soft and concentration a little harder to keep. Pelini said that the early part of the practice that might have been the case, but it didn't take long before his team was mentally back in the swing. “It started out slow today, but we picked it up. I think our kids are ready to play,” he said.
“The thing you worry about the most is that with Thanksgiving and it being a home game and family coming in, you worry about distractions. But we addressed that, and I think our kids are excited to play this football game.”
Nebraska has come off a bye-week before this season as they were preparing for Virginia Tech. So, it's nothing new to the team. But even as far back as this last Sunday when the team was practicing Pelini said that he was impressed with what he saw. “The tempo, the energy was tremendous. I thought that with the couple days off they came back ready to go. They didn't miss a beat,” he said.
“When we started practice today we were a little looser than I would have liked to us have been. That can be a good thing or a bad thing. Sometimes as a coach that can freak you out a little bit. But I felt that as the practice went on, we got focused, locked in and I felt good about what I saw the last three quarters of practice.”
Pelin went onto say that when those moments happen where he might feel compelled to reign things in a bit, that's just what he does. “I've been known to do that every now and then,” Pelini said with a chuckle when talking about his talk he had with the team. “In my own little way.”
The health situation going into the contest is one that Pelini described as about as good as you might expect this late in the year. One of the question marks is junior linebacker Phillip Dillard, who continues to practice this week after being out for the better part of the last three. Pelini said that he's still at around 85 percent, and while he hasn't missed a practice this week, they will continue to evaluation his situation up to the game.
On the recruiting front, Nebraska scored twice yesterday, nabbing safety Dijon Washington for the class of 2009 and Aurora High School standout Andrew Rodriguez for the class of 2010. While the Huskers might not be actively looking for any more commits for next year's class, they are still looking for a few more for this one.
The Head Coach said that they plan on hosting up to nine official visitors this weekend, a number which would have been greater if some of their prospects weren't still playing in games. “There could have been a few others, but they won their games this last weekend. So, obviously they aren't available, because they are still playing,” Pelini said.
Nebraska will conduct its normal walk through tomorrow.
Click the following link for the full post practice audio.
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