Huskers continue to prepare for Wildcats

Posted Dec 15, 2009

The Huskers came back to practice today as they get ready for the Holiday Bowl match up between themselves and the Pac Ten runner-up, Arizona Wildcats. But it’s business as usual for the Head Coach.

The Huskers went half-pads today as they approach facing the Wildcats amid Finals Week at the University of Nebraska.

The addition of that particular factor could have been some contributor to practice just being OK with the head coach. “It was a decent practice. It was decent tempo – nothing great. I’d say it was pretty average,” Pelini said of the overall impressions from today’s practice. “I’m sure we’ll pick it up better tomorrow.”

With the distractions of finals for many of the athletes, one had to wonder how the schedules work in regard to getting enough practice in while allowing plenty of time for kids to study for their last exams of the semester. It’s not Pelini’s first go-around with that, however. So, he’s comfortable with the schedule they have laid out, which will have them practicing tomorrow, Friday and Saturday this week. “it’s the schedule I have been around. I like the schedule. You have to make use of every chance we have to practice,” Pelini said.

One aspect of bowl preparations that isn’t really possible during the course of a season is the additional opportunities to get

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younger players some practice reps they might not have gotten during the course of the season. Many of these players, because they have redshirted or are on the Scout Team, have spent most of the season replicating the offense or defense of the team Nebraska was to play rather than what Nebraska does itself.

Pelini said that approaching that with the more inexperienced players was part of bowl preparations. But it wasn’t foremost on his mind, saying “We’re getting ready to win a football game. Any time you are out here, you have a chance to get reps. You have a chance to improve yourself.”

Speaking of improving, there will be no doubt a lot of thoughts around Husker land about this offense of the Huskers, which has managed to produce less than 20 points per game in conference play. It was an offense that didn’t score a single offensive touchdown versus Texas in the Big 12 Title game, junior placekicker Alex Henery getting the credit for all 12 points from four field goals. As to any changes with the offense during this valuable time, Pelini said that bowl preparation or not, that’s something they always look at doing. “We’re always looking to tweak the offense a little bit,” he said, but said confidently “We’ll be ready to go.”

Pelini added when asked about the current quarterback situation with junior Zac Lee starting and freshman quarterback Cody Green backing him up, “there is no change (on who might start).”

Nebraska will resume practice tomorrow as the players try to navigate preparations for Arizona as well as preparations for finishing off this semester of school.


Senior defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh said he has two final exams tomorrow. As you might guess, he's more anxious about graduation which is this Saturday, than he is the bowl game. But he said once this weekend is out of the way, all his attention will be on going out with that 10th win, which he said he hopes will lead to the team next year doing even better.

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Sophomore defensive end Pierre Allen didn't practice today. Since the late part of the season Allen has been nursing a chronic toe injury which Defensive Coordinator Carl Pelini said, simply needs time to heal. The process for Allen since has been getting a practice day off here and there. So, he is expected back to practice this week, potentially as early as tomorrow.

The team started acutal Arizona practice today

In regard to recruiting, this is a time where coaches can hit the road, seven at any one time, and do in-home visits with a number of senior prep players around the country. The Head Coach said that they will do that this week, but not until toward the tail end.

Check out this post practice video with senior defensive tackle, Ndamukong Suh. And make sure to keep checking back as we will have much more audio and video with Husker coaches and players from today's practice.

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