Huskers resume practices with skeleton crew

Bo Pelini

Following a day off, the Huskers returned to practices as they hit the first week of what will be a two-week timeframe to prepare for the visiting Virginia Tech Hokies. Head Coach Bo Pelini said after practice today that there are a lot of upsides to a bye-week, but one of the byproducts of that today was the fact that he was short a few members of his staff for practice.

There's a lot you can accomplish in a bye-week. It's time to get healthy, extra time to work on the up-coming opponent and as always, it's an extra opportunity to work on the basics of the game which are so key to executing on game day.

But there is also time to recruit.

Because of that Head Coach Bo Pelini found himself with a skeleton crew as many of his assistants were on the road recruiting, trying to find the next playmakers for the big red. That didn't slow the first-year coach down, though, as it may have been a half-padded practice, but it was business as usual for the team. "We kind of got right to it – went right out of the meeting room and came out here on the field and did mainly good-on-good, just to get their tempo going," Pelini said. "All in all, it was about an hour and 15, hour and 20 minutes, but it was good work."

Even with almost two full weeks to prepare for Virginia Tech, there is no lack of wanting to emphasize some of the things you are likely to see when the Hokies come to down. One of those is Head Coach Frank Beamer's penchant for big plays on special teams. It's one-third of the game, as the Husker Head Coach would tell you, but he knows that a little extra as they prepare for the nationally televised game wouldn't hurt. "There is always an emphasis on special teams around here. That's a phase of the game we always want to win," Pelini said. "We understand their history on special teams and how good they are. We always emphasize it, but the players understand the need to play well in that phase of the game in this contest."

As they prepare this week coach Pelini said that they will be doing it minus sophomore defensive Pierre Allen and junior safety Rickey Thenarse. Allen is being sidelined from an injury sustained against New Mexico State, and Thenarse continues to be out as he continues to rehab from a shoulder injury suffered against San Jose State two weeks ago.

In regard to both, though, Pelini said that both missing this week isn't a matter of them, not being able to go, but the staff just being careful with them and making sure they are ready for when Virginia Tech comes to town. "He's pretty much full-go, but we want to keep him from hitting this week and turn him loose next Monday," Pelini said of Thenarse. As for Allen Pelini said, "We'll see how it goes, but we're probably going to hold him out this week and then let him start practicing on Monday." Like Thenarse, cornerback Anthony West has been out since game two, and Pelini said of his status, that he is day-to-day.

Nebraska will get back to full-padded practice tomorrow, where Pelini said that the team will get back the full physical drills as they continue practices this week. The Huskers will be in primetime when Virginia Tech comes to down, ABC picking up the Huskers/Hokies for a 7:00 P.M. game.

This will make it three out of the four non-conference games the Huskers have played under the lights. Post practice audio with Head Coach Bo Pelini

What's he talkin' about: A short day, Responding after time off, Pulling back a bit, An extra week for Va. Tech, Rickey Thenarse, Special teams, Smashmouth contests, Night games, Pierre Allen, Anthony West, Virginia Tech's early woes, Making a statement?

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