5 Questions: Nebraska

In the interest of getting the lowdown on Nebraska, we reached out to the man in know. Big Red Report's Josh Harvey fills us in on everything Huskers in our Five Questions feature.

Hawkeye Insider: 1. Is there a pattern to the quarterback rotation Nebraska is employing? Is the rotation a good or bad thing for the offense?

Josh Harvey: There was a pattern early on right when Taylor Martinez went down with an injury, but now it seems like whoever has the hot hand between Ron Kellogg III or Taylor Armstrong is going to play.

Armstrong has been limited in practice this week, so it will be interesting to see how the rotation works this Friday, if at all. I don't think it's really hurt the offensive chemistry that much, because there have been so many injuries at wide receiver and offensive line anyway that it seems like each week it's a drastically different set of guys contributing.

HI: 1. How would you classify Bo Pelini's job status right now? Is he coaching for his job this week and in the bowl?

JH: Nobody really knows the answer besides athletic director Shawn Eichorst, because he's holding everything to vest, but I have to think he's okay at this point.

It would cost a little over $8 million to get rid of him and he's won 27 games over the last three years, not counting a possible Iowa win this Friday. Now if Nebraska somehow got blown out by Iowa this weekend, I think that would be a game changer, but at this point I can't imagine the game playing too much into the equation.

HI: 3. Iowa fans have familiarity with Coach Rich Kaczenski from his time with the Hawkeyes? How is he doing with the Huskers D-Line?

JH: The front four started off somewhat slow this season, but has really turned it on as of late. Experience is what Nebraska's front four needed most and guys are starting to play like veterans.

Defensive end Randy Gregory is turning into a future NFL lineman in his first year, while the young interior defensive lineman are showing major promise. Kaz has them going in the right direction and in a few years the Huskers should have the top defensive line in the Big Ten.

HI: 4. Nebraska's defense seems to be improving. Is that the case? If it is, why?

JH: This is a very young squad - the front seven really only has one or two part-time starters back from a year ago. They also replaced both safeties. It took some time - probably more than the coaching staff wanted to see - for this team to come together on that side of the football. When just one guy is not doing his assignment, there can be a breakdown.

At times earlier in the season, it was like Nebraska was playing with nine guys knowing what they were supposed to be doing and two more running around. They got exposed. Now it seems like everyone is on the same page and possibly even more important, guys don't look like they are thinking on the field – they are just playing. You always play faster when you don't have to think about what you are doing.

HI: The Huskers are 2-0 in Heroes games and reporters have been asking Iowa players if they need to start winning to make it a true rivalry? How do the Nebraska players view Iowa?

JH: A lot of Huskers got this question on Monday and didn't really seem too fired up about it. To paraphrase, most said "there is a trophy, so I guess."

It takes years for true rivalries to be born and can't be forced. At this point it just doesn't feel like one yet in Lincoln. Maybe they call it a border battle instead of a rivalry game. I think the players at Nebraska would be a little more fired up about that notion at this point.


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