Pelini Speaks: Friday Practice Report

The Nebraska head coach has no update on senior center Mike Caputo or the defensive coordinator search.

After Friday's practice, Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini—who recently returned from a two-week recruiting barrage—took the time to answer questions on a variety of topics.

D-Coordinator Opening

With the departure of defensive coordinator Carl Pelini, one of the hottest topics of debate as of lately has been who will fill his shoes. Pelini claimed that he doesn't have a timeline for the highly anticipated decision, but he did give some insight into what the future holds.

"I have a pretty good idea," he said. "To be honest with you, I have a good idea of what I do if we lose a coach and I'll just implement the plan when I'm ready to do it. I've been getting pulled a lot of different directions and doing a lot of different things and I'll handle it in time, but I'll announce it when the time is right."

Some big names have been thrown around the past two weeks by fans, such as former Arizona head coach Mike Stoops and former Illinois head coach Ron Zook. The likely candidate to fill the position, however, is current defensive line coach John Papuchis.

"I think he is a good coach," replied Pelini when asked what he thought about Papuchis. "He's a heck of a football coach, that's why he's on our staff."

Mike Caputo's status

Senior center Mike Caputo was cited on suspicion of DUI after police allegedly found him passed out in a running car early Sunday morning. The All Big-Ten second-team honoree was the staple of Nebraska's offensive line this year.

"I'm not commenting on that until I'm ready to comment on it," said Pelini. "I don't talk about all of those things. Everything I handle—all of the discipline I do—is handled internally. I make the decisions. First of all, it's in the best interest of our program. Secondly, it's also in the best interest of each kid. I handle each situation separately.

"I think over the last few years I showed that I'm fair. We run a disciplined program. We run a program that's based on accountability, and to sit there and lump everything into one situation, you can't do that. You look at every situation and then go with that. I would think people trust me to do that. I know our administration trusts me to do that and make the right decisions."


Pelini , along with his staff, hit the road after the Huskers' 20-7 win over Iowa. To say they've been busy since then is quite the understatement. Since the Iowa victory, Pelini and Co. have been targeting big-name prospects all over the nation.

"I feel good about where we are," said Pelini. "We're excited. We've got a lot of work to be done yet, but that's just part of the deal. I think it's gone well and we just gotta keep pushing. It's a fight ‘til the end."


Earlier this week, senior wide receiver Brandon Kinnie stated that twitter had been banned from the team.

"Why? I'm sick and tired of reading things that shouldn't be out there on twitter so, temporarily, I took it away from them," said Pelini.

He must be trying to send the message that twitter is a privilege, not a right.

Extra practice is good for the youngsters

There is no question that making a bowl game has many positive effects on a football program. One of those positive effects directly correlates with the extra few weeks of bowl practices, which is especially true for the younger players who didn't see much playing time this year.

Said Pelini: "It's good. I think they need time to get out there practicing. It gives them a chance to be on the field, get reps. I feel good about that."

On South Carolina

While Pelini mainly focused on the D-coordinator opening and disciplinary actions for Caputo, he did take a second to comment on Nebraska's Jan. 2 opponent, South Carolina.

"They're a good football team, they're well coached, talented, and they'll be a good challenge for our team."

- Edited by Josh Harvey -

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