Lincoln, Neb. - The Nebraska football team was back at it on Tuesday afternoon, as the Huskers practiced for just over 90 minutes in half pads outside on the Ed and Joyanne Gass practice fields.
Nebraska head coach Mike Riley spoke with the media following Tuesday’s practice, mentioning tight end Trey Foster's injury, among other injuries at the position, have left the unit thin.
"We were maybe just on the edge of, 'Do we have enough depth or not?' so this is a little bit scary," Riley said. "Anything that we might want to expand to with two tight ends in the game much is hard to do. Matt Snyder had an infected elbow that they drained so he'll be out for a while too, but I think Matt will be a redshirt, but anyway we're thin. Our adjustment will be using the fullback a little bit more. Andy (Janovich) is a good football player so that part of it is a positive thing. So we can morph those two groups together with a fullback and a tight end or an H-back and a tight end and do some of the same stuff."
Riley also talked about the decision to play running back Devine Ozigbo right away instead of redshirting him.
"A lot of the running back deal is that those guys are all contributors on special teams. Sometimes not everybody, even on the team gets that, that a guy can initially gain value for getting a chance to play by making that part of the game (special teams) important," Riley said. "That group is full of guys that are pretty good special teams players."
According to Riley, it's next man up when injuries start to occur. Riley explained how the team has been working through injuries and how injuries can eventually strengthen a team.
"The way you work through injuries is the next guys in line gets his work, and that's the beauty of sports is that the next guy up has to do his job and be prepared," Riley said. "If you can survive and get injured guys back while the other guy gets more opportunity to play, you can end up strengthened eventually because of practice and depth. When a guy is all of a sudden thrust into the starting position, even if it is because of an injury, a lot is expected of him so he's got to be that much sharper and further along to end up his end of the bargain and have a chance to stay there. I would never wish for an injury, but there can be a silver lining as you go through it and develop more guys that are getting to practice and make plays."
Riley briefly discussed his assessment of BYU, NU's Sept. 5 season opening opponent, and hinted at what can be expected from Nebraska's offense.
"Brigham Young is a diverse defense, I think they blitz from the bleachers," Riley said. "You've gotta be very sound in how you look at them and pick up people and how you develop your running game and how you're gonna block it and all those things. You have to not be overburdened with too much stuff, but you have to have enough that challenges the defense, so therein lies our issue, here in the next few days, in deciding what that is."