Nebraska day-off report (8-27-15)

Big Red Report brings you the latest from the Huskers day-off.

LINCOLN, Neb. - If you are looking for a practice report, you came to the wrong place. After what Nebraska head coach Mike Riley called a "great meeting," game prepping for BYU, the Nebraska football team did not practice on Thursday. Some players were seen leaving the practice field in shorts after a brief walk-thru session. 

"I did not make the decision (laughter)," said Nebraska defensive coordinator Mark Banker, who the media was still allowed to speak with. "We have been pretty regular as far as scheduled practices and Coach Riley felt the guys have done everything we have asked them to do - they are working hard. We have had injuries, but nothing too terribly bad, some muscle strains and things like that, we thought it would be good idea to just spend the day with some good long meetings. Wrapping up where we are at." 

Nebraska will likely go full practice on Friday and have another practice on Saturday. 

HARVEY DONUTS: 

* Banker wouldn't give a definite time table on when the Blackshirts will be handed out, but it will be in the very near future. "We are pretty close."

* One safety that is coming on in recent days has been sophomore Kieron Williams, pushing true freshman Aaron Williams for the backup job. The job is somewhat crucial going into the BYU game after senior Byerson Cockrell's limited practices in fall camp. 

Ross Dzuris and Freedom Akinmoladun will be the Huskers top backups at defensive end behind Greg McMullen and Jack Gangwish. 

* When asked about what corner Daniel Davie brings to the cornerback posiiton, Banker highlighted the fact Nebraska will face two wide receivers for BYU who are 6-foot-6. 

THE RUNNING GAME NEEDS WORK

In both of Nebraska’s Saturday scrimmages, the Huskers’ running game has failed to get going, leaving many to wonder if it will be a problem heading into the season.

At times it’s been a product of installation or forcing a play despite the defensive look. Too many times, the hole just hasn’t been there against a solid defensive line.

“I think part of the inconsistency has not been finishing blocks or not blocking the right guy,” said offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf. “There has been a little improvement the last couple days, mostly on assignment, but on technique as well. But we have to run the ball more effectively than we have earlier in fall camp.”

Beyond the offensive line, no Nebraska running back has head and shoulders taken control of the spot. Junior Terrell Newby seems to be the leader in the clubhouse to receive the first carry and the most carries, but isn’t in line currently in our opinion to see the bulk of the carries as his predecessor Ameer Abdullah did in 2014. At the Huskers’ current rate, five total running backs could be a factor this fall.

“We are going to play them all the way it’s going,” said Langsdorf.  “They have all been pretty solid.”

NEWBY RETURNS

After getting injured in Nebraska’s first scrimmage, Newby sat out much of last week’s practice and on Saturday during the Huskers BoneYard Bash.

On Monday, the junior returned to the practice field claiming he “is good.”

“I know I wanted to get back to full health and make sure I was feeling good when I came back,” said Newby.

Newby talked with reporters for a couple minutes:

PREPARING FOR BYU

According to quarterback Tommy Armstrong, BYU’s defense does a good job disguising things.

“Blitz wise, they have no rules,” said Armstrong. “We have to make sure our offensive line can see those things, myself see those things.”

After a long installation process, Armstrong says he’s now having fun and looking confident.

“I’m getting comfortable with the playbook,” said Armstrong. “I know where I need to go with the ball and know how to get the ball out at certain times.”  


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