Saturday Practice Report

Half-pads to half-dead. Probably not quite as final or near-fatal as that sounds, but at this point, the longer-than-usual practices are starting to set in, legs weary, minds lessen in their attentiveness and overall comprehension. Face it, these guys are just about shot. And this is the time where the real practice begins.

"They're very tired today." Frank Solich said of the fatigued football team. "We have had some long practices and of course and they are in shoulder-pads, now two days in a row."

Just when you think it can't get much harder though, that's when the "fun" really begins. "They will be in full pads tomorrow." Solich said of tomorrow's practice, the last of the 2 and a half hour + practices.

As you might guess, when players are fatigued, when their bodies are about to rebel, that's not necessarily the best time to see what you can get out of them physically. But, as coach Solich stated, this is almost the best time to see what they are made of, mentally speaking. "It was a good lesson today." Solich stated of this practice. "They were tired and you've still got to play great football when you are tired and if you are not careful, your mind kind of drifts on you and you start to have mental errors."

Mental errors that Solich went on to say happened like expected. "That happened to us some there today." he said of the mental lapses. "So, it was a good learning experience and we've got to get to the point where we work our way through that and we play excellent football when we are physically tired."

You probably wouldn't be surprised that this is a time that players might dread, but Solich admitted that for coaches, it's almost ideal because it really offers you a chance to test your team's resilience before they are ever really tested during the season. "Fall camp offers you an opportunity to address your team on a lot of issues because it's so demanding." he said.

"Football is that way and you don't play this game without it demanding an awful lot from you and you've got to be able to respond when it does. It's just a matter of training yourself to do that."

"All the great players, all the great teams, they do that."

One other thing teams do or such seems to be the case is that true freshmen often see the rather unflattering parts of being just that. Though "hazing" is openly discouraged, the belief is, is that at some level, it still happens from time to time.

Nebraska is no different.

With that in mind, certain freshmen were sporting new and interesting hair-cuts, Brett Byford and Ryan Schuler just to name a couple, the kind of hair-cuts no beautician would ever take credit or in this case, responsibility for. Nobody is saying anything, but you can imagine that their new "styles" weren't exactly voluntary. "It's a situation where I am being fed that, that's the haircut they wanted." Solich stated. "But, I'm not so sure that, that was the case."

"We do address the team about hazing, because that's something you never want to get started. As small as something seems, it generally starts to expand from there and then you got yourself a lot of problems, so another learning situation for us."

The players practice again tomorrow, ending the week-long session of inordinately long workouts, but it will be in full-pads for the first time during Fall camp. The practice time has also been changed to 10 a.m., mostly for the reason (as Solich stated) to give the players some rest before they start two-a-days on Monday.

  • Darren Delone was still not on campus, Solich stating that it was believed that he would join the team this coming Monday, but with an obvious tone of not enjoying the entire situation with the delay on the arrival of the JUCO transfer, he simply said "We'll see."

  • Jason Lohr returned to practice, but wasn't able to complete the entire practice. Recovering from back spasms, the senior will be looked to be the veteran anchor if not the most prominent anchor on the interior defensive line this year.

  • Kyle Larson was reported to have some slight swelling in his foot, but is said to be just a sprain and isn't expected to be "long lasting".

Steve Ryan can be reached at huskerconnection@neb.rr.com or 402-730-5619


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