NU MEDIA RELATIONS:
Lincoln, Neb. - The Nebraska football team practiced in helmets, shoulder pads and shorts for 90 minutes Thursday afternoon. Both the defense and offense started with stretching and individual drills in Memorial Stadium, before the defense moved to the Hawks Center for the remainder of the workout.
Head Coach Mike Riley spoke to media following practice to address the progress of the team’s preparation to play Purdue on Saturday.
Coach Riley started off the post practice interview with an injury report, starting with the offensive line.
"Nick Gates practiced today, he didn't necessarily go every play all day with the ones but he did some practicing which was encouraging," Riley said. "David Knevel practiced. Dylan Utter has a dislocated finger so we kept him out of some things today. It is pretty sore but we anticipate it'll be fine by the time we get to the game."
He also mentioned that receiver Jordan Westerkamp will not play on Saturday against Purdue, but is doing well and will hopefully be practicing starting next Tuesday.
Coach Riley also talked about some key points he wants to see happen on Saturday.
"We certainly want to run the ball more consistently and better than we did a week ago," Riley said. "You can take comparisons to just the most recent outing and I thought it was a pretty inconsistent performance by our offense. So consitency can start with running the ball effectively."
He also noted that Purdue is the number one passing team in the league, so defensively Nebraska has to be sound and not give them big pass plays.
"We have to be good tacklers and not give them any runs after the catch." Riley said.
Riley also talked about the focus the team has for the upcoming game.
"I think it is a pretty mature group," Riley said. "I think we are pretty level-headed and we have good leadership that way. I would hope and I think that this group knows all of our games have been hard. I have pretty good faith that this team will handle that part."