NU MEDIA RELATIONS:
Lincoln, Neb. - The Nebraska football team practiced for 90 minutes in half pads and helmets on Friday evening. The defense practiced in the Hawks Championship Center while the offense took reps in the Cook Pavilion. Several of the younger players and redshirts merged into the Hawks Championship Center following the main portion of practice.
Head Coach Mike Riley spoke to the media for the first time since the announcement of the Huskers' bowl game against Tennessee that will take place in Nashville, Tenn., at the Music City Bowl on Dec. 30 to address how the team is preparing for the matchup. He started off by describing how the team ran through practice for the first time in two weeks.
"I thought it was good today,” Riley said. “It was a different start than I have had almost every bowl year just because it has been a full two weeks and I haven't seen these guys for a while, so we went actually pretty light today with the varsity. We are going to take advantage of what we have, 16 practices, and we are going to progress with our game plan and we will do a little bit more interaction with our offense against defense as we go forward. Then we will continue to work the young guys at the completion of practice."
Riley went on to talk about his thoughts on the announcement of Nebraska's bowl game and the excitement that goes along with the matchup.
"We are excited about the matchup and the city,” Riley said. “I think that there is no doubt that Nashville will do this right, so we are proud to be playing in the Music City Bowl. I think playing against Tennessee in the state of Tennessee will be exciting. We are talking about two national programs. I really liked this team a lot from the very beginning and I would like to see us go out with a win."
Riley proceeded to discuss the hire of assistant coach Donté Williams and how he thinks Williams will benefit the program.
"We are proud to have Donté join our staff,” Riley said. “As you know, I made a dramatic change in our staff, and one of the reasons for that was I thought it was going to be important to add a defensive coach to our staff and a guy that had expertise in the secondary position and would bring us a little different element in recruiting. That is our job description: coach and mentor and grow our current team and then recruit our next one. So we need guys that can bring it on both sides and that's where Donté fits the bill."
The Huskers will be back at practice on Tuesday as they continue to prepare for the Music City Bowl.