Spring practice hits home stretch

The questions following the Saturday scrimmage were many. What happened that the defense apparently owned the offensive line? Was this the way the team was supposed to look versus how it actually looked last year? Is the defense finally going to put together a legitimate four-man rush? Oh, and who is the starting quarterback going to be? Yes, lots of questions, but did NU find any answers today?

It's only a couple more practices before the spring game arrives and one of the bigger questions is, who will be the quarterback that takes the field as the starter for the contest.

 

The coaches have been very non-committal as to just who was sitting where on the depth chart, but based on his stellar performance in the Saturday scrimmage and his continuing progression, quarterback coach Jay Norvell knew where Taylor was sitting as of right now. "Right now, Zac would be with the first unit," Norvell said. (see HOT NEWS for more of Norvell's comments on Taylor)

 

Along with Taylor, sophomore Beau Davis has done nothing to tarnish his luster as a QB that might vie for at least a spot on the two-deep. Getting more reps on Saturday than he had gotten at any point during the spring, Davis took advantage of the opportunities. (see HOT NEWS for quotes from Norvell on Davis' improvement).

 

With Joe Ganz also on the rise, according to Norvell, the question begs, ‘where's Joe?'. During the Saturday scrimmage, Dailey suffered an apparent shoulder injury, albeit minor according to Norvell and he also stated that Joe was cleared to practice today. However, Norvell said that Joe didn't throw any due to that shoulder bothering him some still.

 

Prior to spring, Norvell had stated that he had hoped to have a firm three-deep by the time this session was over, but said that right now, nothing solid has been established. "We really wanted to see competition," he said. "We need depth at that position. We need to be able to function and operate and do the things that we're trying to do in the passing game."

 

"Those back up quarterbacks have come along. They are making a lot of strides. Beau Davis and Joey Ganz, as well as Zac, they all have come a long way and have given us some play at quarterback where we can function in the passing game and that's encouraging."

 

There's probably going to be debate as to the quarterback us right up to the home opener against Maine, but the questions come as easily when talking about the defensive line. Over the last two practices, the defensive front has been a major thorn in the side of the offense, the quarterbacks finding themselves throwing under duress more often than not.

 

Norvell said that at this point, what kind of success the defense was having wasn't a major concern, rather it was somewhat expected and won't change what they are going to do on offense. "Spring ball is different," Norvell said. "In spring ball, we don't work on a lot of things that we see. The defense is working on their things and we are working on our things."

 

"When we get into a game situation in the fall, we'll practice against different blitz looks and game plan a little bit more, but it's pretty typical of spring practice."

 

The progress the offense has made has been significant in respect to last year's practice at this time. Players with a familiarity with what they are doing and more cohesion with the coaching staff has seemingly made this unit far better in its continuity and execution.

 

The Huskers will have just two more practices to go before they get to see in live action if that is legit and takes them into the off-season feeling good about themselves and they will do it in front of what is expected to be a crowd similar to last year.

 

The only thing known for certain about the game up-coming is that if it were today, Zac Taylor would be the starting quarterback. Outside of that, not much else is known.

 

Nebraska will resume practice on Wednesday and then go again on Thursday, take Friday off and get ready for a 12:30 P.M. kickoff on Saturday for the annual Red/White game.

 

NOTES:

 

-                      WR/PR Santino Panico did not practice today and has missed the last two practices. Jay Norvell said of Panico's absence that he "didn't know" the reason for it, deferring to head coach Bill Callahan for further comment. Callahan was not available after practice to comment on Panico's current situation.

 

-                      The team worked special teams, both punt and kickoff return today, along with various down and distance situations with minimal contact.

 

-                      Make sure to check out our latest VIDEO in 1 on 1 with the Huskers as Justin Stoller interviews offensive tackle Mike Huff and middle linebacker Lance Brandenburgh. As of right now, Huff, having moved over to the right tackle position from guard is working with the third team and Brandenburgh has been working with the first team at the MIKE spot.

 


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