Nebraska finalizes preparations for Missouri

Nebraska concluded their preparations for the up-coming contest with the Missouri Tigers. Amongst the biggest questions outside of what fans might see in the actual game, is who will be on the field, particularly defensively. The linebackers are banged up, so their status is the question of the day.

For this Saturday's pivotal game in deciding the Big 12 North, the biggest question seems to revolve around the health of the team and just who will or won't be on the field turf for the big red.

In last week's game against Oklahoma State, a hampered linebacking corps was ineffective throughout much of the contest, none of Nebraska's starting linebackers ranking in the top five for the Huskers, in regard to tackles.

Getting players like junior linebackers Corey McKeon and Steve Octavien back and healthy, has been a major concern for this staff this week.

To that end, while this was a non-padded practice, McKeon was still out, Octavien practiced and now it's just a waiting game, hoping that everyone is good to go for Saturday. "We are just trying to keep him rested (but) get him all the mental reps," head coach Bill Callahan said of McKeon. "When a guy (another player) is taking a rep, you can stand behind the coach and mirror everything that is going on mentally."

There will be a question as to just what kind of shape the linebackers will be in come the game. But there isn't a question as to how much the weekend itself has hurt Nebraska. The time, specifically, another A.M. start time for the Huskers basically killing a promising weekend of official visitors. Where there were an estimated 10 players who had planned on making it in, now there is more than likely just one, that being current Nebraska commit Patrick Witt.

That hurts, and the head coach said that it just puts pressure on them to make it up down the road. "It's stung it pretty good from the numbers of guys we wanted in," Coach Callahan said of official visitors for this game and for the Texas game two weeks ago. "I think looking at the two weekends, 12, maybe 16 kids (weren't able to make it), so it hurts."

"We just have to bring them in when we can. We just have to try and reschedule all of these cancellations and try to work and get them in as soon as we can, whether it's the Colorado game or whether it's an official visit following that."

"Whatever we can do - we just have to keep working hard at it."

Nebraska will hit the stadium one more time tomorrow for their walk through as they finalize the mental preparations for the contest with Missouri. The game is scheduled to kick off at 11:00 A.M. central time, and will be aired regionally on ABC Sports. The weather is supposed to be as good as it has been all week, temperatures predicted to be in the 50s, with sunny weather and little wind.

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