It's Déjà vu all over again as it's another year and another depleted linebacking corps.
Stemming from injuries suffered against Texas , linebackers Bo Ruud and Blake Lawrence, the number one and two players at the SAM linebacker position, respectively, have been ruled out for this weekend's game against Kansas . Neither will travel with the team.
Taking their place is junior Tyler Wortman, who has three tackles on the season, including one for a loss, and freshman Latravis Washington, who up to this date, has yet to play any snaps at the position, his involvement coming strictly on special teams.
While there has been some speculation as to whether or not other linebackers like senior Corey McKeon, could be moved to an outside position if needed, Head Coach Bill Callahan said that the middle linebacker position will not change from its current rotation of McKeon and sophomores Phillip Dillard and Nick Covey. The WILL linebacker position will be Steve Octavien and sophomore Major Culbert.
There is still no official word as to who will be the back up quarterback this weekend, between freshman Patrick Witt and junior Beau Davis. Coach Callahan said that he still wanted to review some more film and evaluate the players a little more.
As to the starting quarterback, the Head Coach remarked about how well Joe Ganz' first week of practice has gone as the new number one. "(He's been)
Focused, concentrated, detailed – that's how I would describe him, based on him
living up in the office all week. He's been around every single minute," he
"He's just poured a ton of time into this preparation. I've got a good feel about that and I know that he did a heck of a job on the practice field. That's what happens when you prepare hard off the field. Those are the results that occur when you really focus in on all the small details of the game. So, I am proud of him in that respect."
The manner in which Ganz got the starting job wasn't ideal. Nobody wants to get the job at the sake of another due to injury. Some might argue, though, that was about the only way the fourth-year QB was going to get any really serious time.
That's been the road for this Illinois native, one of dealing with adversity, dealing with being number two and trying to stay confident and upbeat throughout. "He's hung in there. He's hung in there through some tough times, where he's been a three, he's been a two, he's been in competition (and) he's been disappointed," Callahan said. "But it's never broke his spirit. He's been encouraged. He lifts everybody up and he's been positive.
"What else can you say about a guy like that? He's a guy's guy in that respect."
For his career, Ganz has played in eight games (five last year), and has completed 10-of-17 passes for 158 yards, throwing for four touchdowns to no interceptions.
Nebraska will conduct a regular walkthrough tomorrow, finalizing the preparations for the top 10 rated Kansas Jayhawks.