Monday Practice Report

Following the loss to Texas, there wasn't this air of being humiliated, because the Huskers certainly weren't. It was a day that Nebraska looks back upon as a game that simply got away. If but for a few details, a missed opportunity here and there, Nebraska would be talking about victory instead of the Horns. Coach Solich addressed the media today as coaches reflect and of course, prepare.

If you watched the game, you know that Nebraska did Texas more favors than you would want to see. Botched snaps, turnovers and turnovers that should have been, it all added up to a three point victory for the Horns. It wasn't all bad though, but when you lose, it's those negative things that are most noticeable. "There was a lot of great effort." Solich stated. "A lot of individual plays and some great team play at times by us."

"But, we looked at what we could still work at, at getting better and certainly, there are areas, but I am pleased with the attitude, the effort and at times, how we played."

Much of the focus has been towards the last play of the game, that resulted in a Texas interception. With time enough for two plays, there were still questions as to whether the pass play was the right call or would it have been more prudent for NU simply to kick a field goal and take their chances into overtime. "To me, it was somewhat obvious that with two downs that you do try to win the game." Solich stated. "I have no problems on my end of it with that call. I think it's the right way to go about it."

"The bottom line is, I think you try to win it when we did."

The actual play that resulted in the interception obviously had designs to accomplish something other than what actually occurred. "The route is designed to go to the back corner of the endzone." Solich stated. "The receiver did get bumped and broke the route off a little shorter than you [normally] would."

This was a huge play, a play that did directly effect the result of the game, but it was but one amongst many, but as coach Solich stated, many wasn't enough. "We only had 63 snaps in the game and they had 83." Solich stated. "Normally, you like to have that reversed. Then, you get multiple reps to different people."

"In this case when you add David (Horne) and Dahrran's carries and of course, Jammal was averaging 10 yards per carry, and then hope that the number of snaps will work out so that you can get your I-backs more snaps than what they got."

Despite Jammal's game-ending miscue, his performance during this game lent more to awe than it did to disgust as Lord carried the ball for a whopping 234 yards. Though you could easily say that this performance wasn't complete, it was certainly impressive. "He had a great game running-wise." Solich stated. "We are real pleased with a lot of the things he did. He's still to some degree a quarterback that is young in a lot of ways. But, he's learning at a very rapid rate. We are really pleased with where he is at right now."

New Faces?

Nebraska did have some good news today, that being the return of Chris Kelsay and Lannie Hopkins as both suited up for NU's Monday practice. While coaches are certainly happy to have them back however, their playing statuses are still uncertain. "Lannie has to be cleared by the doctor before any contact occurs and Chris is still really on a day by day situation." Chris's presence alone as a participant however, is welcome. "It's been a month or so since he has had a helmet on." Solich staetd. "It was good to have him out there for a lot of reasons. Just the uplift that he gives us when he is on the field, but he's a great player and we would certainly like to have him back."

Nebraska will continue their preparations for this weekend's game against Kansas. This will be Nebraska's "Homecoming" game as fans and coaches alike show their appreciation to the players that will be graduating this year.

Ode to Kevin Steele

Following coach Steele's firing from Baylor, many that were once associated with Steele no doubt had comments or at the very least, thought about the situation. Solich commented on what he knew of the situation and about his conversation with Steele following the announcement of his firing. "I spoke to him yesterday." Solich stated. "You feel very badly for him. But, the thing that's tough to piece together is that I believe that he has been there for 3 and a half years. You look at any program that has been down for a long period of time, to expect it to get turned around [in 3 ½ years), the expectation level, that's pretty high."

"It sounded [from them] as if he was doing a great job in bringing the program along. I think Kevin has handled that extremely well and that his gesture to remain as coach for the rest of the year, to his first thought coming back to his players, for a guy in that position to think about his players speaks volumes as to what the guy is all about."

Steve Ryan can be reached at huskerconnection@neb.rr.com or 402-730-5619


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