Monday Practice Report

Coming off a route of a team would normally be big news, but this was Kansas, so today, it was business as usual and the subject quickly turned to the next opponent for Nebraska, Kansas State. Nebraska travels down to Manhattan to face the 11th ranked Wildcats. Nebraska will try to break the streak of losses to ranked teams on the road, along with trying to better their own bowl bid, by coming away with a big conference victory.

As many were watching the pasting Kansas State was putting on the Iowa State Cyclones, thoughts lingered as to whether the Wildcats were this good or Iowa State had finally fallen back to reality after crushing losses to Texas and Oklahoma prior. Coach Frank Solich had his thoughts. "It became apparent that Iowa State was having trouble moving the ball against them." Solich stated. "Defensively, they have the kind of football team that causes everyone some problems whether you are talking about a running game or a passing game."

The route was a shock to most that watched the game and though Solich didn't concede the surprise, he certainly acknowledged the results. "Anyone that viewed the Kansas State/Iowa State game understands how well they must have played to beat Iowa State the way they did." Solich stated. "Really, they pretty much dominated the game."

"So, they were outstanding at the beginning [of the season] and I think they have continued to improve and are playing at the top of their game right now."

As mysterious the solution might be to solve KSU's success or at least, how to alter it, there is no mystery in what Nebraska must do or in this case, must not do to keep themselves in the game. "You can't give them any breaks, because they take advantage of them so well." Solich said. "Once a turnover is caused, they have the kind of explosiveness at I-back and quarterback to put points on the board."

"It comes down to not making mistakes, not turning the ball over and being on top of your game in order to have it be the kind of game you want it to be."

The two key figures on KSU's offense for Nebraska to stop will be QB, Ell Roberson and RB, Darren Sproles.

Coach Solich saw Roberson as being somewhat similar to NU's own signal-caller. "He's a strong runner." Solich stated. "He's a physical runner as well as [having] quickness and good speed. A lot like Jammal in regards [to rushing] on that end of it."

As for Sproles, his effectiveness is also obvious. "He's got great quickness." Solich stated. "The problem you have is when you feel like you got him surrounded and pinned in, he may not be pinned in and he's got the ability to make you miss and make the big play."

With the game a part of the landscape for the remainder of this week, subjects point now to the current status of the Huskers. "We are still working on keep them [the players] in shape." Solich stated. "They have responded today well as they have all year."

On the injury front, Chris Kelsay is still considered "day to day", but the new scenario is pointed at backup middle linebacker, Chad Sievers. Sievers apparently injured his knee during the Kansas game, but Solich stated that the severity of the injury is not yet known. "We are still getting some tests back and evaluating where that is at right now." Solich stated. "We will be able to let you know tomorrow if there is anything there that will be a season-ending type injury."

Game time for the Kansas State game is scheduled for 11:30 A.M. central time and will be aired on Fox Sports.

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


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