One can only wonder about the attitudes on the team. Possibly detached, maybe a little dejected and perhaps more than a little disappointed after the most recent disappointing loss. You would expect it. Heck, you might even encourage it, but as far as coach Solich is concerned, this team has their minds in the right place. "They are disappointed coming off of last week's game." Solich said. "This is the final regular season game [coming up] and we want to go out and play exceptionally well and play on top of our game."
"That's their attitude. That's what they are pointing towards doing and that's it."
Based on the defensive performance of the Huskers this last week against Kansas State, especially against the run, the game against run-happy Colorado doesn't bod well. Though CU seems to be without their star running back, Chris Brown, their back up has proven capable of putting up almost 200 yards in a game himself, just this last weekend.
What is coach Solich expecting? "What their game plan is, is to wear down opponents." Solich stated. "They can throw in one back after another at the I-back, at the fullback spot and out of a three back set up. By coming at you and doing it with big backs that run very hard, the key will be to not let those guys get started."
"These guys run it right at you and will continue to run it right at you and have done exceptionally well with that."
There is talk of course about what NU's offense can do against CU's defense, coming off one of the worst rushing performances in years, not even managing 100 yards in rushing versus the Wildcats. That kind of ineffectiveness makes this game unsettling if not downright scary. And you can bet CU doesn't plan on helping to ease the fear. "They are on the move an awful lot." Solich stated. "They will slant, they will blitz inside, they will come with outside blitzes."
"They will just try to outnumber you and pressure you with a lot of movement and so that's a challenge, so basically, they are an excellent team all the way around."
There is no concern in the up-coming contest against the Buffaloes about a lack of emotion however. For the next two weeks, players and coaches will be reminded of the pasting Nebraska too last year and the 62-36 score that Colorado thought so much of, they actually engraved it into their conference title rings.
For fans, it's a no-brainer to get up for. For players, you know it's in the back of their minds, but for coaches, they don't admit that this game has anymore "luster" than any other. "If you are a football player, everytime you line up, there's a lot of luster in the game." Solich stated. "So, we look at it from that angle. Regardless of whether you are playing for a conference championship, a national championship or a division championship, the game is still the same."
"If you are an athlete that takes pride in everything he does every time that you line up, you work at doing your best."
"To us, everything is still there. It's another game coming up that we want to respond and we want to play our best."
Though last year is a reference, Solich continued to state that it wasn't a motivator, as each game has it's own merit and basically putting it, a win was a win.
Rest assured though that fans will most certainly feel quite differently if that's the case.
Jammal Lord did not practice today, but it would appear that it's nothing serious and DeJuan Groce practiced today following an injury he sustained against K. State. TE, Jon Bowling is also being evaluated and is considered at this point, "day to day".
Steve Ryan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 402-730-5619