Nebraska has had those injuries, and unfortunately for the big red, so some vital players on the team.l
- Junior linebacker Phillip Dillard suffered a ankle injury against Baylor two weeks ago
- Senior offensive tackle Lydon Murtha suffered a foot sprain against Oklahoma this last weekend.
- Junior wide receiver Menelik Holt injured his knee against Baylor
In regard to Holt, Pelini said that he
has progressed well and is a "lot better" than he was going into
the week. Pelini said, though, that he's still questionable for this
weekend's game against Kansas.
Dillard will also not make it for this
weekend's game, but the head coach said that he was actually farther
along than they thought he would be at this point.
As for Murtha, with the MRI coming up
negative, Pelini said that the prognosis is good, and even the senior right tackle
didn't practice today, in regard to the Kansas game, he couldn't be completely ruled out.
Other than the physical state of the team, many would still wonder about the mental state, the Huskers trying to rebound after the devastating loss to the Oklahoma Sooners this last Saturday. While Nebraska rebounded nicely after their only other convincing loss, that coming against Missouri in the conference opener, there is always a concern as to whether or not the team can do it yet again.
Not for Pelini, though. He said that the team's focus hasn't been an issue, and at least up to this point he's been very pleased with how his team has responded this week. "I think we are in good position for this point of the week. We still have another work day tomorrow, and I told them that we've done well this week," Pelini said. "I like the progression we've had. I think we are going to be ready to play good football."
One of the themes, it would seem, stemming from two losses where Nebraska gave up more than 50 points in the game, is that the focus of Pelini's squad hasn't been an issue. Point of fact, many players have said that a loss like that can refocus you sometimes better than coming off a win. There's obviously good and bad to that for the head coach. "We talk about all the time (and) they are young kids and they don't understand to a certain extent, you are always dealing with complacency," Pelini said.
"That's why we don't change our approach much. It's very matter-of-fact, very much we need to get better every day no matter what, all the time (and) try to keep them on an even keel. Otherwise it's human nature, you are going to ride the roller coaster a little bit."
Another thing that's not necessarily human nature, but certainly the nature of Pelini's profession, is that one day things are a certain way and the next they could be entirely different.
Pelini, not having heard the news following the practice, was very sympathetic of Prince, not just because of what he knows about Prince himself, but because Pelini knows just the nature of this bussiness in which he's involved. "Everyone is trying to do the best job they can. It's tough. It's never easy," Pelini said. "I feel for him and the coaches there, because that's a tough deal.
"From what I know about him and how the kids respond to him, I am sure they will play hard for him (the rest of the season)."
Nebraska will resume practice tomorrow as they finish up preparations for the Kansas Jayhawks. The game will not be aired on regional TV, but will be available on a Pay-Per-View basis, the contest scheduled to kick off at 1:30 P.M. central time. The oddsmakers have this game as a "Pick'em", which means no team is favored to win either way.
Check out our post practice audio as the head coach talks about all that above, plus more about Prince, his own situation when staffs are let go, more on injuries, the mentality of his team and where he thinks his group is at right now.
Post Practice Audio -
Also check out the Red Zone for the latest in recruiting as the early time could have an impact on potential official visitors this weekend. Who will be here? Who won't be? Check out the Red Zone for the last in Husker recruiting.