Huskers finish up week with strong scrimmage

Check out today's notes on practice as the Huskers wrap up the regular week of practice and are only two more weeks from the season-opener against Western Kentucky.

  • The team went full pads today, scrimmaging for approximately an hour, according to Head Coach Bo Pelini.
  • The team was obviously absent sophomore linebacker Sean Fisher and junior cornerback Anthony Blue. Pelini said that in regard to corner, they were sitting pretty good as far as depth, but with this being Blue's second knee injury in his Husker career, Pelini said that he felt for what Blue was going through. "It's tough on him, but he's in good spirits," Bo said. "He'll have his surgery next week. On the linebacker side, Will Compton is working in there, Lavonte David, Eric Martin and we obviously play our PESO. So, we have a lot of options, a lot of interchangeable parts."
  • On the quarterback situation, Pelini said he sees all three guys getting better, those players being senior Zac Lee, sophomore Cody Green and redshirt freshman Taylor Martinez. But Pelini did say that the picture is becoming a little clearer, though, he would not clarify what that meant.
  • Senior tight end Dreu Young is out for at least half the season or perhaps the entire year with a flare up in his back. Last year Young had surgery over the Summer on his back, and this seems to be a related issue.
  • Pelini continued on that paying, saying that the situation at tight end is good enough that they don't have to do any real shuffling at this point. But he didn't rule out the possibility of moving Michael McNeill back to the position.
  • A host of players are being looked at to take the place of sophomore Seah Fisher, who broke his leg earlier this week. Pelini included most of the obvious names as players who could take Fisher's spot, and also said that junior college transfer Lavonte David has looked good over the Fall.
  • On senior Rickey Thenarse: "He's doing well. He missed some time, so obviously he has to work on his consistency issue. But I am seeing him do some better things. I think his understanding of what we are doing is better, but he still has a ways to go," Pelini said.
  • The new AP poll is out, and the Huskers are ranked eighth in the preseason. Expectedly, Pelini was dismissive of what that ranking means. "It's pretty irrelevant to what we are doing. That all plays itself out in the end. If we play good football then we'll be deserving of that. Hopefully we can move up from there if we do what we are capable of doing," he said. But he did admit that starting high in the preseason is better than starting low. "I guess it's pretty easy to move down if you screw up and you lose early. But it's pretty hard to move up if you start way out of there. So, that's always a positive," he continued.
  • Much of the buzz around this Fall practice versus last year is how much the offense has actually been able to do some things, versus last year where it seemed like they couldn't do much at all against that obviously very good Husker defense. Pelini said that experience is a big key, depth is another. But reiterated that the offense isn't preparing for their defense. They are just trying to get better. "We're just looking to evaluate guys (and) tech guys basics. It's not about winning or losing, offensively or defensively. That's the furthest thing from any of our minds," he said. "But I think it's obvious the offense has made some strides. They are playing better. We are deeper. We have more options. Guys are making plays. It's fun to watch. I like what I am seeing on the offensive side of the football."
  • At left tackle there is obviously a good battle going on between junior Jermarcus Hardrick and redshirt freshman Jeremiah Sirles. Pelini said that it's a good competition, but that they are still making a lot of mistakes. I asked him about the idea that due to the fact that those were the two main competitors for that spot, then they must have confidence that they will indeed be ready for the season-opener. Pelini said he thought they might, but the depth on the offensive line gives them some room, just in case. "We are in a situation where we have two right tackles with experience, and one of those guys could easily go to the other side if need be," Pelini said. "That's one of the big differences we have on the line than in years past. We have some more options. We have more depth. We have more flexibility in how we play our unit."
  • On junior linebacker Lavonte David: "Fisher's injury aside, Lavonte has shown that he is a really good football player, and he's a guy that can be a factor for us," Pelini said. "We're excited about him and what he's shown at this point. He's come in and made some quick strides."
  • On Terrence Moore: "He's done some things. He and Baker (Steinkuhler) and Thad Randle – all those guys are playing some good football. I feel good about the first four guys, plus you add Chase Rome to that mix, who has taken a lot of reps," Pelini said.
  • Bo was asked about comparing the issues this year versus last year in regard to the temperament of the players. There has been some reports of fights and punishment being handed out for those fights. Pelini said that what they are going through now is typical, and he had  no worries about that being an issue. "it's football," he said.
  • Next week's practice will be half-and-half between game planning for the season-opener, Pelini saying that they will probably go to Wednesday with the continuation of camp and then moving into game-plan preparation.
  • There has been much said about the media ban, and for this next week the access to the media will be limited to three days. Bo will address the media Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, while players will be available only on Tuesdays. That's the early impression thus far from what Bo said after practice today.

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