The Huskers finally hit the final week before the official beginning of the 2009 season. But after one day of looking specifically at getting ready for Western Kentucky, the first opponent for the Huskers, Head Coach Bo Pelini said his team wasn't ready at all. "(We did)A little bit more introduction into Western Kentucky. I think we need better attention to detail. There were some good things, but there were some mental errors that weren't up to our standard," he said. "We need a whole week's practice to get ready for this football game."
This is about the time of year where walk-ons have a chance to earn a scholarship as we head into this season. And one did indeed get one, that going to junior safety Austin Cassidy. Cassidy is the son of Tim Cassidy, the current Director of Football Operations at Texas A&M, which is the same job he held at Nebraska until he left for College Station two years ago. His son decided to stay in school at UNL, though, and Pelini said he's both proud of Cassidy, but regretted he only had one scholarship to give. "I can't say enough about Austin. There are a number of deserving walk ons, but we really only had one slot," Pelini said. "It's hard to pick a guy. But Austin has done a great job. He's come a long way. He's busted his butt and it goes to show that hard work pays off. "
Another slight change pertains to senior quarterback Latravis Washington as Washington will now be serving double-duty of sorts, playing a reserve role at signal-caller, but also trying his hand at special teams. Pelini said that Washington had requested the duty, and Pelini obliged, acknowledging what an asset Washington has been since he arrived. "It's his senior year. He's done a lot. He has sacrificed a lot for this football team," Pelini said. "He wanted an opportunity to play special teams, so he is going to be given that opportunity some. I think it's a place where he can help the football team."
Washington was originally recruited to play safety at Nebraska by the old coaching staff. He was then moved to Linebacker, but after Pelini arrived he moved over to QB. "Latravis is as good a guy in the locker room as you are going to have. We love having him around. He has a great attitude. He's a winner. I can't say enough good things about L.T.," Pelini said.
With this now being game week, Pelini said that the practices are now more first team and second team with some extras thrown in. "Now it's more ones and twos. You are kind of working a two deep and a mixture of other guys," he said.
As for quarterback? Pelini stuck to his guns of not tipping his hand, saying "We manage the reps at the quarterback position in a way that's going to enable us to play the best we can right now."
Nebraska will have its first in-season press conference tomorrow as the Head Coach as well as a number of players talk about the game ahead.
Post Practice Audio with Bo Pelini