Notebook: Monday presser

Topics: Burkhead returns, passing defense, injuries.


Plagued by injury almost the entire season, senior running back Rex Burkhead finally looks like he is ready to get back on the field for an entire game.

"I felt good, no swelling and no soreness," said Burkhead.

Head coach Bo Pelini was asked if Burkhead was going to start and the answer was simple.

"I anticipate Rex starting," said Pelini.


Starting center Justin Jackson left Saturday's match-up against Iowa with a leg injury. Many saw this as a huge loss for the Huskers, but quarterback Taylor Martinez feels the Huskers have more than capable backups.

"They (Jackson, Cole Pensick, Mark Pelini) rep in so much in practice, I have a relationship with Cole, Justin and Mark, so its all pretty good," said Martinez.


Despite a 7-5 record and a third place finish in the Leaders Division, the Wisconsin Badgers' record does not show how good of a team they really can be. The Badgers took an undefeated Ohio State team to overtime, while also losing in overtime to Penn State, after the division was already wrapped up.

"Wisconsin is a great team," said Burkhead. "I know their going to be hungry and we have to be ready to play."

Coach Pelini is not looking at the records when it comes to this weekend's game.

"I know one thing, they are a dangerous team no matter what," said Pelini. "They're a good football team, their physical, their extremely well coached, and I don't put in any stock of what has happened up to this point. It's going to be a tough football game.

2012 IS NOT 2010

In 2010, the Huskers jumped off to a 17-point lead in the Big 12 Championship against the Oklahoma Sooners. But then the Huskers' offense went silent, while the defense would start to have problems of their own. Eventually, the Sooners would come back to win 23-20.

"We got up by so much, so quickly, that we took off the pedal, and we didn't finish that game," said senior tight end Ben Cotton.

Burkhead doesn't see it happening again.

"It's a whole different team compared to those teams," said Burkhead. "It's a completely different team with a completely different mind set."

Martinez was asked how this game was different than the game against the Sooners.

"This time I'm healthy," said Martinez. "We just let it slip away from us, and this time it can't happen."


If you asked a casual fan who had the best pass defense in the country, many people would probably say Alabama, Kansas State, or LSU. But, the Nebraska Cornhuskers come into this week as the top ranked pass defense in the nation. That might surprise most people, but not Pelini.

"No, we have high standards. I think we can be better," said Pelini. "I think we could have done a lot of things better.

"One thing that we have always done in the defenses I have coached is we have always been up there in pass defense. I get criticized a lot on how we play defense and our style, but I believe in it and how it works."

- Josh Harvey -

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