The Nebraska football team continued its preparations for their season opening game versus Florida Atlantic Tuesday afternoon, as the Huskers practiced for just less than two hours at the Hawks Championship Center and outside on the Ed and Joyanne Gass practice fields.
Both offensive coordinator Tim Beck and defensive coordinator John Papuchis met with the media following practice.
Coach Papuchis noted that the Husker defense has had a good week of preparation for Florida Atlantic. Papuchis said that NU is ready to roll for the Aug. 30 season kickoff with the Owls.
“I thought we have had a solid three days, today was probably the highest tempo and highest energy day in terms of getting the most work in for Florida Atlantic,” Papuchis said. “I thought they came out focused and ready to roll coming off of the off day yesterday.”
Papuchis also mentioned that he has seen a huge jump competitively on the defensive line from last year to this year, but the players still need to prove it on the field.
“I have seen a tremendous amount of growth, which you would expect from the first to the second year. We still have to go out on the field and prove it,” Papuchis said. “I don’t think they are near their ceiling and nor should they, we still have to go prove it on the field before we go out and start handing out awards.”
As for true freshmen that are in the mix to play on the defensive side of the ball, Papuchis threw out a few names that Husker fans should expect to see on the field Saturday.
“There are a couple of guys that are in the mix, Kieron Williams is in the mix, Josh Kalu is in the mix, Chris Jones and DJ Foster are the guys that I would have a chance,” Papuchis said. “Whether they do or not is still to be determined, but we are planning on those guys.”
Offensively, Coach Beck noted that he has seen some good improvement in the backfield with the Huskers talented trio of running backs, mainly by Terrell Newby and Imani Cross.
“I think Terrell is understanding things better as a sophomore now, he is running a bit harder, and just has a better feel for it. Same with Imani---I think Imani knows who he is and does a great job in there. Good leader and a tough physical runner.”
According to Beck, offensively don’t plan on seeing too many true freshmen in the game for NU. Beck did mention wide receiver De’Mornay Pierson-El as a possible contributor.
The Huskers will be back on the practice fields Monday as the Nebraska football team will enter game week preparations for the 2014 season opener versus Florida Atlantic just one week from today, on August 30. Check back here at Huskers.com for a practice report and video coverage following practice immediately.