The Nebraska football team continued its game-week preparations for Saturday's season opener against Wyoming by practicing for a little more than two hours in half pads on Tuesday inside the Hawks Championship Center and outdoors at the Gass Practice Fields.
With the season opener just four days away, second-year defensive coordinator John Papuchis said the Huskers have made great progress in preparing for a productive Wyoming offense.
"Opening games, we usually get a bit of a jump (on opponent preparation)," Papuchis said. "On a Tuesday in a normal game week, today would be a big install day. Today was a little bit more of a review of the things we put in yesterday because we are a little bit ahead. I feel good about where we're at. I like the way the guys approached today."
Papuchis also offered some insight into players who could see significant playing time on Saturday, starting at safety, a position where Nebraska must replace both starters.
"I'm going to wait to say who we're going to start, but I would imagine that (Corey) Cooper, Harvey (Jackson) and Andrew (Green) will all be playing a lot," he said. "Charles (Jackson) is working hard. Charles is a talented kid."
Papuchis then moved onto the linebackers, saying Nebraska's rotation would depend largely on the type of offense Wyoming is running.
"This game is going to be a little bit unique in the fact that it's going to be mostly spread stuff, at least that's what we're anticipating," Papuchis said. "Our MIKE linebacker is going to be David Santos. We have a couple of guys that are working at that dime spot; Mo Seisay's playing there, Nate Gerry's playing there, Zaire Anderson's playing there.
"It kind of depends on what we're seeing. If there's a tight end in the game for Wyoming, they're going to see more true linebackers. If it's four-wide, you'll probably see more defensive backs."
Finally, Papuchis was asked to breakdown the battle for starting positions on the defensive line.
"Up front, (defensive end) Jason Ankrah is going to start at one of the spots with (defensive tackle) Thad Randle. If we played tomorrow, Vincent Valentine would start at the other tackle and the other end would be either (Avery) Moss or (Randy) Gregory."
The Huskers are expected to feature plenty of younger defensive players on Saturday. All four of the linebackers Papuchis mentioned and two of the four defensive linemen are in their first or second year in the program. But while he's anxious to see how the youngsters perform in a game, Papuchis said he's more excited than anything at the arrival of the 2013 season.
"I'm excited for the season to be here," he said. "Yes, I'm excited to see some of those young guys get their first opportunity to play, but in general, I'm just excited for the year to be here and to get it kicked off on Saturday."
The Huskers will kick off their 124th season on Saturday from Memorial Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. and the game will be televised live by the Big Ten Network.