Nebraska continued its preparations for the Capital One Bowl, practicing for two hours Friday morning in half pads at Freedom High School in Orlando.
It was the second of four bowl practices leading up to the January 1st game with Georgia. The players lifted weights following the workout while the coaching staff addressed a group of more than 150 high school coaches who attended practice as part of a Nebraska coaching clinic.
Secondary coach Terry Joseph later talked about the challenge of facing Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray and a talented passing attack.
“Obviously their quarterback is a great player. When you look at his stats, 31 touchdowns, eight interceptions, he really does a good job of finding those guys. It’s really going to be a challenge for us. We’ve got to play with great discipline and technique and get some guys around the ball because they can expose you in a lot of different ways. Playing against him the last few years at Tennessee, Murray’s been able to make some big-time throws. You watch him on film, as you watch throughout the season, you really appreciate the ability he has. He’s always in control. He’s a veteran and he doesn’t get rattled a lot.”
Joseph was asked how his secondary, which leads the nation in passing yards allowed and opponent completion percentage, will match up against the Bulldog passing attack.
“I think as you watch us play throughout the season, we want to be aggressive, we want to challenge some guys and we don’t want to give a wide window to throw the ball. We want to have tight coverage and we want to get bodies on bodies. The guys have really bought into the system and played well, but this is going to be a different challenge because they have so many guys who can work down the field. It will be interesting to see how we match up, because everybody has to be on their ‘Ps and Qs’ because anybody who lines up out there can go downtown on you."
Following practice, the Huskers traveled to Universal Studios Florida, visiting a theme park for the second straight day after spending Thursday afternoon at Walt Disney World. Husker players will also have a chance to attend Orlando’s other bowl game, the Russell Athletic Bowl between Virginia Tech and Rutgers Friday night at Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium.
Nebraska holds a third straight morning practice on Saturday.
Georgia also conducted a two-hour practice Friday. Coach Mark Richt said the Bulldogs know they're going to face an excellent rushing attack along with a talented quarterback in Taylor Martinez, who tallied 973 yards on the ground while passing for 2,667 yards and 21 touchdowns. Richt said he is aiming for a strong start and a complete game against the Huskers.
"We had good energy, everybody was locked in and ready to work today. I feel good about preparations so far, I really like how we prepared in Athens, then got a little break and so far so good here in Orlando. It's still a game of emotion and momentum and hopefully we'll start out with the right type of emotion, but we have to play for 60 minutes."
"Martinez can take it the distance on any play, he's a very mobile quarterback, he does a great job and we have to keep pressure on him," said linebacker Jarvis Jones. "We've faced a couple athletic quarterbacks that are gifted with speed. He's explosive. We understand we have to execute our game plan and prepare to do our best when it's game time. The coaches have been doing a great job of putting us in situations to make plays this season. We know Nebraska is very capable of going the distance on some plays."