Nebraska practiced for approximately 90 minutes Wednesday afternoon. Defensive secondary coach Terry Joseph later spoke about the poise he sees out of Minnesota’s dual-threat true freshman quarterback Phillip Nelson.
"Anytime you have a guy in there playing in his first year, I think they have done a good job progressing the offense as he has gotten a little bit more comfortable. What he does is take care of the ball a good bit and then they have those good, big receivers.”
One of the big receivers Joseph was talking about is former starting quarterback MarQueis Gray. Standing 6-foot-4 and weighing 250 pounds, Gray will be the go-to-receiver for the Gophers on Saturday. Gray has caught 12 passes this year for 121 yards.
Joseph put a big deal of emphasis on stopping Gray this week during practice. “He is not the fastest guy, but he uses his body and his body position like a basketball player. In the red zone they probably want to throw a lob to him, so he will try and box us out and turn it to a jump ball.”
As for covering Gray, Joseph expects the whole platoon of Husker cornerbacks to get their chance at Gray. “We will be aware of where he is at and we won’t try and put ourselves in a bad spot.”
Expect a lot of pressure Saturday afternoon when the Huskers match up against the Gophers. “We are going to try and win first and second down and get them behind the chains and then on third down we will let the guys go a bit and let them do their thing.”
Kickoff between the Huskers and Minnesota will be at 2:30 p.m.