The Huskers practiced in jerseys and helmets for about 90 minutes Thursday afternoon as they prepare for the 20th-ranked Michigan Wolverines.
Following practice, head coach Bo Pelini discussed the team's situation at running back heading into Saturday night's game in Lincoln. Pelini said that the fact that sophomore Ameer Abdullah may have to take on a heavier load won't change his duties on kick returns.
"We're going to play it like we have. Ameer will be playing running back, he'll be returning some kicks for us. We have a full range of players at the running back position between Ameer, Braylon and Imani. We feel good about where we're at."
Pelini took some time to discuss true freshman Imani Cross and the improvement he's shown throughout the season. "I think he's getting better. I think he's getting more comfortable. Obviously the more he plays, the more he's in the system, he's developed a better understanding of everything that has to go with the system protection-wise and carrying the football. I think he's more prepared now than he was during the year."
Pelini also praised Cross' work ethic and what kind of personality he brings to the team. "Tremendous work ethic, great kid. He's going to be a leader in this program for a long time. He's a tremendous individual beyond his football talents."
When asked about any personnel changes that had been made on kickoff units, Pelini said the new additions looked solid in practice this week.
"We're going to see how it turns out on Saturday, but we've moved some guys around. We put a couple new guys in on a couple of the return teams. We'll see how it works out. It looked good in practice and they've got to carry it over to Saturday."
The Huskers will conduct a final walk-through practice on Friday.
Saturday's game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN2 and is set for a 7 p.m. start.
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