Burkhead doubtful, Westerkamp ‘ready to go’ this Saturday
Head coach Bo Pelini said Thursday that senior running back Rex Burkhead is “doubtful” for Saturday’s game against Arkansas State.
“I want to make sure he’s absolutely 100 percent before we put him back out there,” Pelini said. “But you know, he’s chomping at the bit to get out there. We’ll see how the next 48 hours play out.”
Burkhead sprained the MCL in his left knee in the season opener against Southern Mississippi. He traveled with the team but didn’t suit up against UCLA last week. In his absence, back-up Ameer Abdullah had career highs with 16 carries and 119 yards rushing.
With back-up ‘X’ wide receiver Tyler Wullenwaber out for the year with a torn ACL, true freshman wide receiver Jordan Westerkamp could make his Nebraska debut this week. Pelini said he’s ready to go.
Will he play?
“We’ll see,” Pelini said, “but he’s ready to play.”
The rest of the news and notes from Thursday’s practice:
–Pelini said that linebackers David Santos and Zaire Anderson have put themselves in a position to see more snaps this week. This is the third straight week the Huskers have faced a team with a new head coach, which Pelini said makes it tough on newcomers, but a good week of practice has Santos and Anderson in the mix at linebacker.
“They’ll get their opportunity on Saturday,” Pelini said. “They both had a good week and I think you’ll see a combination of both of them.”
On last week’s depth chart, Anderson and Santos were both listed behind starter Alonzo Whaley at the WILL linebacker spot.
—Offensive guru Gus Malzahn has the Arkansas State offense humming after two games. The Red Wolves have the 7th best total offense in the country coming into the game and Pelini said there’s still some mystery to how Arkansas State will attack the Huskers.
“I have a little bit of history with (Malzahn) and I know what he did when he was at Auburn,” Pelini said. “It’s a little bit of a mix-and-match of all those things. We’ll just have to wait and see what they choose to come out and do against us. I’m not real sure what we’re going to see and we’re going to have to make our adjustments on our own.”
Pelini was the defensive coordinator at LSU in 2006 when the Tigers faced off against Arkansas, where Malzahn was the offensive coordinator. LSU won that game 31-26 and gave up 360 yards of offense to the Razorbacks.
–Eric Martin limped off the field late in the UCLA game but he’s at full strength and coming off a good week of practice according to Pelini.
“He’s back to the same Eric we know,” Pelini said. “The snaps he gave us against UCLA, I think he got his confidence back. He’s ready to go.”
–Pelini said cornerback Mohammed Seisay wasn’t quite 100 percent last week, but he is now.
“Mo took a large amount of practice reps this week and I think he’s a lot more ready to play,” Pelini said.