Nebraska is scheduled to play Minnesota on Saturday at 11 a.m. CT, so the Huskers have turned their attention toward the Golden Gophers. Of course, there’s some uncertainty about the whole thing.
Minnesota has faced a COVID-19 outbreak on the team after reporting 49 positive cases (23 players and 26 staff), which prompted a pause in all team-related activities. The Gophers started the process of returning to practice in preparation for the Nebraska matchup middle of last week, so the assumption is that the game will be played as scheduled.
“As long as there’s still a game scheduled for Saturday morning, I’ll be preparing for it,” senior defensive back Dicaprio Bootle said.
Coach Scott Frost said he feels bad that Minnesota is dealing with the COVID-19 cases, but he also acknowledged that the Gophers smoked the Huskers in 2019. Nebraska can’t take anything lightly, no matter what, so Nebraska certainly can’t sleep on the Gophers.
“These guys really demand it out of you with Minnesota,” Frost said.
Regardless, Saturday also marks Nebraska’s Senior Day. It’s a weird year, of course, so while players—like senior offensive lineman Brenden Jaimes—will participate in the ceremony, there’s a chance they could return for another year. The NCAA has granted players another year of eligibility due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so Jaimes can return for the 2021 season if he wants.
He hasn’t made up his made yet though.
“When that time comes I’ll make a decision,” Jaimes said. “But until then, focused on the team.”
Defensive lineman Ben Stille said the seniors on the team don’t talk about it much, so it really will be a decision made post-season. There’s a chance the Huskers could have upwards of three more games, depending on if they are selected for a bowl game.
For now, Nebraska’s seniors are just focused on the moment and playing with each other.
“Love them all to death,” Stille said.
Bootle, who didn’t want to say much on Senior Day just yet to keep himself from getting too emotional, agreed.
“Whatever happens between now and forever, we’ll always be close,” he said.
More news and notes:
>> Frost said that defensive back Myles Farmer is out for the season after surgery, but also said that the long-term outlook is good for him.
>> Reflecting on his time as a Husker, Jaimes shared why he stuck around after the coaching change in 2017.
“I wanted to show that I was loyal,” Jaimes said. “Everyone has their reasons (for leaving). I wanted to come to Nebraska to be a part of Nebraska and a tradition unlike any other.”
He has started 39 straight games to date.
>> Bootle said cornerback Cam Taylor-Britt is playing at an “elite level” now that he’s settled into one position for Nebraska versus playing multiple spots. He also called him competitive and athletic.
>> Having lost to Illinois following a win over Penn State, senior offensive lineman Matt Farniok said the Huskers have ” “kind of had to learn a lesson of how you respond to a win.” He said that after beating Purdue, Nebraska knows how to better handle the week of preparation for Minnesota.
>> Senior running back Dedrick Mills said he felt a “little pop” in his knee during the first quarter against Penn State. He finished the drive but didn’t feel he could go past that. He said if he had, he thought he’d have been out for the rest of the season.
>> Frost cannot say if the Huskers will have wide receiver Omar Manning back this season, but said they’re better with him. They’re still trying to get Manning healthy.
>> Nebraska fell 34-7 to Minnesota on the road in 2019. It was a tough game, Bootle remembered, and that will fuel the team heading into Saturday.
“We remember that game for sure,” Bootle said. “But we know that this year is a totally different game.”
>> What does Frost know about the Big Ten’s Dec. 19 weekend of games? Frost said to “count me in the group that doesn’t know much.”
Erin is the Deputy Editor and Digital Marketing Strategist for Hail Varsity. She has covered Nebraska athletics since 2012, which has included stops at Bleacher Report, Cox Media Group’s Land of 10, and even Hail Varsity (previously from 2012-2017). She has also been featured on the Big Ten Network, NET’s Big Red Wrap-Up, and a varsity of radio shows nationwide. When not covering the Huskers, Erin is probably at Chipotle.