Nebraska’s bye week has arrived and it has come at just the right time. At 5-0, the Huskers are a little worn down, there are injuries that need extra time to heal and after five weeks, the team simply needs a little down time.
“I think we’re a little beat up and it’ll be a time to really regroup, get some guys healthy and get some rest,” offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf said.
That doesn’t mean the bye week won’t be used to improve. Instead, head coach Mike Riley has an idea of how he plans to use the time.
“We want to spend good time, but not too much time to get ready for our next game, so the game preparation part of it,” Riley said. “We want to work on some situations in football games and general stuff like two-minute, four-minute offense and end of the half stuff. Just some specific deals that I’ve been writing down for the past week on scheme situations, and then we’d like to get guys feeling good physically as best we can.
“We’re also going to do a bit of work and let our young guys that have been scout team players for an extended period of time so far this year, let them play a little football and get coached by our coaches this week.”
Speaking of those younger players, linebacker Josh Banderas has some advice for them as they prepare for the bye week.
“Don’t be a knucklehead. It’s that simple,” Banderas said. “If you know it’s not right, don’t do it. Just have fun, be a college kid but get better at your craft because we’re going to focus a lot on fundamentals and be more ‘fall campy’ this week instead of so much prep for the next game. But, you know, have fun, be a kid and don’t be a knucklehead.”
Aside from the much-needed rest, the Huskers are happy to have the break after a win.
“That’s a good feeling because you have some momentum and you don’t have to go two weeks off a hard loss,” Langsdorf said. “I think we are able to take that momentum of playing a good stretch of football over a month and a half and get a little break and get going for the second half of the season.”
Kicker Drew Brown agrees.
“It’s huge because with the bye week, it gives us a good taste in our mouth,” Brown said. “It’s never good to go into a bye week with a loss because you’re kind of thinking about it and you put that added pressure on yourself for the next game to get out of the losing streak.
“It’s big because we can take this week and recover ourselves and look forward to Indiana who is a great challenge going into Bloomington. It’ll be fun but it’s great to have a win going into the bye.”
Nebraska’s bye week came in late November last year, which found the Huskers limping along at times to reach it. After a long 11 weeks to get to that bye week, this year’s mid-season break has been much more welcome among the coaches and players.
“Couldn’t have come at a better time,” wide receiver Stanley Morgan Jr. said. “Couldn’t have come at a better time.”
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.