Everyone was in good spirits Thursday after practice.
Players were joking as they left Hawks and walked across the bridge to Memorial Stadium. Assistant coaches looked pretty fresh considering the compacted week they’ve had with recruiting and game prep during what was supposed to be a bye week. Scott Frost was happy, the Huskers had another strong week of practice.
“It was a great Thursday, far and away our best one on a Thursday today,” Frost said when he met with the media. “I think they’ve responded well, I think we got them recovered a little bit physically and they know the game plan, I think they’re ready.”
Asked what made it great, Frost said it’s about attention to detail. On Thursdays the team runs through four periods, going over everything they’re going to run in a game and simulating the looks they expect to get. Early on in the season, Frost said, the Huskers wouldn’t get through everything they had scripted out. Thursday they were finishing everything with time to spare.
“That’s a function of doing things right,” Frost said. “Attention to detail and not having to repeat things to make sure we got it right.”
Nebraska is hoping to get some fresh faces into the game this weekend against Bethune-Cookman. Several Huskers still have games available under the new redshirt rule, and for guys like linebacker Breon Dixon or quarterback Noah Vedral, Nebraska would like to use them. But, doing so requires taking care of business early on and putting yourself in a position to win going away.
Nebraska won’t throw new guys to the fire in a still-competitive game just because. If there was any doubt about the mindset of the team entering a contest with an FCS opponent, it doesn’t reside within Nebraska’s walls.
“Every week we want to approach it like we’re playing a nameless, faceless opponent,” Frost said. “Doesn’t matter who we’re playing, our standard stays the same. If we’re better than we were last week then we’re moving in the right direction.
“It doesn’t matter if we’re playing Ohio State or Bethune-Cookman, we need to be at our best and we need to play better than we did last week. The guys have approached practice that way this week and we’ll make sure their mentality is right to do that on Saturday.”
Other News and Notes
>> Not much to glean from Thursday, Frost only talked for about three-and-a-half minutes. He did, however, touch on the status of defensive tackle Mick Stoltenberg.
“He wants to be out there with his brothers and he’s been working hard to get back,” Frost said. “Hopefully he’ll be ready to go on Saturday.”
Stoltenberg has been on the shelf since Sept. 22 when he injured his knee against Michigan. He returned to practice this week and said on Wednesday he’s pushing to play.
“I’m feeling healthy enough to practice and getting ready to go,” Stoltenberg said. “I’m hoping I can play this weekend and take as many reps as they’re going to give me. It’s just been a process getting back healthy but I’m feeling ready now.”
>> Quarterback Adrian Martinez practiced without a brace over his knee for the first time since the Colorado game on Sept. 8.
>> Bethune-Cookman’s offense is averaging 32.4 points a game this season. They’ve scored 79 in a game (though they’ve also been held to just three points). Frost said the Huskers’ defense “has a challenge” on its hands.
Defensively, Frost said BCU likes to be “tricky” in the secondary.
“They mix things up in the backend,” he said. “We’ve got to make sure we’re seeing things the right way and executing and playing as hard and as well on offense as we did last week.”
Derek is a newbie on the Hail Varsity staff covering Husker athletics. In college, he was best known as ‘that guy from Twitter.’ He has covered a Sugar Bowl, a tennis national championship and almost everything in between (except an NCAA men’s basketball tournament game… *tears*). In his spare time, he can be found arguing with literally anyone about sports.