Senior Kanawai Noa didn’t appear to practice on Wednesday—he was in a hoody and sweats heading off the practice field—but that didn’t stop offensive coordinator Troy Walters from praising the graduate transfer from University of California, Berkeley.
"He really reminds me of Stanley [Morgan] last year" Walters said. "Every time he steps on the field he has that enthusiasm, that excitement. He’s been doing a great job, running great routes. He’s been getting better each week.
“There’s times this season where maybe the quarterback didn’t see him or didn’t have time. They just haven’t connected but we love what he’s brought on and off the field."
While Noa’s numbers don’t quite match up with Morgan’s 1,000-yard season from last year, he does have 17 catches for 245 yards and two touchdowns so far. Walters also said that Noa has the trust of Nebraska’s quarterbacks. The same goes for JD Spielman. But Walters would like to see that trust build with other receivers like Mike Williams and Jaron Woodyard so that when a guy like Adrian Martinez “hits his step, he knows where we're going to be."
And despite Maryland having one of the worst pass defenses in college, Walters isn’t willing to write the Terrapins off.
"They've given up a lot of points but if you look at man-for-man, they're very talented," Walters said. "They've got good size, good length, secondary, they run around, they're going to get up in your face and press and make it difficult to get off the line of scrimmage.
“So it doesn't look like a team that's given up as many points as they have, because they're very athletic."
More news and notes:
>> Like Noa, Nick Henrich and Wan’Dale Robinson also did not practice on Wednesday.
>> Speaking of Robinson, what about the number of carries he’s been given this season?
“Well, I think when we recruited him we never wanted him to have to get that many carries,” running backs coach Ryan Held said. “We recruited him to be a receiver and the duck guy that could carry the ball limited times. That [the amount of carries] was not in the original plan. Obviously, necessity put us there. I think we are in a good spot now from here on out. When the running back room gets it exactly where I want it to get, we won’t have to worry about that with recruiting and depth plus getting everyone fully loaded in my room."