December 17, 2014

Three down, one practice left for Huskers in Orlando (AUDIO)

The NU football team works in half pads on Saturday. Scott Bruhn/NU Athletics

The NU football team works in half pads on Saturday. Scott Bruhn/NU Athletics

The Nebraska football team practiced for the third straight day in Orlando, working through soggy conditions at a two-hour, half-padded practice at Freedom High School on Saturday. “It was a good practice. We’ve had a good week so far,” Pelini said. “We’ll finish it up tomorrow and then get ready to play a football game. The attention to detail has been good. The kids have been practicing hard and with really good tempo. It’s getting close now.”

With kickoff in the Capital One Bowl only three days away, Pelini noted that although his team has been focused throughout the week, he’s seen an increased focus as the game gets closer.

AUDIO Bo Pelini post practice

The Capital One Bowl will mark the final game for 29 Husker seniors, and one of those is fan favorite Rex Burkhead, a two-time CoSIDA Academic All-American, the captain of the 2012 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team and a preseason All-American who has played in only seven games this season due to injury, but is healthy for the Capital One Bowl.

“He does everything the right way,” Pelini said of the senior I-back. “He’s a special man. You kind of have in your mind in recruiting about what that kid can mean to your program and it’s not real often that they exceed those expectations, and I think he’s done that every step of the way. He’s meant a lot to the program, and I think he’s a guy, because of everything he represents, that will be remembered for a long time at the University of Nebraska.”

Pelini also talked about SEC defensive player of the year, Jarvis Jones, who responsibility will be slowing down Burkhead and the NU running game. He enters the Capital One Bowl as the nation’s leader in tackles for loss, while ranking third in sacks.

“He’s got all the tools. He’s a good football player,” Pelini said. “He plays hard, he’s very athletic and can run. He’s a physical football player. He’s a good player.”

The Huskers will hold a full team practice for the final time on Sunday, before a walk-through on Monday. Kickoff between Nebraska and Georgia in the 2013 Capital One Bowl is set for Noon (Central) on Tuesday, Jan. 1.