September 15, 2014

Huskers will get Gregory back for Fresno State and Cotton calls his play “bone headed” (AUDIO)

Good news on the injury front.

The Huskers will have their biggest defensive threat back on the field. Bo Pelini said Randy Gregory, who has played just in the opening series of the Florida Atlantic game will play at Fresno State. Pelini said Gregory looked great running on Sunday. The injury situation is a little muddy at wide receiver, where Kenny Bell, Sam Burtch and Brandon Reilly are listed as “day-to-day.” Bell left with a groin injury in the first quarter.

Senior offensive lineman Jake Cotton called his two penalties bone head plays.

Cotton was called for tripping in the third quarter, wiping out a Tommy Armstrong touchdown. NU had to settle for a field goal on the drive. Cotton was flagged in the fourth quarter as an ineligible man downfield, erasing a 41-yard pass from Armstrong to Jordan Westerkamp. Cotton said he thought Armstrong took off running and went off the crowd’s reaction. As one of the team captains, he said he has to lead better by example.

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Huskers are not taking McNeese State lightly (AUDIO)

For McNeese State this is their season opener. The Cowboys moved up to No. 6 in the FCS poll. They were 10-3 last season and went to the FCS playoffs for a Southland Conference-record 15th time, where they lost in the first round to Jacksonville State. The Cowboys averaged 40.0 points a game last season, and scored more than 50 points a school-record five times.

They also have some FBS talent from the Big 12 and SEC that has transferred over on the two-deep roster — junior quarterback Daniel Sams (Kansas State), junior running back Derrick Milton (Mississippi State), junior running back Nate Holmes (Arkansas), freshman cornerback Jermaine Antoine (TCU) and freshman kicker Alex Kjellsten (LSU).

This Saturday will mark the last time that an FCS school will ever play against the Huskers, but head coach Bo Pelini says that will not change the way Nebraska approaches this game.  The Cowboys have also grabbed the attention of Ameer Abdullah.

Abdullah ran for an average of 11 yards per carry in Saturday’s win over Florida Atlantic as he carried the ball 21 times. Imani Cross was second on the team with an average of 10.7 yards per carry. The only problem was Cross only touched the ball three times. Bo Pelini says that will change against McNeese State.

Westerkamp and Armstrong have the opportunity to leave a lasting impression on and off the field

There is still a buzz surrounding the behind the back catch made by Jordan Westerkamp. Hard to believe the sophomore may be remembered for this catch and how quickly we forget he was involved in the Hail Mary catch for the win over Northwestern. Highlights, photo montages of the catch are everyone. Westerkamp himself if having a hard time seeing what all the fuss is about…he calls it just a lucky play.

Still to have the reaction to reach his hands behind his back…that’s what I’m impressed with…that split second decision to not give up on the ball. That comes from Jordan’s desire to let his best friend on the team down…that’s quarterback and roommate Tommy Armstrong.

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Gregory will miss at least one week after surgery (AUDIO)

Bo Pelini said that defensive end Randy Gregory will be out this week against McNeese State after undergoing surgery on Sunday. Pelini said it was an old basketball injury that flared up after a non-contact play on Saturday against Florida Atlantic.  Pelini said Gregory had his knee scoped on Sunday morning after an MRI showed doctors the old injury, though Pelini was vagued on what exactly was done during the procedure.

Ameer Abdullah was named the Big Ten offensive player of the week. He had a career high 232 yards on 21 carries. Pelini left him in the game when he heard from the booth he was close to a career best, but says Ameer could have had more. Pelini talks about how the coaching staff has to be careful with players like Ameer so they do not wear him down during the season.

Pelini names five captains and a former Husker will play close to home (AUDIO)

The Huskers named their team captains…three offensive players in I-back Ameer Abdullah, receiver Kenny Bell and offensive guard Jake Cotton. On the defensive side, cornerback Josh Mitchell and safety Corey Cooper. The players come from five different states including Nebraska (Cotton), Alabama (Abdullah), Colorado (Bell), Illinois (Cooper) and California (Mitchell). This marks the second consecutive season Nebraska has elected season-long captains after choosing game captains during Bo Pelini’s first five seasons as head coach.

Abdullah is just the eighth player in school history to be a captain for two seasons, including five under Pelini.

Others on the list include Taylor Martinez, Rex Burkhead, Brett Maher and Alex Henery in recent years. Prior to Henery in 2009 and 2010, the most recent two-time captain was Ed Weir in 1924-25, while the first two-time captains were James H. Johnson in 1891-92 and John Westover in 1901-02.

When former Husker defensive tackle Aaron Curry left the Nebraska program a week ago, many speculated that he was going to Oklahoma where his dad played basketball. The junior announced he’s headed to Texas Christian. Curry told ESPN.com that he always wanted to play in the Big 12 and calls it a great fit. He’s from Keller, TX, it’s only a 20 minute drive from his boyhood home to the TCU campus. Curry started eight games for the Huskers last season.