Thursday was the first practice the defense started preparing for their first opponent, Southern Miss. The Golden Eagles are led by first-year head coach and former South Carolina defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson. The Gamecocks beat the Huskers 30-13 in the Capital One Bowl. Rex Burkhead led all rushers with 89 yards on 23 carries, including 71 yards in the first half alone. Taylor Martinez added 37 yards, but was knocked back for 45 yards in losses while being sacked six times. Burkhead was also NU’s leading receiver with 35 yards on five catches. Offensive coordinator Tim Beck has a big decision to make as far as who the number two quarterback will be. Freshman Tommy Armstrong has been impressive, but do you waste his redshirt if he’s not going to get the reps to make it a productive season.
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I’d like to be able to give you some information on starters on the defensive side of the ball, but right now, especially at the cornerback position, defensive coordinator John Papuchis says he could easily see four or five guys play that position, but having this dilemma is not a bad thing.