Just days away now, the Nebraska Cornhuskers are ready to kick off the 2012 campaign against last year’s Conference USA champion Southern Miss.
Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini says he’s excited about the offense and expects them to play hard and be physical right out of the gate.
Despite a new staff and many of last year’s players gone, Pelini says he expects Southern Miss to come out playing hard.
“(Southern Miss) a good football team, there’s a lot of talent over on that side of the ball”, Pelini says. “It’ll be a nice challenge right out of the gate”.
One thing not unknown is the speed of the Golden Eagle’s defense, touted by All-Conference USA senior defensive lineman Jamie Collins. The Golden Eagles return three of their top tackles from a year ago, when they finished the season 12-2 and Conference USA champions.
Several players made reference to the defense’s speed and specifically talked about the possible first-rounder… including quarterback Taylor Martinez and running back Rex Burkhead.
Martinez seems confident, though, that the second year offense under Tim Beck will be ready for the challenge.
“I’m very excited. I think our whole offense is very excited to show how far we’ve come”. Martinez say.
Martinez adds he hopes what they have done in fall camp will translate on game day.
One of the uncertainties through fall camp was the offensive line and who would fill as starting center for the Huskers. Coach Pelini says if the game were today, the starter would be Justin Jackson, a 6’3″ senior from Roca, Nebraska.
“The evaluation continues… We will see how the week goes”.
Nebraska takes on Southern Miss on Saturday at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln. Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m.
Nebraska is 3-1 all-time against Southern Miss. Nebraska lost to the Golden Eagles in 2004, 21-17. The loss was the Husker’s first non-conference home loss in 13 seasons.
Nebraska Radio Network will be at the game. We will have the full game recap at its conclusion, including post-game audio and reaction.