Nebraska wrapped up its preseason work for the 2012 season on Saturday morning with a one-hour walk through at Memorial Stadium. The Huskers will now turn their full attention to preparing for next Saturday’s season opener at Memorial Stadium against Southern Mississippi.
Following Saturday’s workout Head Coach Bo Pelini briefly discussed the difficulty that lies ahead in facing the Golden Eagles, who are under first-year head coach Ellis Johnson.
“There are a lot of challenges that come with it (facing a new coaching staff),” Pelini said. “We don’t know exactly what they are going to do on either side of the ball. You have your guesses, but it does become even more of a challenge. That’s part of the deal when you are playing a new coach. There are a lot of unknowns and a lot of things you’ve got to get ready for.”
Pelini looked back on the past three weeks, a time span in which the Huskers have had 24 practices over the past 22 days.
“It has been a lot of work getting ready to play. I think the team is anxious to stop hitting each other and get ready to play a real game. It’s about that time.”
Pelini also discussed the Huskers’ depth at I-back heading into the season. The group is led by senior Rex Burkhead who piled up 1,357 yards and 17 touchdowns en route to All-Big Ten honors in 2011. Sophomores Ameer Abdullah and Braylon Heard each saw reserve duty last year, while true freshman Imani Cross has made a strong impression during fall camp.
“We have good depth at running back. You are going to see a lot of them out there. You have Rex, Braylon, Ameer, Imani…we have a lot of options and a lot of guys that we want to get carries for.”
Pelini said the Huskers are in good health heading into the week of the season opener, with no top unit players ruled out of the contest. Pelini also announced following Saturday’s practice that cornerback Jonathan Rose arrived in Lincoln earlier this week and has joined the NU program. Rose spent his freshman season in 2011 at Auburn and appeared in nine games for the Tigers. He will sit out the 2012 season as a redshirt.
Nebraska will return to the practice field on Monday afternoon to continue preparations for Southern Miss. The season opener will be televised nationally with a 2:30 p.m. kickoff.