Nebraska’s 49-20 win over Southern Miss on Saturday had many positives come out of the game and several things to work on, according to head coach Bo Pelini.
But the game was not without injuries.
The Huskers had key guys go down to injuries during the first game. Coach Pelini says Rex Burkhead is day-to-day after suffering an MCL sprain to his left knee during the first quarter. Pelini says Burkhead had an MRI on Sunday and expects him to travel with the team.
Pelini was very pleased with how backs Ameer Abdullah, Braylon Heard and Imani Cross stepped up in place of the injured Burkhead.
“I thought they played really well”, Pelini says.“We have a lot of confidence in those backs. They’re talented guys”.
On Abdullah, Pelini says he’s shown he can be an every down back.
“He can run inside, outside. He’s very similar to Braylon”.
Abdullah attributes preparation during fall, spring camp and practice for his performance on Saturday. He says if it comes down to him being the number one guy this Saturday, he’s ready.
“I sure hope so”, Abdullah says when asked about Burkhead possibly playing on Saturday. “We work out (together) every day, working on little things”.
“Being around him, I’ve picked up a lot of things from (Burkhead) and I’m really grateful for him”.
Tight end Ben Cotton suffered a rib injury, but may play this week. Wide out Tim Marlowe suffered a broken clavical and is out for several weeks. Pelini says Marlowe has surgery over the weekend and it went very well.
“However long it takes that bone to heal… hopefully by the end of October he’ll be here for the stretch run, I think”.
The focus now turns to the UCLA Bruins, coming off a 49-24 win over Rice last Thursday. Nebraska returns to the practice field this afternoon. The Bruins were dominant with a running attack behind senior running back Johnathan Franklin, who rushed for 214 yards and three scored.