The Nebraska football team practiced for just over two hours on the Ed and Joyanne Gass practice fields on Thursday afternoon.
Head Coach Mike Riley spoke to the media following practice noting the team’s improvements since this time last season, especially in the quarterback position.
“I think compared to one year ago, right now, I think they are much more consistent,” Riley said. “Passing percentages are up, interceptions are down, decision-making is better and through the group. Tommy (Armstrong Jr.) is ripening; all of that stuff I just said describes what he’s done. Ryker (Fyfe) is the same way. I think Patrick O’Brien is pretty impressive. He’s kinda fit in and knows his stuff, and operates pretty easily out there for a first-year-should-be-in-high-school guy.
“(A.J.) Bush is, right now, in a position to compete for the back-up quarterback, so it’s just going to be a matter of practice and performance in practice. Every day is competitive in that way for him. It doesn’t have to be a scrimmage to tell the difference on that.”
Offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf was also available after practice, agreeing with Riley about the progress he’s seen since last spring.
“[I feel] a lot better than this time last year,” Langsdorf said. “We’re a lot farther along. We had some bumps in the road, but overall we’re just a lot further along. We’ve got a lot more in, [we] are able to fine tune some things, [we] are able to tweak a few things here and there, so just feel good about the progress and I think the guys are responding well…so pretty good start.”
Langsdorf also addressed the need to replace a lot of starters, especially on the offensive line.
“We need to [clean-up] the execution with some new guys, especially up front. There’s some new lineman in there. [We’re] trying to get that group to gel and work together. I think just making sure we find the right five and our depth beyond that, but breaking in three new guys is a little bit concerning. I think they are doing a good job. We’ve had a good battle in the guard positions with [Nick] Gates playing a little different side, on the left side. He’s working through some things, but he’s had a great camp so far. Probably the offensive line depth is probably the biggest thing right now [we’re concerned about].”
The Huskers will take an 11-day break from workouts during UNL Spring Break. Nebraska’s annual Red-White Spring Game is set for Saturday, April 16 at Memorial Stadium, with kickoff at 1 p.m.