It’s game week. Finally. But there is still some uncertainty surrounding several aspects of the Huskers’ offense as Nebraska prepares for the season opener against Southern Miss.
Offensive coordinator Tim Beck met with reporters after Monday’s practice and shared a bit of insight, but (not surprisingly) left most questions unanswered.
Don’t worry, things will be more clear on Saturday. For now, though, here are a few highlights from Nebraska’s post-practice session with the media…
>> Southern Miss head coach Ellis Johnson was South Carolina’s defensive coordinator last year, so one would expect the Golden Eagles’ defense to contain some schematically parallel concepts to Nebraska’s Capital One Bowl opponent, right? “He’s now the head coach, so certainly that can be some aspect of it,” Beck said. Personnel-wise, there might be some comparisons as well because Beck said the Southern Miss defense has “a lot of playmakers on their side of the ball.”
>> In terms of play calling, Beck doesn’t plan to hold back at all Saturday. Said Beck: “You’ve got to play to win. Period. Whatever that takes. Everything. Shoot every bullet in your gun.”
>> Asked about receiver Jamal Turner, Beck confirmed that the past two weeks have been “great” for the sophomore. Beck isn’t sure how many receivers will play Saturday, though it’s pretty clear that Turner’s earned himself a spot in the regular rotation.
>> Will QB Taylor Martinez revert back to old habits in the heat of the moment Saturday? Martinez seemed to hint on Monday that he’s unsure about how all of his offseason work will translate. Said Beck: “I see a different guy, poised in the pocket, but again, you never know what’s going to happen in the game.”
>> Running backs coach Ron Brown said he has not yet decided how he will divide carries Saturday. He’ll develop a plan before the game. Rex Burkhead and Ameer Abdullah can play in any situation, Brown said.
>> It’s just one month of practice, but Brown said the running backs’ durability so far has been “unbelievable.” Only Braylon Heard missed action in preseason camp (maybe a day or two, Brown said).
>> Senior Justin Jackson sat on top of the Hawks Center’s retracted bleachers after practice, gazing down at about a dozen reporters. Lots of attention for Jackson, who would be a starter at center today if the Huskers were playing a game, Bo Pelini said Monday.