Nebraska coach Bo Pelini talked a bunch about the leadership, attitude and character of his football team Friday as the speaker at the first Big Red Breakfast of the fall.
With many of those things in place, he said, “On the surface, that gives you a chance.”
Pelini will lead his fifth Husker team into a season-opening game Saturday against Southern Mississippi. Kickoff is 2:30 p.m. at Memorial Stadium.
“100 percent of these guys on this football team that I have are guys that I recruited, guys that we brought up through the system, and I think that lends well for you,” Pelini told a crowd of 275 at the Ramada Plaza Omaha Hotel and Convention Center.
Pelini said that also shows over the course of the whole year, not just when the games start in September.
“With the parity out there, there’s such a small margin of error between winning and losing,” he said. “If you don’t have the correct dedication, if you don’t have guys that are doing the little bit extra, it’s not going to happen for you. And I believe we have that in this group.”
Some other quick hits from breakfast:
>> Pelini said backup quarterback Brion Carnes has been working with the punt returners. But the Huskers also have Ameer Abdullah, Jamal Turner, Tim Marlowe and even I-back Rex Burkhead as possibilities there, too.
>> Pelini reiterated the guesswork that has been involved with preparing for Southern Miss, which not only has a first-year head coach with Ellis Johnson but also newcomers at offensive and defensive coordinator.
>> Lot of praise for Ciante Evans and his progress at the nickel back position. “Ciante is so far ahead of where he was a year ago,” Pelini said. “I feel that is a big key for us.”
>> Pelini said Husker fans are going to like Charles Jackson, the freshman who is backing up Evans and also playing cornerback. “He’s starting to figure this thing out,” Pelini said, “and he’s a tremendous athlete.”
>> Pelini said the NU receivers are probably the most talented group he’s had at Nebraska and added: “We have a chance to be a very, very explosive offense this year.”