Published Wednesday, September 5, 2012 AT 6:55 PM / Updated at 7:01 PM
Practice report: UCLA expected to test NU secondary
Jon Nyatawa Omaha World-Herald

Nebraska’s defensive backs are preparing to see a few long pass attempts by the UCLA offense Saturday, and the Huskers better stay fundamentally sound, secondary coach Terry Joseph said.

Joseph thinks that the Bruins’ top wideouts — junior Shaquelle Evans (6-1, 200) and senior Jerry Johnson (6-3, 210) — can go get the football, especially those deep, lob passes. Plus, there’s 6-foot-7 tight end Joseph Fauria.

“We’ve got to be in position,” Joseph said. “We don’t want to play with too many jump balls with these guys.

Other notes from Wednesday’s practice are below…

>> Senior running back Rex Burkhead (knee) did not practice for the third straight day.

>> Junior cornerback Mo Seisay (ankle) has practiced well so far this week. All indications are that he’ll join the rotation against UCLA. Said Joseph: “Looks like he’s the player he should be.”

>> On a hot Saturday against Southern Miss, center Justin Jackson’s hands were sweaty, which influenced his ability to snap the football, according to offensive line coach John Garrison. Too many low ones. They’ve worked on that this week. “It’ll improve,” Garrison said.

>> Garrison complimented the performance of his second-string offensive linemen, who took over on the final drive Saturday. Tackles Zach Sterup, Brandon Thompson and Givens Price; guards Brodrick Nickens and Jake Cotton; and center Mark Pelini. Said Garrison: “When they came in there, they did a nice job. Really proud of them.”

>> Offensive players and coaches have talked several times over the past two weeks about how beneficial it was to go against the Husker defense toward the end of fall camp. Bo Pelini didn’t hold back, calling different blitzes and pressure packages. NU’s offense had its hands full. But that experience helped in preparation for Southern Miss. It’s aiding the Huskers this week, too, Garrison said. “I don’t think there’s anything we haven’t seen, as far as schematics,” he said.

About Jon Nyatawa

Jon Nyatawa has covered local sports, primarily Nebraska football, for The Omaha World-Herald since 2008. He and his laptop, cell phone, tape recorder, pen and notebook all live in Lincoln. Follow him on Twitter: @JonNyatawa. Email him here: He welcomes feedback.


  1. Mountainman@ says:

    Went to the Nebraska-UCLA game 40 years ago. The defending national champion Huskers were grossly overconfident. It was QB Dave Humm’s first start and the RB’s had fumbilitis. Mark Harmon (of movie and TV fame) was the UCLA QB who led the upset. Years later UCLA and Seattle Seahawk kicker Efren Herrera bragged to me that he ended Nebraska’s winning streak. He was right. His two FG’s made the difference in that 20-17 game. Hopefully history will not repeat itself.

    1. nchusker says:

      I still have Mark Harmon’s chin strap from that game!

      1. RedSteel says:

        Really? cuz I read on another site Harmon said he had to put his chin strap in his pants when he was running off the field cuz their fans were grabbing anything they could, did you go fishing for it?

  2. joey says:

    That’s the difference between Barney and UCLA. (6-foot-7 tight end Joseph Fauria) Would be 1 heck of a landing for a TE. Plus would be a wonderful help in blocking for option plays with his size and speed. Instead? We get Barney’s kids. I guess this shows why NU is lagging. Until Bo, Barney, or ANY member of the coaching staff, start going all out for the BEST recruits, instead of their kids, close relatives, friends of the family, or recruits that their daddy’s played in the NFL and played for NU. Then NU will struggle as much as they always have been. I know NU may never get to that level again. BUT??? Until the university shows they want to be back by hiring the BEST coaching staff. NOT like Barney, John P. I mean LIGIT experienced, great recruiting skills, and great coaching skills to match. Then 9-4, 8-5? Then that’s going to be the expected level NU will achieve every season. Banana Bowls, and NO conference title. Wow, this is the best NU will offer in the next 5 years for HUSKER FOOTBALL? That will be 10 years, of that. My how fans have changed. NU fans used to get grumpy because NU wasn’t in a National Title. Now they are perfectly satisfied with 9-4 seasons, and not being in a Major Bowl games, and sticking up for Bo and his choices. REGARDLESS if he lashes out at the same fans that’s been fans before Bo even started coaching any football. Personally, I don’t get it. Fans were angry with our AD for not being in a National Title almost every season. Even though he had NU ALWAYS in the top 10. Bo is going on his 5th season, and all NU does? Is slide further and further down the polls by the end of the season. BUT??? They stick up for BO more than they did with Tom Osbourne. The difference is…When Bob got Tom on the staff. Bob D got the BEST he could get. BUT?? When BO got his staff? He just got a mediocre coaching staff, most of them, not even having experience or credibility to their name. Bo can’t expect a ..ok staff members to compete with higher caliber coaching staffs with his less than

    1. joey says:

      Appropriate coaching staff. ( Barney, John P, our new DL coach)

    2. Steve says:

      Its Tom OSBORNE.
      He’s not related to Ozzy.
      Thanks fot playing.

    3. Chad says:

      Wow… So you look at 6-7 and you automatically assume that he’s a great tight end. Willing to bet that Ben Cotton is a better tight end on Saturday and a better tight end in the NFL.

      1. RedSteel says:

        Actually the dude is a stud, he’ll play on sundays more than cotton, He could be a matchup nightmare, I’d say put Jean-Baptiste on him, best matchup we have.

  3. Curt says:

    I am not near as old as I would assume you to be considering the lack of success you are implicating. I was and still am aware of what was accomplished in the 90′s. I’ve been a fan of nebraska since I was old enough to know what football is. I understand that society these days has a ‘win now’ attitude. Yup, Nebraska and every other college team. while I may possibly be wrong in my optimism and opinion I do recall similar instances In the history of Nebraska football. We all know Tom Osborne was under fire for the exact same seasonal records and accomplishments Bo has brought about. We all know how that turned out. I’d say pretty well. Bottom line – i would take any of the players and staff currently at the university over anyone. Football represents more than a sport, and I have great promise in the future of the players as sportsmen as well as functional persons of society

    1. A Fan says:

      The “let’s compare Osborne to Pelini” canard… again. For the billionth time, what Pelini has done in the past 4 years has nothing to do with what Osborne did from ’73 – ’77. Osborne didn’t have any season where he lost 4 games. Osborne had a 10 – 2 season in ’75 (something we haven’t been close to the last 4 years). Osborne won a conference title in his first 4 years as head coach. Pelini has done none of that.

      We are talking about football, right?

      1. A Real Fan says:

        Osborne did inherit a recent two-time national championship team when he started out, Bo inherited a two time 5 win team.

        TO had 1 conference championship in the first 5 years, meaning Pelini does have one more year to match him. Granted TOs came in the 3rd year, I will give you that.

        I think the 2009 was close to 10-2, when you figure we lost three games by a total of 4 points. 9-4 could have easily been as good as 12-1.

        1. A Fan says:

          It’s more could of, should of, would of. Osborne did it. Nebraska won the Big 12 North in 2006. The team had talent in 2007, was just coached horribly and the players quit (and so did the coaches). Pelini wasn’t handed a team with little talent.

          Osborne’s team in ’75 was co-champs of the Big 8. Not sure what you’re trying to say about the team in 2009. We were 10 – 4 that year. That’s not 10 – 2.

      2. Husker Fan says:

        You’re kidding, right? Osbourne was great but during his early years he had a cup cake schedule, which pretty much guaranteed him 8 wins a season; three easy non-conference followed by the likes of Kansas, ISU, KSU, OSU, all pitiful programs at the time and, in alternating seasons, either a weak Colorado or Missouri team. Get over the past – this ain’t college football from the 70s and 80s.

        1. A Fan says:

          More revisionist college football history by someone who can’t do the research. In ’73, Nebraska played 7 teams ranked in the top 20. In ’74 and ‘ 75… 3 teams ranked in the top 20 per year. In ’76… 4 teams that year.

          Now… let’s look at 2008 – 20011. 2008… 3 teams in the top 20. 2009… 5 teams. 2010… 4 teams. 2011… 5 teams. Given we’re playing 13 or 14 games now… versus 12 or 13 in the 70s… it’s more likely we’ll play more ranked teams now versus then. But what do the numbers show for both era’s? Well, we played 17 teams who were ranked in the top 20 between ’73 – ’77. And we played the same number between ’08 – ’11. Next time, try Google. It’ll help.

          1. Husker Power says:

            “A Fan” of bashing Pelini & his program?

      3. joey says:

        Yea we are. OK..A FAN. Let’s put it this way? Do you see LSU, Alabama, OSU, etc etc., Hiring and PROMOTING a coaching staff for their FAILURES!?…no …you don’t. Do you see those teams keeping an OL or DL coach if they have been a total flop for 4 seasons? , you wouldn’t. Furthermore? Look at LSU and Alabama, etc etc. RELENTLESS RECRUITING TACTICS. Now look at Bo, and NU. I think the facts speak for themselves. How’s that for football..A FAN? ASSUMING you have something relevant to say.

  4. Kansas know it all says:

    @Joey who says Nebraska does not go after the best? You do realize that we can not force them to come and play in the land of the corn. Were lucky to get the kids that we do get. You know a car salesman can talk you into buying the whiz bang car, but that does not mean in the end you’ll not change your mind. I know for a fact that the Alabama’s and Southern Cal’s use a lot more than just football to attract the top recruits and sex is just one of popular tryst used.I’m sure there is some of that used at Nebraska but would like to think were above that.

    1. joey says:

      More like RELENTLESS RECRUITING Kkia. You know as well as I do. N. Saban spends way more recruiting time than Bo does, and he goes after them alot more aggressive. His recruiting? Shows his coaching style as well. When Alabama plays? They play AGGRESSIVE and RELENTLESS. Bo is a good recruiter, and NU plays the same way. The way a coach recruits? Is a mirror reflection on how they coach. Saban is relentless, and the TIDE plays the same way for a win, as Saban recruits. Same as Bo Bo recruits GOOD, so he has a GOOD team. Can’t fight logic A FAN.

      1. Husker Power says:

        Calm blue ocean…..

  5. socalhusker says:

    The tight end play has been a bright spot for the offense the last couple of years and the older Cotton son has been the best of the bunch. As for the tired Pelini/Osborne argument, for many years NU played 1 or 2 teams in regular season with comparable talent to NU. When they lost one the fans were up in arms because it would cost a shot at the championship or a big bowl game. Today, fans see 4 to 6 teams a year in the regular season with comparable talent to NU. It’s a totally different ball game now. Bottom line: this is a very young coaching staff learning on the fly. If they stay together long enough and can get the players that do want to come here to play up to their potential in the system, they will be back in the top 10 yearly and everybody will be talking about how experienced they are as a staff and how long they’ve been together–just like the old days.

  6. Westernebraska says:

    Here is a little fact for all the FAIR WEATHER FANS out there. In Pelini’s first four seasons, only 8 programs in the nation have had 9 wins or more all four years. Nebraska is one of the 8 teams. To me thats pretty impressive considering that there are 124 teams in the FBS division.

    1. A Fan says:

      Big deal. Of those 7 other programs, how many have a conference title? How many have a BCS bowl? How many have won the national championship? That’s why we’re playing, right? To win the brass ring? Or is it to crow about beating the Idaho States and Minnesota’s on a routine basis?

      1. Husker Power says:

        Good job, great effort!

        You think you can get Pelini fired by homecoming?

  7. KEVIN says:

    God Joey…Please stop,as the great Roberto Duran said,,,, ” No mas” Please…. also the Big 8 er as MOST people referred to it the Big 2 is nothing compared to the B1G. Iowa St,KU,K-St,Okie St, Colorado, Missouri…. Ohio St, Michigan,Mich St, Penn St, Iowa,Wisconsin…Horrible example you try to use…

    1. joey says:

      Well valid victorian…er…Kevin. I remember the HUSKERS being in Major Bowls, and winning them for 3 decades as well as being in the Top 10. NU was ranked what 17th?? I remember Being ranked for 25 years. Bo can’t stay in the Top 10 more 2.5 weeks. Funny, Ala, Oregon, USC, LSU, has no problem. OU was worse than NU. In ’97 NU destroyed OU 77-0. The worse dismantle I ever witnessed. They chose a bad coach, by the end of ’99 season. Bob Stoops came in and won a National Title on his 1st season. Either way, USC, Mich, Oregon, played in a Major Bowl game in 2 or less years. Do you think Washington St will have to wait 5-10 seasons to get there? If you say yes? Wow are you lost. That’s the difference between A GREAT COACH, and a good coach. The ONLY reason it’s bad to you? Is because YOU don’t like me. So nothing you say valid victorian is going to be about what I posted. It will just be childish name calling. Sorry, but I’m so much better than that. So I refuse to exchange preschool name calling. Please? Find someone who will love exchanging name calling with you. I wish you luck. But please…move on.

      1. Husker Power says:

        The trouble with the professional bloggers on this site is not that they’re ignorant; it’s just that they know so much that isn’t so.

        1. joey says:

          LOL..Yet I have yet to be proved wrong on Bo. I have been on the money, when it comes to predicting Bo and his seasons. FACTS DON’T LIE. As much as it ticks you off? You can’t prove anything I said to be a lie. I have said time and time, and time again. “Bo’s results won’t change, because Bo won’t change.” Since he has been here, NU seems to ALWAYS have 1 loss to a rink a dink team. ISU, almost an FCS South Dakota team, Texas (when NU was the favorite at home), T Tech, Northwestern, it never stops. Just as I pick Northwestern or Iowa to win, or BOTH. Because NU always chokes on a cup cake team. This has been a pattern Bo has not broke. Almost losing to a FCS team? Really opened my eyes up to see how bad NU looks. But, Bo still kept Watson, Barney, John P. They get a new OC, which I still have question marks on, and knew they needed a better OC. BUT? They still hang on to 2 members that hold NU back from Major Bowl games. (Barney, and John P) Then hired an Iowa DL coach? Why not from OU? Or OSU? Alabama? LSU? Oregon? USC? Or smaller teams like Ohio (Bobcats)? Now there is a team I would really go after their OL coach. Maybe Boise St or TCU for a DL coach. Just someone from a winning team, and their results look solid. Our new DL coach, and DC results are not solid , nor strong. More like slow, and no sack ability. Which I do NOT blame ANY player. Because they are ONLY great, a they are coached to be. With John P and Barney? They have yet to coach any skills to any of the players. Just because we blew out a cup cake team. Does NOT impress me. NU beat UCLA, Mich, OSU, Wisc, AND..Northwestern. Then I will see the change. I can garantee you. OSU will have it over before halftime. Why? Because Urban did NOT pick has beens, or Never was, as part of his coaching staff. I see OSU destroying Mich, Wisc, NU, without breaking a sweat. As I see them winning the BIG next season with ease, if they are allowed to compete. Our coaching staff compared to OSU? Especially on defense? NO COMPARISON WHAT-SO-EVER. That is what I am getting at. I am NOT saying Bo is a bad coach. But hiring the good ol boys, that are “Good buddy pal friend of mine.” Just DON’T cut it. Once Bo gets away from this ridiculous politics with Barney, and John P, and hire WAY BETTER coaching staff for NU. Then NU? WILL be back to it’s old self again. Nu has the talent to return to being a National Powerhouse. But with a sickning defense? Bad blocking against LIGIT teams? Just spells the same old song and dance. Just think? It will be 5 years, and not much has changed. NO division titles. NO being in the AP Top 10, Not even considered a threat in the division they are in. Will it take ANOTHER 5 years to think..”OK, this is about enough. NOTHING is changing. As far as this times have changed crap, and it’s NOT like it used to be. Hmm OU doesn’t seem to have any problems, nor USC,Mich, OSU. They bounced back rather quickly. Wow? But NU can’t. If NONE of the old schools were doing only as good as NU? Yea, then I would agree. But beings they’re back in the saddle again? Then that line is nothing more than a COP OUT!!!

          1. joey says:

            oops “AS they are coached to be” Mic typed it wrong.

          2. joey says:

            “If any of the old schools were doing the same as NU NU?” sorry again..grrr I need a new mic.

  8. Husker Power says:

    Dienhart: My Top 10 Big Ten Tight Ends

    4. Ben Cotton, 6-6, 255, Nebraska, Sr. He is a big, steady target who caught 14 passes for 189 yards in 2011. Cotton, an honorable mention All-Big Ten choice last season, is effective as an in-line blocker but also can move the chains as a massive option on third downs. No doubt, Taylor Martinez will look for him on third downs.

    5. Kyler Reed, 6-3, 230, Nebraska, Sr. He has been one of the Huskers’ steadiest pass-catching options in recent years, making 15 catches 257 yards and a touchdown in 2011. Reed is a speedy athlete who excels getting down the field and out running linebackers and over powering safeties. He and Ben Cotton will be the top tight end tandem in the Big Ten.

    1. joey says:

      And wouldn’t have got noticed by a prestiegous team, if it wasn’t for his daddy…True? OL coach = Barney Cotton TE = Ben Cotton, plus he is bringing in another one of his kids. What’s that? 2? 3? Or is he recruiting more of his relatives? At that same very chance Barney should be going for 4* or BLUE CHIP TE’s. Take a look at the pics. NU hasn’t even been listed for looking at BLUE CHIP TE’s, and they HAVE been there 3 seasons in a row. NU was not even listed at the very start, nor the end, for aiming to recruit LIGIT TE’s.