Published Thursday, September 13, 2012 AT 7:37 PM / Updated at 7:51 PM
Practice report: Pelini says Burkhead doubtful, for now
Jon Nyatawa Omaha World-Herald

Coach Bo Pelini stopped short of making it official, but indicated after Thursday’s practice that running back Rex Burkhead is not expected to play Saturday.

Pelini characterized Burkhead’s status as “doubtful” for the Arkansas State match-up. He said Burkhead’s knee (sprained MCL) will continue to be evaluated, but the senior will not play until he’s “absolutely 100 percent.”

In other injury related news, senior defensive end Eric Martin, who hobbled off the field late in Saturday’s loss to UCLA, is “fine,” Pelini said. And actually, Martin apparently practiced quite well this week. Said Pelini: “This week he’s back to the same Eric we know. He’s comfortable.”

Also, Pelini said cornerback Mo Seisay was limping a bit in pregame last week, but the junior college transfer is much healthier now. Most importantly, Seisay’s been getting lots of work during the week. “Mo took a large amount of practice reps this week so I think he’s a lot more ready to play,” Pelini said.

More notes from Pelini’s post-practice conversation with reporters…

>> Is there a chance that true freshman receiver Jordan Westerkamp won’t redshirt this year? Pelini left the door open Thursday. Nebraska’s rotation is down to six after injuries to Tim Marlowe (broken clavicle) and Tyler Wullenwaber (torn ACL). Will Westerkamp play Saturday? “We’ll see,” Pelini said. “But he’s ready to play.”

>> Expect to see both junior Zaire Anderson and redshirt freshman David Santos at weakside linebacker. How much they play depends on the Arkansas State formations, Pelini said. But neither separated himself this week and the plan, at this point, is to play “a combination of both,” Pelini said.

>> In the shotgun formation Saturday at UCLA, senior center Justin Jackson had a number of low snaps to quarterback Taylor Martinez. Jackson’s been working on it, according to Pelini. “He’s a prideful guy,” Pelini said of Jackson. “He’ll fix it.”

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. jacob says:

    Does it matter..Pelini ran off another top recruit this week and to quote the Charlie McBride radio interview…..they had speed to counter the problems Nebraska faced against UCLA…A freshman qb and 8 freshmen starters on UCLA schooled the great defensive guru Pelini…bootom line recruits!!! He cannot recruit and Klacho etc show even if he gets it young as freshman he cannot keep it…this is gonna get ugly..we will be a underdog when visiting Northwestern…and did you ever think Husker fans would be nervous about playing Arkansas State!!!

    1. Colorado Springer says:

      When Saban has recruits that don’t produce, he does not go out of his way to keep them around. You nay sayers then say that he has the guts to do what it takes. If it happens at Nebraska, then he is a poor recruiter.
      as far as Arkansas State, in the days of parity of material, you better fear anyone you play. I think your analysis comes out of the first four letters of the word analysis.

      1. NUCORNDEVIL says:

        Burkhead should not see the field until Wisconsin………..

        1. Colorado Springer says:

          I would agree.

  2. Jamie says:

    It boggles my mind when people say Pelini scared off or lost another recruit. recruiting is an art form all its own. Everyone has the preconceived notion that he has the recruit to lose from day 1, when in reality its about winning over the kid and selling your brand. i.e. what sets our brand apart from a,b, and x schools. In the end the kid will choose the school he feels fits him best. So to go as far as say he scared them away is ridiculous. When in fact it simply wasn’t the right fit for the kid. How soon we forget that Pelini has landed some highly touted prospects i.e. Lavonte David, Jamal Turner Aaron Green, Yes Green is no longer on the team but that fact of that matter is that he landed big names some have not produced to the potential that people placed on them. You can’t say a man can’t recruit because we don’t land 10 5 stars. Pelini is recruiting football players that fit the mold of NEBRASKA as a whole, respectable young men with good values hard working kids with school as a priority. Has winning simply come above all else these kids are there #1 to get an education #2 To represent the university and state the way we all want it to be represented. #3 to play football. Keep things in perspective. Yes i want to win as badly as anyone but at the end of the day its just football. The sun always rises after a loss ( although at times a bit darker then we like) but it always does. Stay the course and be proud of the hard work and dedication these fine student-athletes have done. GBR

    1. Jeff_Georgia says:

      J: in my mind, part of recruiting is judging the commitment and suitability of the recruit for your program. These are all Bo’s guys. It looks like, in addition to having trouble landing the best recruits, they also have trouble evaluating the commitment and suitability. That is a real problem. Now and going forward.

      We are not USC, LSU, Alabama, OU – we can’t absorb 4 or 5 or more 4 star recruits jumping ship. They reload; we drop out of the Top 25…

  3. Dizzle says:

    So tired of these negative fans. Do you actually enjoy supporting the team and university or are you bitter about the whole thing? Whining and complaining will get you nowhere, support these student athletes who are working their tails off. As a NE native living in Los Angeles, who also went to the game last Saturday, I’m able to get a different perspective. It is tough replacing a legend, look at any dominant franchise in any sport at any level, you cannot sustain it forever. NU went 23 years between the ’71 and ’94 title teams. Enjoy the ride folks!

    1. joey says:

      Oh yea, I’ll still be in those bleachers when Bo leads NU to a 1-10 season. Yup I’ll be joining ALL those 80K+ fans doing the wave. Wait? If NU was at 1-10? There wouldn’t be any fans there. I would be, would you?

      1. Diz says:

        Talk to me when they are 1-10. That’s the problem with these ‘fans’, it’s always worst case scenario. Watch the season unfold and see what happens. Bo isn’t going anywhere during the season. I’d love to see NU winning national championships every year, just like every other program out there strives to do, but losing 36-30 to a good team on the road is no reason to throw in the towel and give up.

        1. joey says:

          How about because of the recruiting status? Or the fact NU is out of the AP ranks completely? Wow they fired Frank for that, and Frankie didn’t BLAME fans and Media for his failures. Bo does. In fact Frankie tried to fix the problems that were going on. Bo won’t even ADMIT the COACHING STAFF PROBLEMS. Hell Bo blames the players, instead of the MOST OBVIOUS (The coaching staff).

  4. NEBREDMAN says:

    Jacob I think you are wrong we will win this game by at least 21 points.And as far as running off (so call 4 or 5 star recruits
    ) if they don’t want to work hard or play harder than the 2 and 3 star kids along with the walk-on’s then good riddance to the spoiled brats that’s what happens when you worry about how many stars a kid has kinda like hiring a man by how many degrees he has they don’t mean crap just look at the tape from his fist 2 games he was bad, and Baker is not much better

  5. joey says:

    Hmmm so called fans whining about other fans speaking the truth. I picked UCLA to win, as well as I picked Mich , and OSU demolishing NU this season. As well as losses from Mich St, Wisc, Northwestern (again). That’s NOT being negative. That IS being HONEST. The problems with fans like Dizzle. Is they are so fed up with FACTS, because they never change. Then when fans like myself point out what needs to be done. Then WE become trolls, Anti-Husker, blah blah blah. Or WE are told with such knowledge, why aren’t WE coaches. When all it takes is a little common sense, and SEEING WHAT’S REALLY THERE. For instance? John P was a DL coach and was a complete FLOP. So teams with KNOWLEDGE (LSU,Ala,OU,Oregon,USC) would have sacked him a long time ago. Not Bo, in fact? He PROMOTED John P. Then we have Barney Cotton. Not 1 ounce of credit to his name. Wow? Hmmm ya think maybe that’s why LIGIT OL go elsewhere, even if they chose NU. Wow a REAL OL coach would be coaching and teaching them blocking strategies, correcting the OL mistakes, being the OL motivator, and improving the OL recruiting status. Wow, that leaves Barney out…ya think? Now you have a DC that showed his fantastic coaching skills when he was the DC on NU’s last bowl game. Let me refresh your memory a lil bit Dizzle …ok? A 3 man blitz, before halftime. When NU has been giving up close to 400+ yards a game. Not even a HIGH SCHOOL coach would have that kind of chemical imbalance in his brain, to call that kind play Even if he had a case of beer and 6 shots of Jack Daniels, and the melon on his shoulders riding on chemical overload. So what do you think his INTELLIGENCE would be Dizzle, beings he has a past of complete failures? What were you expecting? 10, 11, 12 win season? NU looks like they are going to struggle against Penn St and Minn, and Iowa. Because it’s MORE THAN OBVIOUS, the OL couldn’t block 8th graders. The defense couldn’t stop NMSU from getting 35 points, heck I bet that North Dakota FCS team would win this time around. The coaching staff is useless, but Bo still keeps them for some reason or another. Now? Our defense is looking as ridiculous as our offense has looked since Bo took over. Now, NU is becoming those cellar dwellers like NMSU, UL Monroe, Kansas, Vanderbilt, Kentucky, Duke, Army,and other teams have been for decades. So Dizzle? It’s a matter of OPENING YOUR EYES, and comprehending what’s REALLY going on. When the CORN FED scandal broke out. I automatically picked TM as the starting QB, because I seen the politics behind it. Just like the politics behind Barney recruiting his kids. When TM became our starting QB? I posted “I give it 3 years or less and NU will fall out of the ranks completely.” Here we are, 3 years later, and I was right again. You don’t have to be a magician to see where NU is heading. NU fires 1 setback (Watson), but keeps 2 more of them (Barney and John P). Neither have credibility in ANY coaching at NU, or coaching skills, or recruiting skills. Then there’s BO? A man who has lashed out at the fans, media, and gives NU fans the same ol ball and chain BS every season. Just as Bo mentioned earlier about a RB being as fast as he is. Wow the EXACT same thing I heard Bo say about Zac Lee, which ran as slow as a 300Ibs LUMBER JACK. As I stated before the UCLA game..”Wow, so Bo? Are you saying he’s about as fast as Quack Lee was?” And “ding ding ding ding” I was right on the money..AGAIN. Because Bo and the direction of NU football HAS become that damn predictable Dizzle..geez Open your eyes man.

    1. Diz says:

      I think you’re the blind fan here, things are cyclical, NU is not top tier right now and there is no easy fix. Who’s the savior that you are going to bring in to ‘restore the glory’? Are Michigan fans calling for Hoke’s head after they were embarassed by Alabama? By the way, the almighty Tom Osborne is responsible for the totality of this program, so why don’t you complain about him?

      1. joey says:

        1st of all Mich is smart enough NOT to hire has beens as a coaching staff members. 2nd Michigan IS the front runner to win the BIG, and their division. 3rd Blind? No, it seems like YOU don’t like it when people talk facts. Go ahead and call me every name in the book. Because no matter what you call me? The facts I say, STILL REMAINS. As far as coaching goes? When Leach was still not a coach and Mike stoops was available as a DC. To me? That would be the IDEAL coach. Hell yea I would pick those guys. Why not? Leach shows he can get NU to the offensive talent it needs to be, Mike Stoops runs circles around John P as a DC. I’m sure with both of their talents in recruiting, AND coaching. That would be the 2 coaching staff members that could get LIGIT recruits, and LIGIT OL/DL and TEs. What YOU refuse to see. The recruits? They are ONLY as good as they are coached to be. NU has a complete packageof USELESS COACHING STAFF MEMBERS. In case you haven’t noticed NU is COMPLETELY OUT OF THE RANKS. So what would it hurt NU putting this coaching staff’s jobs up for grabs??? Ranks? Recruiting? That’s right, it wouldn’t hurt NU 1 damn bit. In fact? It would HELP NU, not hurt them!!!

      2. joey says:

        Oh and as far as Tom goes. I’m NOT complaining because he hired Bo to bring NU back to be a dominant team, NOT the other way around. It’s up to BO, to coach us back to being that level again. Was it Osbourne who hired/kept Barney? John P? In fact, BO is the one who promoted him to be DC, and not Tom. So Tom did his job, BUT, Bo hasn’t. Bo was the best choice at that moment. So Tom chose him. BO is the one NOT pulling his own weight, NOR making intelligent hires for a coaching staff. BO chose his staff, NOT Tom..Ya need a fact check there Diz.