Here’s a rundown of Nebraska coach Bo Pelini’s weekly Big Ten coaches teleconference appearance:
>> Pelini was asked three questions about his health – including two from a Lincoln radio announcer who should have received those answers Monday if he’d been paying much attention. The most in-depth response: “I have no health issues. And leave it at that. There’s no issues here. I was cleared Saturday afternoon. I’m good to go. No health issues with me.”
>> On whether running back Rex Burkhead has backups who can take some of the load off: “We have some pretty good weapons in the backfield. It’s taken some of the load off of Rex.”
>> On whether Big Ten is struggling or down this year: “People are going to say what they’re going to say. There’s a lot of football left to be played. There’s going to be a lot of Big Ten teams in bowl games. How you start and how you finish is two different things.
>> On what NU can work before its Big Ten opener vs. Wisconsin: “Just everything. You’re talking about across the board. Overall execution. I didn’t like that we put the ball on the ground a couple times last week. Just overall efficiency.”
>> On kicker/punter Brett Maher’s ability to affect games: “He’s a big-time weapon for us, Brett is. We have tremendous confidence in him…total trust. He had a couple bumps in the road early on, but you don’t even blink an eye on it.”
>> On the difficulty of defending dual-threat quarterbacks, of which there are several in the Big Ten (including NU signal-caller Taylor Martinez): “It puts a lot of pressure on you defensively. It adds a whole other element. It puts a heck of a challenge on you…it’s a tremendous advantage who can not only beat you throwing the ball but someone who can really affect the game with his feet.”
>> On whether backup quarterbacks to Martinez should have similar or different skillsets: “We want to recruit the best football players we can. I think our offense is versatile enough that we can run and throw and play to the their strengths of whatever his skillset is.”