Published Tuesday, September 25, 2012 AT 7:08 PM / Updated at 7:45 PM
Practice report: Montee Ball’s health not impacting NU’s game prep
Jon Nyatawa Omaha World-Herald

Defensive coordinator John Papuchis said Nebraska hasn’t altered its preparation for Saturday’s game against Wisconsin even though a Heisman Trophy finalist could be sidelined.

Running back Montee Ball (concussion) was not expected to suit up for a practice on Tuesday — but coach Bret Bielema has spoken somewhat optimistically this week when asked about the senior’s ability to play Saturday. Ball’s status was “upgraded” Tuesday, Bielema said during a conference call, though the doctors will make the final call.

Either way, whether Ball’s in or out, Papuchis doesn’t think the Badgers will attack NU much differently. So nothing’s changed this week.

“Obviously Montee Ball’s a really good player — but so are the other guys,” Papuchis said. “We know we’ve got to be prepared to stop the run game regardless of who’s playing.”

(The other guys Papuchis alluded to: junior James White and redshirt freshman Melvin Gordon).

More post-practice notes from Papuchis are below…

>> Junior Ciante Evans will “play a lot of corner” on Saturday, Papuchis said. And that’s on top of Evans’ role at nickel, a personnel group that Papuchis does expect to use some. Papuchis doesn’t think the top cornerback rotation (Andrew Green, Josh Mitchell, Stanley Jean-Baptiste and Mo Seisay) will change much. He indicated that all are expected to play Saturday.

>> Here’s the current linebacker depth chart, according to Papuchis… Weakside: Alonzo Whaley (with David Santos sharing some practice reps); Middle: Will Compton (Trevor Roach as the top backup); Strongside: Sean Fisher (Whaley’s the No. 2 with the possibility of senior Matt Manninger in certain situations).

>> Wisconsin’s offense is different without quarterback Russell Wilson, according to Papuchis. And he said the change at offensive coordinator — Matt Canada in charge now — has been evident on film, too. But still, “some of the core principles” remain, Papuchis said.

>> On redshirt freshman quarterback Joel Stave… Papuchis said Stave looked “poised” and “composed” in his first start last weekend. “(He) certainly didn’t look like a freshman out there,” Papuchis 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. Waskel Wabbit says:

    Whaley starting? Oh well, I’m sure Whisky will take notice of that. Watch a lot of plays run or thrown to the weakside. Hmmmm. Whaley and weak. They seem to go together.

    1. mac says:

      No doubt a little extra criticism will help.

      1. A Fan says:

        If the guy ain’t cutting it, then he aint’ cutting it. Either the coaches are too bullheaded to pull him or we have no one behind him who is better at the position. Either answer is not good.

  2. socalhusker says:

    This Wisky offense is tailor-made for the the 3 senior LB’s to step up and play fast and strong. The QB is not going to scramble for a 50 yard touchdown so I expect a dominating performance. Wisky will most likely use motion in there backfield but I expect NU to handle it differently than UCLA. Hoping for a 3 touchdown victory.

    1. Joey says:

      NU just better hope for A victory.

  3. Joey says:

    speak for yourself valid victorian, mobb, lynchmob, TexasHusker, did I miss any?? I know I did. Just can’t remember all of your 36 to 360 different screen names.

  4. Joey says:

    Redfin was valid victorian, then TexasHusker, then mobb, then lynchmob. He has a this lil hobby of hiding behind other screen names. To all those that see NU football for what it really is now. ..(mediocre). Sooo? He uses ALOT of different screen names so he can randomly insult others. Of course he is sooooooo easy to spot. Just look for that lil troll ALWAYS talking smack about CornDevil, or…me. We have became his hobby now. He needs help,…serious help. But until then? WE have to treat him the way his parents did, or does…..IGNORE HIM.

    1. VanCleef says:

      YOU! are the one that needs help. Can you say, “manic depressant?”
      YOU! and your longwinded antagonistic vomit, are the ones that need to be ignored!

  5. nu5times says:

    Hmm, lets see. Waskel Wabbit, Corn Devil, Joey. Powerful offense. Except offense is positive and all of you are negative. So maybe you’re defense. Naw, no way. So tell me, what critical things do you all see about Alabama, LSU, Notre Dame, or others? Your little, and I do mean little, silver tongued devils abuot Nebraska. Just wonder what your negative opinion is of those teams. If they are as good as you are here, maybe pack and move. Always room for more criticism.

    1. Joey says:

      Ahhh but it IS my right to post as I wish. But, I didn’t break your arm or force you to read it. If I see posts I don’t like? I just don’t read it. Soooo? Since you don’t like what I type? Then,….why are you reading it?

    2. VanCleef says:

      You forgot “Melvin,” and “A Fan.”

      1. A Fan says:

        Thanks VanCleef. Happy to help out.

    3. A Fan says:

      Alabama… nothing critical to say. They’re the best team in CFB. LSU… offense issues. Outstanding defense. Notre Dame… good offense, average defense. Alabama and LSU would mop the field against Nebraska. Notre Dame is better than us too.

      I wonder how many walk-ons are starting (or even playing) at those 3 schools.