Published Monday, October 29, 2012 AT 1:26 PM / Updated at 5:08 PM
Press Conference: Huskers talk Sparty
Sam McKewon Omaha World-Herald

Quick hits from Nebraska football’s Monday press conference as the Huskers prepare for Saturday’s game with Michigan State:

Injury report first:

>> Wide receiver Taariq Allen is out for the season with a knee injury. He’ll get surgery this week.

>> Running back Rex Burkhead remains “day to day,” Pelini said, for Saturday.

>> Running back Braylon Heard “tweaked his groin” two days before the Michigan game, and was available to play vs. the Wolverines in an emergency. He’s “100 percent, good to go” for Michigan State.

>> Quarterback Taylor Martinez said he was “beat up” after the Michigan game, and injured his left ankle, which is the opposite ankle from the one he injured in 2010. Martinez said he’ll get treatment this week for it, but fully intends to play Saturday.

>> Michigan State has a reputation of blitzing opposing quarterbacks, and Martinez is just fine with that.

“I prefer blitzes,” Martinez said. “I think it leaves gaps (in the defense).”

>> Pelini said he’s somewhat simplified the calls and concepts on his defense in the last two weeks and also reduced the number of players making those calls. It’s helped the Huskers’ defense play a little faster and execute better.

>> Plenty of Husker defenders were asked about tackling Michigan State running back Le’Veon Bell. The general consensus:

“He’s a beast,” NU safety P.J. Smith said.

Pelini said it’s important to get to Bell before he gets up to full speed, because he’s hard to bring down after that.

>> Nevertheless, linebacker Alonzo Whaley said, MSU’s pro-style offense is right in the wheelhouse of the Husker defense.

“Their style of offense falls into our strengths,” Whaley said. “When you pack us in and try to run it, nobody really has success toward our defense. It goes to what our strengths are.”

>> Pelini went into impressive depth on his secondary philosophy and defensive philosophy against tempo. You’ll see more of that this week in The World-Herald.

About Sam McKewon

Sam McKewon covers Nebraska football for The World-Herald. Got a tip, question or rant? Good. Email him at And follow him on Twitter at @swmckewonOWH. And call him at 402.219.3790.