Quick hits from Nebraska’s Oct. 30 practice as the Huskers prepare for Michigan State.
>> Running back Rex Burkhead did not practice Tuesday.
>> That may have been a good thing, since NU defensive coordinator John Papuchis called it “as physical an in-season practice as we’ve had in a long time.”
“That was our guys,” Papuchis said, noting the coaches didn’t ask for more physicality. “There was a pretty intense feel to the way they practiced today, which was obviously a positive.”
>> Papuchis said Nebraska only gave out 11 Blackshirts to “guys who have really defined their role on our defense.”
“Guys who are either in a platoon role with somebody else — or they were only a situational player — they haven’t gone forward. But they could still earn them. I hope to add a couple after this week.”
>> Freshman Charles Jackson has moved from nickel corner — where he backed up starter Ciante Evans — to a regular corner spot behind Stanley Jean-Baptiste.
“We’re trying to find a way to make sure we’re as evenly balanced across the whole secondary with guys that we feel good about,” Papuchis said.
Papuchis said Jackson is “on the cusp” of playing a significant role, with more to come in 2013.
“Here in the near future, we’re going to see him being a lockdown, cover corner for us,” Papuchis said.
Jackson was the last Husker off the field Tuesday night as he worked on his ball skills.
>> Michigan State’s offense is “balanced,” Papuchis said, with quarterback Andrew Maxwell spreading the ball around to a variety of receivers. Six Spartans have more than 20 catches.
“A year ago, (B.J.) Cunningham was kind of their focus, their guy,” Papuchis said. “This year, their catches are a lot more evenly distributed across the board and that makes them a lot more difficult to defend.”