Published Tuesday, October 30, 2012 AT 7:01 PM / Updated at 8:57 PM
Practice Report: Papuchis talks Michigan State, Jackson moves to CB
Sam McKewon Omaha World-Herald

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.”

About Sam McKewon

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