Thirteen days after Nebraska lost 70-31 to Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship, Huskers coaches and players talked to the media for the first time. Here’s a quick recap of key thoughts, with more stuff to come:
>> The Huskers are over the loss to the Badgers — and they’re not exactly over it at the same time.
“It’s still not gone,” said right guard Spencer Long, who won second-team All-America honors earlier this week. “It won’t be gone until I go out and play again. I don’t think it will for anyone. That was rough. We all wanted that so bad. We just want another opportunity to prove ourselves again.”
Said tight end Ben Cotton: “We don’t want to be the next 10-4 team we’ve been in the last four years. We want to be different. Our championship attitude – it’s not going to change. We’re here to work. We’re here to win.”
And coach Bo Pelini: “They were hurtin’. But you know what? They’re grown men. You move on. That’s what you have to do. We’ll be ready to go. It’s over now. It’s done. We’re concentrating on Georgia. Yeah, you use things necessary that are going to help you get better. But you can’t dwell on it. That’s for you guys to do.”
>> Offensive line coach Barney Cotton didn’t recruit for the last two weeks — now-departed graduate assistant Vince Marrow took his place — so he watched hours and hours of film in preparation for Georgia. He also ran and scripted the Huskers’ five practices in coach Bo Pelini’s absence.
“Everything all drawn up,” Cotton said. “We don’t have to do the stuff we normally have to do on a Sunday. I was able to get all that stuff done. So we can watch the film without having to draw it up and we can move much, much quicker … it’s a labor of love. I enjoy that kind of stuff and being involved in the big picture.”
NU begins Georgia prep next week. The Huskers will practice four days next week, let players leave after next Thursday’s workout until Christmas, and then head to Orlando Dec. 26
>> Running back Rex Burkhead is now practicing without a brace on his knee and “feeling great,” Pelini said. Burkhead will talk to the media Tuesday.
>> Justin Jackson won’t be back at center for the bowl game, so look for Cole Pensick or Mark Pelini to man that role for the Capital One Bowl, and for another guard — Jake Cotton or Ryne Reeves — to move into that seven-man rotation. Jake Cotton took one-third of the first-team snaps Friday at left guard with Seung Hoon Choi.
>> John Garrison will work with the tight ends in the bowl game in Marrow’s absence.