Published Friday, December 28, 2012 AT 4:46 PM / Updated at 7:19 PM
Capital One Bowl: Pensick embracing underdog role up front
Jon Nyatawa Omaha World-Herald

Nebraska center Cole Pensick is reading a book. It’s called “Fearless” by Eric Blehm, chronicling the story of Navy SEAL Team Six operator Adam Brown.

Pensick’s description of the novel’s subject: “He was always the underdog. He picked the biggest guy, and went after him.”

So Pensick can relate. Said Pensick: “That’s kind of the mentality you have to go with. Ever since high school, I’ve been kind of told that I’m undersized.”

It’s especially true this week, when he’s preparing to line up against Georgia’s Kwame Geathers, a 6-foot-6, 355-pound nose tackle who’s considering leaving for the NFL draft even though he was listed as a backup until Wednesday. There’s little debate: Geathers is a beast.

Pensick, meanwhile, is listed at 6-foot-2, which is probably generous. He was 273 pounds before getting sick early in the week.

He feels fine now, ready to prove himself.

Pensick admitted Friday that he’s the player his offensive line teammates don’t enjoy battling against in drills because he’s able to gain leverage by getting lower than his opponent.

“I like going against the taller guys,” Pensick said. “Get right underneath their chin. They don’t like that.”

We’ll see how that Pensick-Geathers matchup unfolds Tuesday. A couple notes from Georgia’s Friday practice…

>> Geathers said Nebraska’s offensive line is “physical” and the NU running backs get upfield pretty quickly. He expects to see plenty of the downhill-style approach from the Huskers on the ground. “First thing we’ve got to do is stop the run,” he said.

>> Junior linebacker Alec Ogletree said the Bulldogs have not played any quarterback like Taylor Martinez this season. “To me, he’s more like the dude from Texas A&M,” Ogletree said. (That “dude” he speaks of is Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel).

>> Here’s Geathers on slowing down Martinez: “When you’ve got a quarterback like that, you’ve got to contain him, keep him in the pocket, not let him run as much. I think we’ll be all right if we just (follow) the game plan.”

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.