Bo Pelini said the work that Nebraska has done practicing Hail Mary plays hopefully helped Saturday, but the Husker head coach said it’s hard to mimic the drill in real-time speed for safety reasons.
It worked against Northwestern with the 49-yard tipped touchdown pass from Ron Kellogg to Jordan Westerkamp, and Pelini said NU appeared to have the receivers where it wanted them as the ball came toward the goal line.
“It’s something that’s hard to practice, obviously,” Pelini said Tuesday on the Big Ten teleconference. “You take ’em through it – you kind of walk through it, jog through it, throw the ball up – and kind of put ’em in position.
“But it’s something that’s hard to practice because you don’t want to do it full speed too much because you don’t want anyone getting hurt, and jumping in piles and that type of thing.”
Pelini relived the crazy finish some more during his weekly Big Ten segment. Both Pelini and Michigan coach Brady Hoke also talked Huskers-Wolverines as NU prepares to visit Ann Arbor on Saturday.
Some other comments:
>> Pelini on preparing for the last Nebraska-Michigan game until 2018, with both teams trying to stay in the Legends Division race: “Every game’s significant. Right now we’re in a situation where we’re still in control of our destiny, and every game’s big. They’re a good football team and they’re the next one on the schedule, so it makes it that important.”
>> Pelini was asked if Taylor Martinez could work his way back into the quarterback rotation: “It just depends on his health. We’re not going to put him out there if he doesn’t feel ready to go. Right now, we’ll just kind of see how this week plays out. But if he’s healthy, he’s definitely part of the mix.”
>> Pelini commenting on Michigan tight end Devin Funchess and receiver Jeremy Gallon: “They’re really good football players and I think they use them well. Funchess is a multi-talented guy that they move around and use him in a lot of different roles. You have to know where he is. You have to be prepared to handle what he can do. What Gallon brings is he’s as good of a receiver as there is out there.”
>> Michigan, like Nebraska, is a two-loss team, but Hoke still believes in the Wolverines: “I do think we can be a very good football team. I’m sure most of you think I’m nuts, but when we make sure all the details and how we want to play are in line, we can play pretty good football.”
>> Hoke said any uncertainty with NU’s quarterback situation with Tommy Armstrong, Ron Kellogg and perhaps Martinez doesn’t change Michigan preparations: “I don’t know how much the offense changes from one to the other. A good program should recruit guys to fit your style, and they’ve done that. Tommy Armstrong and Kellogg both when they’ve been in football games have done a nice job of running the offense.”
>> Hoke on Husker I-back Ameer Abdullah: “He’s one of those guys who can break your ankles in the hole.”
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Listen: Big Ten teleconference, Nov. 5: