Published Tuesday, November 5, 2013 AT 7:04 PM / Updated at 7:21 PM
Practice Report, Nov. 5: Injury updates and dealing with Devin Gardner
Sam McKewon Omaha World-Herald

Quick hits from Nebraska’s Tuesday practice inside the Hawks Championship Center.

>> Injury update!

Guard Jake Cotton (strained MCL), wide receiver Jamal Turner (calf) and quarterback Taylor Martinez (medley of maladies) didn’t practice.

Wide receiver Kenny Bell (groin) and tight end Jake Long (hamstring) did practice. Long talked to reporters and said he expects to play Saturday at Michigan.

>> Offensive coordinator Tim Beck said Andrew Rodriguez is working some at guard.

>> On defense, David Santos is working at Buck linebacker as Jared Afalava is not part of coach Bo Pelini’s plans this week. Afalava does not have an injury, but Pelini intimated Monday he wants Afalava to practice better.

>> Husker defenders have plenty of wariness and respect for Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner, particularly his ability to run when passing plays break down.

“We don’t want to get out of our gaps or get too far above the quarterback where he can beat you,” defensive end Avery Moss said. “He’s an athletic quarterback and he can just run through lanes, so we’re focused on staying in our gaps and keying him. More discipline instead of more aggressive.”

Defensive tackle Vincent Valentine said the key to slowing down Gardner is getting pressure in his face, up the middle.

“He wants to pass as much he can, so I feel like that’s an advantage for us with our pass rushers on the end and getting push through the middle,” Valentine said. “We can sack him a couple times, hopefully.”

>> How bad was wide receiver depth on Saturday? Like this: Beck said Nebraska was trying to draw up routes for converted receiver/current cornerback Stanley Jean-Baptiste to run during the two-minute drill. Most of the receivers NU had on the field — Quincy Enunwa, Jordan Westerkamp, Alonzo Moore and Sam Burtch — were pretty exhausted.

“We didn’t have anybody left,” Beck said.

Moore, Beck said, was running plays he hadn’t learned yet.

“That’s viable,” Beck said. “Coach (Rich) Fish(er) was moving guys all over the place. Moore’s tapping out because he’s tired, (Fisher) is throwing the dude out there … Ronnie (Kellogg) was like ‘Coach, I’m back there waiting for them,’ and I said ‘Ronnie, they were playing non-stop for 10 straight routes.’ We had one sub.”

About Sam McKewon

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