Apparently Nebraska coach Bo Pelini’s comments in a Wednesday USA Today article caused enough of an uproar in the media — mainstream and Internet message boards — that Pelini was asked to clarify his thoughts after Thursday’s practice.
Here’s the full exchange:
Reporter: “Can you talk about the USA Today deal? Can you say anything about that?”
Pelini: “I’m not following you.”
Reporter: “They quoted you as saying — putting some quotes inside there. Were you quoted accurately in the USA Today article at all?
Pelini: “I haven’t read it, but I guess you’d have to refer me to what you’re talking about.”
Reporter: “When you were talking about your stay at Nebraska and whether or not — if they didn’t want you here, you’d leave?”
Pelini: “I’ve said that all along. If they ever make that decision — which I don’t anticipate that — if they make that decision, they make that decision. That’s my job. That’s your job. Don’t read anything into it. I’ve gotten support. I continue to get support, and go from there. I have a lot of respect for the process that’s going on. (Athletic director) Shawn (Eichorst) has a process he goes through. I have total respect for that. I just do my job. I don’t know exactly what was quoted or what’s read into it. Don’t read anything into it. You know me: I’m black and white. It is what it is.”
Pelini was then asked whether he received feedback from Eichorst, who has publicly declined to discuss Pelini’s job status — positively or negatively — with the media.
“I don’t need feedback from Shawn,” Pelini said. “I get support from Shawn. Yeah, I get feedback. He comes out to practice. You know, it’s business as usual around here.”
Other notes from Thursday’s practice:
>>All injured offensive linemen — Jeremiah Sirles, Mike Moudy, Jake Cotton and Cole Pensick — are now a “gametime decision” according to Pelini. Center/guard Pensick didn’t appear to practice, but since the Huskers weren’t in pads, there wasn’t much differentiation in players who wore a jersey and players who didn’t. Pelini said wide receiver Jamal Turner would make the trip to State College. Turner hasn’t played since a handful of snaps against Purdue. He’s been rehabbing a calf injury.
>>It appears likely, based on several interviews this week, that sophomore Givens Price will see significant playing time at guard. Price, who enrolled at NU when he was 16 years old, is now 19, and more physically and mentally ready for the college game, Pelini said.
“His confidence is growing,” Pelini said. “He’s excited. He has great energy…I think it’s still a work in progress with Givens, but I think he’s a prideful kid. It’s important to him. He plays hard. He does the right things on and off the field. It’s coming. The light’s coming on. He sees an opportunity right now, and I think he’s hungry to play.”
Pelini said Crete sophomore guard Ryne Reeves and redshirt freshman Paul Thurston are making strides, as well.
>>Wide receiver Taariq Allen played late in the 41-28 loss to Michigan State and appears to be closer than ever to full recovery from a torn ACL he suffered last November against Michigan, Pelini said.
“He came back so early,” Pelini said. “He was way ahead of schedule when he came back from his rehab. We thought it’d be right about this time that he’d be 100 percent. It’s almost on cue as to what our trainers said. It’s played out that way…you see him planting that leg, which he was a little be reluctant to do at first.
“You gotta give him a little bit of credit because he’s the ultimate team guy. He’s busted his butt to get back. He’s an absolute warrior. I can’t say enough about Taariq Allen.
>>Quarterback Tommy Armstrong responded well in practice, Pelini said, after committing three turnovers against Michigan State.
Video: Nebraska coach Bo Pelini