Tag Archives: Corey Cooper

Practice report Aug. 28: RB Taylor to redshirt

Adam Taylor requested to redshirt this fall to focus on his development as a player, but running backs coach Ron Brown said the staff will continue to prepare the 210-pound freshman, just in case.

“He’s good enough to play, there’s no question about it,” Brown said. “He’s a talented dude.”

Brown said Taylor will continue to take practice reps with the main offense (not the scout team). Again, just in case. The Huskers have sophomore Imani Cross and true freshman Terrell Newby backing up starter Ameer Abdullah. Brown also mentioned walk-on King Frazier as a guy who could help out as well.

And Taylor was right in that mix, according to Brown. He’s a hard worker on the field and he’s committed to getting better …

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Practice report Aug. 27: Defense’s top unit taking shape

This could (and probably will) change by next week, but defensive coordinator John Papuchis provided a detailed update of the Huskers’ starting lineup after practice Tuesday.

We won’t waste time. Here’s the good stuff, courtesy of Papuchis…

>> Defensive end Jason Ankrah and defensive tackle Thad Randle are starters (you knew that). Redshirt freshman Avery Moss and sophomore Randy Gregory are still battling out for the other top D-end job. And if the game were today, Papuchis said, the fourth lineman would be redshirt freshman Vincent Valentine — who’s apparently better conditioned (what used to be his biggest obstacle).

>> Sophomore David Santos is settled in as the top middle linebacker in the nickel and dime formations. Junior Zaire Anderson, freshman Nathan Gerry and senior …

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Spring Practice Quick Hits: Pelini says defense showing ‘positive signs’

It’s only been two days since that debacle of a practice Saturday, so it appears that coach Bo Pelini’s not making any concrete conclusions just yet. But…

Pelini said Nebraska’s defense “made some significant progress” during practice sessions on Monday and Wednesday. Better practice habits. More attention to detail. Guys’ grasp of concepts has been enhanced. They’re playing faster. “I’ve seen us make a big jump in the last two days as to where we were over the first week,” Pelini said.

Pelini declined to name anyone specifically, but he said there are certain players who’ve made considerable progress. “There’s some really positive signs going on out there,” he said.

Then again, though, there’s much more to do, according to Pelini.

“That (progress) needs to …

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Pelini on defensive scheme: ‘We’re not dialing back at all’

Coach Bo Pelini said he’s not changing the fundamental principles that make up his defensive system. No surprise there. But are subtle alterations coming?

Pelini, speaking on “Sports Nightly” on the Husker Sports Network Wednesday night, made a point to say that his scheme is “multiple” yet “simple,” indicating that no plans for a complete overhaul are needed.

But last season, he thought that too often his players “were trying to be so perfect” that it hindered their playmaking ability. Pelini characterized that approach as “one of the worst things we did” on the defensive side of the ball.

So, it’s teaching the system without overwhelming the young players or compromising their instinctual nature — that seems to be the NU coaching staff’s primary defensive objective …

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Practice report: Pelini says Burkhead a game-time decision

Rex Burkhead and Nebraska’s medical staff won’t make a final decision on his status until just before Saturday’s game against Minnesota, NU coach Bo Pelini said after practice Thursday.

Burkhead, battling back from a third MCL sprain (suffered Oct. 20 at Northwestern), did return to practice this week. He practiced well, according to Pelini. But it appears the Huskers will remain cautious with their star I-back, who’s missed the last three games.

Burkhead’s officially a game-time decision. Said Pelini: “We’re going to play it by ear, see how he feels and go from there.”

Other notes from Pelini Thursday…

>> No decision yet on senior Tim Marlowe (shoulder), either. That will be sorted out Saturday, Pelini said.

>> The last two weeks, senior Justin Blatchford …

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Halftime: Nebraska 14, Michigan State 14

Nebraska was in desperate need of a momentum-changing play, and Taylor Martinez delivered.

The junior quarterback — who’s now the career leader in total offense at NU — tied the game at 14 with a 71-yard touchdown run late in the second quarter.

It couldn’t have come at a better time for the Huskers.

Earlier in the quarter, Kenny Bell had dropped a potential touchdown pass on third down. And kicker Brett Maher missed a 30-yard field goal attempt on the next snap from scrimmage. A 12-play drive, which lasted just over six minutes, to begin the second quarter ended with no points.

Then MSU responded. Le’Veon Bell turned a third-and-1 into a 40-yard gain. A late hit moved MSU back, but Andrew Maxwell completed …

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Nebraska-Michigan State pregame notes

The Huskers have finished their pregame warmup routine here on a gray and chilly Saturday afternoon at Spartan Stadium.

A venue that seats 75,005 is still filling up, though there are expected to be some barren bleacher pockets. We’ll see how many Husker fans show up. The Nebraska marching band is here, crammed into the northeast corner of the field (the sidelines here are quite small).

A few noteworthy items and observations as we approach kickoff…

>> Senior Rex Burkhead is not suited up.

>> Sophomore Ameer Abdullah is dressed, however — and he looked fine going through warmups, despite rumors suggesting otherwise. Abdullah, Jamal Turner, Tim Marlowe and Braylon Heard were catching punts for several minutes. Heard looks like he’s moving well, too.

>> …

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Practice report: Papuchis says third downs will be key Saturday

The success Michigan had on third down against Nebraska last year, especially in obvious passing situations, played a “huge part” in the 45-17 NU loss, defensive coordinator John Papuchis said.

Quarterback Denard Robinson completed five of his eight pass attempts on third down. He totaled 127 yards on those five passes, including a touchdown throw. Nebraska was also whistled for a defensive pass interference on a third down and goal play.

Papuchis said the Wolverines had certain route combinations that exploited the way NU runs its match-up zone defense. The coaches set aside time in the spring to analyze it, he said.

“Some teams, if they study how we match routes enough, can kind of manipulate some of our adjustments,” Papuchis said. “But then we …

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First quarter: Northwestern 7, Nebraska 3

After a crisp start to Saturday’s game at Northwestern, the Huskers are again finding ways to beat themselves. Or at least make it much more difficult to find success.

Nebraska trails 7-3 after one quarter – credit the NU defense for an impressive effort so far, or else it could be worse.

The most blatant mistake came on a punt that Ameer Abdullah was trying to fair catch. But he bobbled it and dropped it. Northwestern recovered the loose football at the NU 14-yard line.

The Wildcats scored on third down pass play, taking a 7-3 lead with 1:35 left in the first. They were also credited with a first down – their first of the game.

Other Nebraska sloppiness includes: a personal foul penalty …

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Practice report: Cooper’s growth, injury updates, other notes

Coach Bo Pelini complimented the recent improvement of sophomore defensive back Corey Cooper, who’ll likely be relied on regularly during the Huskers’ matchup with Northwestern’s spread offense Saturday.

Cooper’s the sixth defensive back in Nebraska’s dime formation, a personnel group used mostly when opponents line up with four wide receivers. That’s been his job all year, and he’s getting better, according to Pelini.

Still room to grow, certainly. But the bye week helps. So does Cooper’s work ethic.

“He’s a guy that works extremely hard at it,” Pelini said. “It’s real important to him. And it’s showing.”

Pelini spoke with reporters for about five minutes after practice Thursday. The highlights are below, beginning with the injury updates…

>> Pelini on Rex Burkhead: “He’s about as …

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