Lincoln, Neb. – The Nebraska football team practiced in helmets, shoulder pads and shorts for 90 minutes Thursday afternoon. Both the defense and offense started with stretching and individual drills in the Hawks Championship Center, before the offense moved to Memorial Stadium for the remainder of practice.
Head Coach Mike Riley spoke to media following practice to address the progress of the team’s preparation to play Indiana on Saturday.
Coach Riley started off the post practice interview with an injury report.
“Looks like Devine Ozigbo will play. He looked good today,“ Riley said. “I like Devine a lot and it’s comforting to have him. He’s played now for us for a year and a half. He’s become one of those guys you rely on. So when they’re healthy and they can play, that’s a good thing for your team.”
Riley also mentioned who will be traveling. “He [Ozigbo] will travel with us. Cethan [Carter] will not, Jordan [Westerkamp] will not. Tanner Farmer looks like he will be able to play and go. [David] Knevel has been practicing all week. Alonzo Moore has practiced all week so that looks good.”
Riley went on to talk about changes being made to accommodate missing players.
“I think Sam Cotton is having a real good year. He can play a pretty versatile role. Not exactly like Cethan but good in another way. I think Trey (Foster) is going to step in there play more and have to do well and I think he’s capable of doing that. And with our hybrid player h-back, fullback Luke McNitt. And Luke is going to have to play a bigger role.”
Riley expressed his admiration for several members of the Huskers’ special teams.
“You know I’m really proud of those guys, I’ve got stories on them. I’m especially proud of and have a lot of respect for Brad Simpson. What a great job he’s done. He is the point leader at this (point) and he’s been really good. He takes it seriously. He’s a good leader in that area and he’s productive. Luke McNitt is the same way.” Riley said “JoJo Doman has made a lot of plays in that area. Chris Weber, he’s really a great team guy and a great (special) teams guy.”
Coach Riley shared his expectations for Saturday’s game.
“I expect this team (Indiana) to really be ready to play. Our team too. They have a good team and so do we and I think it will be a matter of who plays the best on Saturday. I think that physically you’ve got to have a good start. Tackling well, playing well, and not giving up big plays right off the bat in particular. I think having a fast start has given them a lot of confidence as you go. Those are all big factors. They will be ready, so will we, it’ll be a good game.”
Game time for the Nebraska-Indiana contest is set for 2:30 p.m. CT at Indiana’s Memorial Stadium in Bloomington. The game will be televised on either ABC or ESPN depending on local market.