The Nebraska football team began official preparations for the 2009 Konica Minolta Gator Bowl with a one-hour workout Monday afternoon in the Hawks Championship Center in Lincoln.

“We had a good practice today,” coach Bo Pelini said.  “It was a short go, but it was intense.  We got a lot done.  I like what we did and I liked the way the kids practiced today.”

The tone set by the Huskers’ first practice since the bid to the Gator Bowl was officially announced fell in line with how Pelini wants his team to work in the nearly month-long period before Nebraska takes on Clemson.

“We pull off or push ahead by what schedule we set up,” Pelini said.  “These guys know that when we come to practice, we come to practice.  There’s one way we do things: full speed, with the right attitude.  That’s been the case.  Our guys have grown up in that manner.  They’ve developed and understand what we’re asking of them and how to practice.  We need to make some more progress at this time.”

With the Tigers now officially set as the Huskers’ postseason opponent, NU turned its focus toward Clemson.  Coached by Dabo Sweeney, who took over as the Tigers’ head coach midway through the season, 7-5 Clemson finished the season strong with wins in four of its last five games. 

“I’ve seen Clemson on film a little bit,” Pelini said.  “They’re a good football team.  They’re talented and well-coached.  They’ll be a good test for us.”

The Huskers will resume preparations for the Jan. 1 nationally-televised matchup with the Tigers with a workout Thursday afternoon in Lincoln.  About 3,000 of Nebraska’s allotment of 12,500 tickets for the game remain available through the Nebraska Athletic Ticket Office.