Lincoln, Neb. - The Nebraska football
team continued its week of preparation for Saturday's Legends Division game
against Minnesota on Tuesday. The team practiced in shoulder pads and
helmets for just under two hours outside on the Ed and Joyanne Gass
John Papuchis addressed the media following practice, first commenting on the
decision to practice in half pads.
been a physical six or seven weeks," Papuchis said. "When you look at Penn
State, Michigan State, Michigan, and Northwestern, each week has been a
physical game. In my opinion, Penn State was one of the most physical teams
we've played since I've been here, and we have to be smart with our guys and
make sure we still have something left in the tank for this last stretch."
then shifted his attention to Saturday's opponent, Minnesota, and their
freshman starting quarterback, Philip Nelson.
tough and he's athletic," Papuchis said. "He runs the offense pretty well for a
freshman, and he brings an athletic dimension to what they do. He's one of
those guys that just finds a way to win games."
Papuchis mentioned, Nelson's best attribute is his dual-threat ability to make
plays in both the pass and run games. In the four games that he has started for
the Gophers, Nelson has averaged 153.8 passing yards and 41.2 rushing yards per
game. He has also thrown six touchdown passes over those four games, which
include victories against Purdue and Illinois.
Minnesota's success has been due
to much more than just Nelson, though. Papuchis also commented on Minnesota's
impressive total team effort and record after last season's 3-9 finish.
a pretty good football team over there," Papuchis said. "They've won six games
now and they are a much better football team than the one we played a year
Saturday's game being the final home game of the season, Papuchis also noted
the significance of this game for the seniors playing their final game in front
of the Sea of Red at Memorial Stadium.
started to hit me as the season started winding down that some of these guys
aren't going to be with us anymore," Papuchis said. "P.J. Smith, Will Compton,
Alonzo Whaley, Courtney Osborne, Cameron Meredith, Baker Steinkuhler, Eric
Martin, and all of the seniors are a big part of what we do. It goes beyond
football with the relationships that you build. I'm happy that they're
finishing their year with some success, but a part of me is also sad that this
is our last home game with those guys. I'm sure Saturday will be a pretty
Check back here at Huskers.com as the Nebraska
football team continues to prepare for its Saturday showdown against the
Minnesota Golden Gophers. Kickoff between the Huskers and Minnesota will be
televised on the Big Ten Network at 2:30 p.m.