Huskers Focus on Special Teams in Preparation for Longhorns
Lincoln, Neb.--- The No. 5 Nebraska football team took the practice field on Wednesday, as the team hit the halfway point in preparation for their much-anticipated matchup with the Texas Longhorns on Saturday. The Huskers practiced for a little over two hours in half pads utilizing both the Hawks Championship Center and Ed and Joyanne Gass Practice Fields just northeast of Memorial Stadium.
Defensive ends coach and special teams coordinator John Papuchis addressed the media after Wednesday's workout and touched on the Huskers special teams play. One area that the Huskers will look to shore up this week is their kick-off coverage.
"We took an opportunity to really evaluate where we were after five games and some places that we thought we were playing well and some places where we thought we didn't," Papuchis said. "There are some fresh faces, but I'm not prepared to say who may or may not be out there, but we're giving guys a chance. There are lot of guys who what the opportunity to get out there and we're trying to give some guys some opportunities."
Papuchis also talked about kicker/punter Alex Henery after Wednesday's workout. The senior is a perfect 4-4 in field goal attempts this season, but with the Huskers high-powered offense, Henery's field goal attempts are down from a year ago. Through five games last season, Henery attempted nine field goals compared to four so far this season.
"If he's out there kicking extra points then that's a good thing" Papuchis said. "We haven't had as many opportunities to kick field goals, but Alex is a team player. I don't think he's worried about statistics, and he's going to have opportunities to kick field goals for us as the season goes on. When he gets his chances he'll be ready."
The Huskers and Longhorns are set to kick off on Saturday, Oct. 16, at 2:30 p.m. inside Memorial Stadium. The 1970 National Championship team will also be honored at the game. The game will be televised regionally on ABC-HD. Check back to Huskers.com for more updates on the Huskers.