Junior Ben Cotton is one of 16 Huskers who will earn their degree on Saturday.
Photo by Scott Bruhn/Nebraska Communications

Huskers Continue Bowl Prep, 16 Set to Earn Diplomas

By NU Athletic Communications

Lincoln, Neb.--- As finals week at UNL comes to its conclusion, the Nebraska football team hit the practice field for almost two hours on Friday as they turned their attention toward the South Carolina Gamecocks for its Jan. 2 showdown in the Capital One Bowl in Orlando, Fla. The Huskers practiced in helmets and shoulder pads inside the Hawks Championship Center.

Head Coach Bo Pelini addressed a contingent of media following Friday's practice. Pelini was pleased with the way his team practiced throughout finals week and on Friday.

"It went good," Pelini said. '"This was day three of practice for this week. We had a couple practices during finals week and it went well. Started some game preparation today; it went good."

With the departure of former defensive coordinator Carl Pelini, who was named the head coach at Florida Atlantic earlier this month, Pelini was asked about the vacant coordinator job and what he plans to do with it moving forward. Pelini said he has a plan in place and will announce his decision when he feels the time is right.

"To be honest with, I have a good idea what we do if we lose a coach," Pelini said. "I'll just implement the plan when I feel necessary. I've been getting pulled a lot of different directions and doing a lot of different things. I'll handle it in time and I'll announce it when the time's right."

Pelini also touched on senior Mike Caputo's status for the bowl game. 

"All the discipline I do, I handle internally," Pelini said. "I make the decision that's, first of all, in the best interest of our program, and also what's in the best interest of each kid. I handle each situation separately, and look at the facts and make the decision that's right. I think I've shown over the past four years that I'm fair. We run a disciplined program. We run a program that's based on accountability, but to sit there and lump everything into one situation, you can't do that. You look at every situation and go with that. I would think that people trust me to do that. I know our administration trusts me to do that and make the right decisions."

Saturday will be a special day for 16 Huskers as they are set to earn the diplomas at commencement Saturday morning. The group is highlighted by five juniors who are earning their degrees early, including Will Compton, Ben Cotton, Kenny Anderson, Baker Steinkuhler and Josh Williams. 

The Huskers will practice on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday before a break for Christmas. NU is set to depart for Orlando on Dec. 26. The Huskers and Gamecocks will kick off at Noon (CT) from the Citrus Bowl and will be televised nationally on ESPN.


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