Lincoln, Neb. - The Nebraska football team practiced for just
over two hours in full pads on the Ed and Joyanne Gass practice fields Tuesday
afternoon, as the Huskers continued preparations for Saturday's Big Ten
Conference opener against Wisconsin.
Defensive Coordinator John Papuchis
addressed the media after practice, focusing on a Wisconsin running game that
could be without All-American and Heisman Trophy finalist Montee Ball, who
suffered a concussion in Saturday's 37-26 victory over UTEP.
"A strength of theirs is that they have good depth at
running back. Obviously, Montee Ball is a really good player, but so are the
other guys," Papuchis said. "We know we have to be prepared to stop the run
game regardless of who is playing, and that is something we are working hard at
Papuchis also talked about his emphasis on the ability of
Nebraska's defense to match the physicality of Wisconsin's offense.
"I think the biggest thing you learn in the first go-round
in the league is that it's fairly easy to watch some of the things on film and have
a good idea of how they are going to try to attack you, but you don't have a great
feel for their physicality or their talent level until you play them.
Certainly, going through the league once and playing them once should help,"
One of the concerns with such an emphasis on stopping the
run is the vulnerability to big plays in the passing game. Papuchis expressed his
evaluation of the passing game of Wisconsin freshman quarterback, Joel Stave,
who made his first career start on Saturday.
"For a guy making his first start, he seemed poised,
composed, and made some good throws on some deep balls," Papuchis said. "He
certainly didn't look like a freshman out there, and he didn't look like a guy
who was making his first start."
Check back here on Huskers.com for live
updates throughout the week as the Nebraska football team prepares for its home
opener Saturday against the Wisconsin Badgers. Kickoff between the Huskers and
Badgers at Memorial Stadium is set for 7 p.m. (central) with live national
television coverage on ABC.