Lincoln - Just one practice separates the Nebraska Cornhuskers from their 2008 season opener against Western Michigan after the Huskers worked out for approximately 90 minutes in half pads in Memorial Stadium Thursday.

“We had a good practice today, more mental obviously than physical,” Pelini said. “We cut it down. There was great attention to detail. I liked what I saw from the guys. They’re zeroed in and they’re getting ready to go.”

While the players may be anxious Saturday for the 6 p.m. kickoff to arrive, Pelini said it won’t be difficult for him to maintain his focus.

“I’ve been doing that for a long time,” Pelini said. “We played almost all night games at LSU. I have a lot of experience with that.”

Senior offensive tackle Lydon Murtha was held out of Thursday’s practice, but Pelini said he would have been able to play.

“I would anticipate he’s going to play,” Pelini said.” We feel good about where he’s at right now.”

Earlier in the day, it was announced that senior running back Marlon Lucky was one of 43 running backs who have been named as candidates for the 2008 Doak Walker Award. The award is presented annually to the nation’s top college running back.

Lucky is the Big 12’s leading returning rusher after gaining 1,019 yards in 2007. He also set a Nebraska season record with 75 catches for 705 yards and his all-purpose yardage total was the best by a Husker in 10 years. The North Hollywood, Calif., product is one of four Big 12 running backs on the chart, joining Mike Goodson and Jorvorskie Lane of Texas A&M and DeMarco Murray of Oklahoma.

Lucky was previously named to watch lists for the Maxwell Award and Walter Camp Player of the Year Award. He was also a first-team preseason All-Big 12 choice by the league’s coaches.