The Nebraska football team hit the practice field Wednesday for the first time since its thrilling 40-31 win over the Colorado Buffaloes last Friday. The Huskers worked out for 1 hour and 15 minutes inside the Hawks Championship Center. The last 15 minutes featured young players working against each other.

“They came back well. They actually did really well,” Offensive Coordinator Shawn Watson said. “I can tell they’re rested. They ran around fast today and that’s always a good sign, because that means the rest was needed and it’s been good for them.”

Even though the Huskers have not been officially invited to play in the Gator Bowl on Jan. 1, Watson said the Huskers have started preparations for the Clemson Tigers, who was officially announced as a Gator Bowl participant Wednesday afternoon.

“We’ll start looking at them. I’m sure the arrows are pointing in that direction even though it hasn’t officially been told to us yet,” Watson said. “We’ve got to patiently wait, but that won’t stop us from beginning to prepare. They’re a very athletic football team. They played great defense this year.”

Watson said he feels a level of excitement among the players about a potential trip to Florida.

 “You can tell that they feel like they’ve accomplished a goal,” Watson said. “They’re hungry to do more and that’s a really good thing. It’s part of what’s happening in our program right now, which is all positive signs.”

The Huskers will use the bowl practices to get repetitions for the back-up quarterbacks, Watson said.

“The way we’re structuring ourselves in practice right now, we’re getting a lot of reps for those guys,” Watson said. “But now with the bowl practices, especially initially as we begin to lay a plan for the opponent in the bowl game, there’ll be practices where we go a lot against our defense. So that will give us ample opportunities to go with our young guys and really get a look at them in testing situations.”

The Huskers will take the next two days off and return to practice on Saturday.