The Nebraska football team completed its final practice before a Holiday break on Saturday morning, working out for 90 minutes inside the Hawks Championship Center. The wake-up call was early for Nebraska players and coaches as the practice began at 7 a.m.
The early start not only allowed Nebraska players to get an early start on their breaks, but also accommodated nine Husker football players who are graduating on Saturday. Those graduating on Saturday include Beau Davis, Joe Ganz, T.J. O’Leary, Todd Peterson, Clayton Sievers, Ty Steinkuhler, Nate Swift, Dan Titchener and Jake Wesch.
The remainder of the players scattered quickly following practice with many traveling out-of-state. Pelini said when planning Nebraska’s bowl practice schedule he made a point of allowing his players several days off around Christmas. The Huskers will enjoy four full days off before returning to Lincoln for a team meeting on Christmas night. Nebraska will then conduct a brief workout on the morning of Dec. 26, before leaving for Jacksonville later that day where the Huskers will continue Gator Bowl preparations.
“Now is a time to spend with family,” Pelini said. “We have a lot of guys on our team that need to travel to see their families. You have to give them enough time to get home and spend some time with their families. Everyone has a different philosophy (on bowl schedule), but it is just as important to be fresh mentally as fresh physically.”
Pelini said the Huskers’ practices in Lincoln in preparation for the matchup with Clemson have been productive and he feels his team is in a good position with less than two weeks remaining to game day.
“I like where we are at right now,” Pelini said. “We have got a lot of preparation done and done a lot of good work on Clemson. Our basic game plan is in on both sides of the ball, and we just need to keep honing in on what we are doing.”
The 8-4 Huskers and 7-5 Clemson will square off on New Year’s Day in Jacksonville. The game will mark Nebraska’s 19th all-time appearance in a bowl game in Florida, but its first since 1998.