Huskers Start Wrapping Up Preparations for Gator Bowl
Jacksonville, Fla. --- The Nebraska football team practiced nearly two hours at the University of North Florida on Monday afternoon, beginning its final preparations to face Clemson in the Konica Minolta Gator Bowl on Thursday, Jan. 1, 2009.
The Huskers worked in helmets and shoulder pads under sunny skies in the early portion of the workout before a mid-afternoon shower crossed through the area just as practice ended. Coach Bo Pelini was pleased with the effort and said the Huskers were able to get in some situational work on both offense and defense as they focus in on the game plan.
“It was a good practice,” Pelini said. “We were able to clean up some things that we noticed and that we needed to work on from the first couple days down here.”
One area Nebraska focused on was the two-minute drill, something Pelini was pleased with the progress as the Huskers face a fast and athletic Clemson defense.
“We spent a little time on the two-minute drill at the end of practice, working on it from both the offensive and defensive side,” Pelini said. “That’s something we had not done much of this week and it was a good spot to get it done.”
Several Huskers had a full day with activities other than football. A number of Huskers started the day with an early wakeup call, as they joined the Fellowship of Christian Athletes breakfast at the First Baptist Church of Jacksonville. Following the workout, the Huskers sent about 12 players to visit with youngsters in the Wolfson Children’s Hospital.
Those events are among several the Huskers are participating in this week away from the field. Pelini said that despite the other things going on, he sees a focus within the team as it understands how to prepare for its final game.
“You can tell they’re more in game-mode as the week has gone on, even just around the hotel,” Pelini said. “The curfew has cut back and it’s time to get focused. They are mature enough and understand the routine and what’s needed and what’s important now.”
Nebraska takes the field for its final full practice in Jacksonville on Tuesday, Jan. 30. The Huskers are scheduled to work out from 9:30 a.m. till about 11 a.m. before making a trip to the Jacksonville Zoo in the afternoon.