Lincoln – The Nebraska football team held a two-hour half-pad practice in Memorial Stadium Wednesday to put the finishing touches on preparation for Saturday’s Big 12 opener against Kansas at 6 p.m.

 

Head coach Bill Callahan commented on the Jayhawk’s sophomore cornerback Aqib Talib, an early favorite for Big-12 accolades who has performed well this season.

 

“He’s got all the corner skills you look for,” Callahan said. “He’s fast, he’s quick, and his change of direction is great. He plays the ball well in flight, he’s a good hitter, and in terms of run-support defense he plays the ball very well. Those are the things that stick out when I watch him play.”

 

The Husker’s defense has been working equally hard, including junior safety Tierre Green, who has racked up 21 tackles through four games this season, including 10 solo, to lead the team.

 

“He’s been solid, he really has,” Callahan said. “He’ll be tested more this week as you see the spread offenses emerge, and (our defense) will get tested quite a bit. For himself, being at that strong safety position, he has helped stop the run really well.

 

“He’s steadily improved at defending the pass, and if you think about the transition this guy has made it’s been extraordinary. He went from running back to corner, to the nickel to safety, and he’s really done a great job. They’re all going to be tested, and we’re going to be tested as a unit more as we get into conference play because of the nature of the spread offense.”

 

Callahan additionally commented on the health progress of senior center Kurt Mann.

 

“He’s been working with (head strength coach) Dave (Kennedy),” Callahan said. “We’re just trying to get his energy back right now, get his strength back, and the other numbers he needs to get back relative to his condition. As soon as he’s ready, I’m sure the doctor will release him.”

The Huskers will hold a team walk-through in Memorial Stadium Friday afternoon before opening Big 12 play against Kansas Saturday at 6:00 p.m. CST.