The Nebraska football team drew one day closer to its Saturday season opener against Florida Atlantic after a two-hour practice on the Ed and Joyanne Gass Practice Fields northeast of Memorial Stadium. The Huskers still have a lot of work to do before they are ready to play a game, Offensive Coordinator Shawn Watson said.
“Probably both sides of the ball, we’ve got the majority of the base plan in,” Watson said. “We were better today than we were yesterday; we’ve just got younger players who’ve just got to keep working.”
The Owls’ defense presents a stiff challenge for the Husker offense. Watson said the Huskers have only gotten to take a look at two or three of the Owls’ defensive players who will play on Saturday, because the defense is made up of almost entirely new personnel.
“Scheme-wise, they do a nice job of changing up coverage looks on the quarterback,” Watson said. “They’re a really good coverage team. That’s the thing that I’ve got the most respect for them. They’ve got a nice nickel package, too.”
Even though the NU offense features a first-year starter at quarterback and many new faces at wide receiver, Watson said they won’t scale back the playbook very much.
“We’re going to be multiple like we always are,” Watson said. “That’s just who we are. That’s our nature.”
Watson said he's put Lee through the wringer this fall, and Nebraska's first-year quarterback starter has responded well.
"Zac and I have a real interesting relationship. He's an easy kid to coach, and he'll let you coach him hard. He's done a really nice job. I'm really proud of him, and I have a lot of confidence in him."
Watson gives Lee's dad, Bob, a former NFL quarterback, credit for his son taking on the rigorous task of learning "all the little things" that make a big difference in a quarterback's performance.
"Zac understands how important it is to go through the bumps and bruises of being a quarterback," Watson said. "Bob knows that, too. He told me, 'Coach, coach him hard,' and I have."
On the injury front, Keith Williams returned to practice Tuesday after sitting out Monday’s practice with a minor injury.
NU will hit the practice field again on Wednesday in preparation for the opener at 6 p.m. on Saturday.