Bo Pelini said Rex Burkhead has exceeded his expectations during his Husker career.
Photo by Scott Bruhn/Nebraska Communications

NU Conducts Third Practice in Orlando

By NU Athletic Communications
Orlando, Fla. - The Nebraska football team practiced for the third straight morning in Orlando, working through wet conditions during a two-hour, half-padded practice at Freedom High School on Saturday.

Following practice, Head Coach Bo Pelini addressed the media and said he's been pleased with the effort of his team thus far in preparations for the Capital One Bowl matchup with No. 6 Georgia.

"It was a good practice. We've had a good week so far," Pelini said. "We'll finish it up tomorrow and then get ready to play a football game. The attention to detail has been good. The kids have been practicing hard and with really good tempo. It's getting close now."

With kickoff in the Capital One Bowl only three days away, Pelini noted that although his team has been focused throughout the week, he's seen an increased focus as the game gets closer.

"I think our guys have been pretty locked in for the whole week," Pelini said. "I've noticed you see a lot more guys in the hotel a lot earlier as the week's gone on. They know that the game is right around the corner now."

The Capital One Bowl will mark the final game for 29 Husker seniors, and Pelini had positive things to say about the group following Saturday's practice.

"It's a good group," Pelini said. "Not only what they did for this football program, but who they are as people and how they've represented the program. It's hard to see them go, but after this game, it becomes time to turn the page and head to the next chapter of the program. We're looking forward to the opportunity we have coming up (against Georgia)."

One of those 29 seniors is fan favorite Rex Burkhead, a two-time CoSIDA Academic All-American, the captain of the 2012 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team and a preseason All-American who has played in only seven games this season due to injury, but is healthy for the Capital One Bowl.

"He does everything the right way," Pelini said of the senior I-back. "He's a special man. You kind of have in your mind in recruiting about what that kid can mean to your program and it's not real often that they exceed those expectations, and I think he's done that every step of the way. He's meant a lot to the program, and I think he's a guy, because of everything he represents, that will be remembered for a long time at the University of Nebraska."

Switching the focus to sixth-ranked Georgia, Pelini was asked to comment on Jarvis Jones, the Bulldogs' All-America linebacker who was the SEC Defensive Player of the Year and enters the bowl game as the nation's leader in tackles for loss, while ranking third in sacks.

"He's got all the tools. He's a good football player," Pelini said about Jones. "He plays hard, he's very athletic and can run. He's a physical football player. He's a good player."

Nebraska will talk more about its preparations for the Capital One Bowl on Saturday afternoon during a press conference at the media hotel. Offensive coordinator Tim Beck, defensive coordinator John Papuchis, Burkhead and senior linebacker Will Compton will participate in the press conference, along with Georgia's offensive and defensive coordinators and two players.

The Huskers will hold a full team practice for the final time on Sunday, before a walk-through on Monday. Kickoff between Nebraska and Georgia in the 2013 Capital One Bowl is set for Noon (Central) on Tuesday, Jan. 1.


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