Lincoln, Neb.- The Nebraska football team continued its week of preparation for Saturday’s Big Ten Conference showdown with Minnesota on Wednesday afternoon. The team practiced in half pads for just over two hours inside the Hawks Center and outside at the Ed and Joyanne Gass Practice Fields.
Defensive Coordinator John Papuchis addressed the media after practice, noting the team had a competitive practice Wednesday in preparation for the Golden Gophers.
“We are a little bit further ahead obviously than we usually are on a Wednesday, but it was good. We had a competitive period with our offense again doing two minute (drill).” Papuchis said, “I thought the energy was good, the temp was good, and I think the guys are excited to play again.”
Papuchis hopes the Husker defense keeps up its intensity for Saturday’s matchup in Minneapolis, as the Blackshirts are preparing for the Gophers two- quarterback system.
Minnesota uses both sophomore Philip Nelson and freshman Mitch Leidner in their quarterback rotation. Leidner is more of a rushing threat, racking up 344 yards rushing (second on team) with five touchdowns (tied for team lead). Nelson, on the other hand, is more of a pass first quarterback, throwing for 492 yards completing just under 54 percent of his passes.
Even with one quarterback being more of a runner, and the other being the passer, Papuchis doesn’t believe the Golden Gopher offense changes much when they make a change at quarterback.
“Yeah they are very similar and they run the same offense, so it doesn’t really make a difference for us who they put out there. They are kind of the same guy anyway.” Papuchis said.
Papuchis did note that one thing the Minnesota quarterbacks and the entire Gopher team does well is play physical football.
“They both are physical runners—the whole team is a physical group, the way I look at it, they are going to pound the football and try to impose their will on us.” Papuchis said, “It is going to come down to who is tougher.”
Nebraska will hit the practice field again on Thursday as the team moves closer to its third conference game of the season. NU will face the Minnesota Golden Gophers on Saturday at 11 a.m. CT. The game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN/WatchESPN.