November 2, 2010

Five things we learned on Tuesday

Each week during the fall Huskeronline.com will sum up the weekly press conference with a "five things we learned" feature.

Nebraska will get ready to take on a 5-4 Iowa State team on Saturday in Ames. Here's the latest buzz from the Huskers as they get ready for another big conference game on the road.

1 - More illegal hit talk

It's the story that won't go away. The first eight minutes with Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini on Tuesday were spent talking about the extra emphasis that's been placed on helmet-to-helmet hits across college and professional football.

Pelini said on Tuesday's that's it unrealistic to think that a player in the heat of battle can adjust how he hits an opposing player, because there are just too many other circumstances that can play a factor. Pelini said he felt like the college game has been influenced too much by the NFL and its unfortunate things have been blown this out of proportion.

2- What game?

It was funny, when asked about last year's Iowa State game by a writer from the Des Moines Register, Pelini's response was "what game."

Defensive coordinator Carl Pelini gave a similar response on Tuesday about last year's game. It was so bad that neither of the Pelini brothers wanted to talk about it. It's one of those things that are so obvious it almost doesn't even need to be brought up. Nebraska's eight turnover performance in Lincoln last season against Iowa State was one of the more embarrassing games in modern day program history when you factor in Iowa State didn't have their starting quarterback or running back that day.

3 - Martinez still being monitored

The status of redshirt freshman quarterback Taylor Martinez will continued to be monitored all week by the NU medical staff.

Martinez did not practice on Monday and he's not expected to practice on Tuesday. If he doesn't go on Wednesday, will he play on Saturday? Martinez's father Casey Martinez played strong safety at Iowa State in the late 80's and you would think this is a game he'd like to play with his family ties to the Cyclones.

4 - Dennard status in question

After suffering a concussion in Saturday's game against Missouri, it doesn't appear that junior cornerback Alfonzo Dennard is anywhere near seeing the field yet.

Dennard was still feeling head pains on Monday and Pelini said he' won't practice again on Tuesday. If I had to guess, I wouldn't be surprised if he's held out this week for precautionary reasons. He got his bell rung pretty good on that play.

5 - More subbing means fresher defense

Nebraska's defense looked fresher on Saturday against Missouri and Carl Pelini said a big reason why is they substituted more than in previous weeks.

Pelini rotated multiple defensive linemen and played several new faces in the defensive backfield. With so many new faces seeing the field, Pelini said it's made meetings a lot more fun this week for the guys because of the fact they got more playing time. Pelini said NU preaches competition and they felt it was important to reward guys for their play in practice last week.


Quote of the day

"I think it's gotten really hard for officials to call it. It's a difficult thing, because there is such an emphasis on it and it's so blown up it's a little 'dammed if you' and 'dammed if you don't' for those officials. I kind of feel for those guys at times and really everybody associated with the whole decision and enforcing it and what the media has done with the whole issue. It's not an easy thing right now. It's hard to coach too."


-Head coach Bo Pelini on the emphasis placed on illegal hits in recent weeks across college and professional football.


Funniest moment of the press conference


"I've got hit in the head too many times. I think you guys all know that."


-Pelini's response when asked if he ever took a helmet-to-helmet shot in a football game before.




 

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