Husker notes: Huskers to Begin Preparation for South Alabama
Lincoln, Neb. -- The Nebraska football team practiced for just over two hours Wednesday morning inside the Hawks Championship Center and outside on the Ed and Joyanne Gass practice fields, concluding practice with a brief walk-through on Tom Osborne Field in Memorial Stadium.
Offensive Coordinator Troy Walters spoke with the media after the conclusion of practice and talked about if he sees any separation in the wide receivers he coaches.
"Yeah we're putting guys in different situations,” Walters said. “Playing a lot of guys in different positions because we want that depth. This past week we've had a couple of scrimmages, a couple of game day simulations just to see how guys react. Definitely guys are separating themselves but I feel good about the depth that we have. I feel good about the guys understanding the offense so that we can move guys around, JD Spielman doesn't always have to play in the slot, we can move him outside if we need him. So we're very pleased with how things are coming and the depth of the group."
Walters went on to discuss how deep he would like to have his group on game days.
"You'd like to be at least two deeps, so that gives you six,” Walters said. You'd like to have six to seven guys that you believe in, that you can put in at anytime. One of the focuses this season is playing fast and selling out so I don't want guys to hold things in and be on cruise control because they're tired. They don't want to get tired. We want guys to go full speed and when you get tired we'll sub and get some other guys in and we feel like we have some depth where we can get guys in and play just as fast. We'd like to play six, seven, maybe eight."
Walters also commented on how the true freshmen have fared doing during camp.
"They're doing a good job,” he said. “What I'm pleased with is some of the other guys that have stepped up. So they've made it harder for those freshmen, they kind of ‘overshined’ the freshmen. They've done a good job but some of the other guys, (Jaevon) Mcquitty, Mike Williams, Andre Hunt have stepped up and their game and are doing well. The freshmen, they have a battle on their hands, but they've stepped up we'd like for them to play this season, get some experience under their belt. How much? Really just depends on the season and how things kind of shake out."
Walters finished his comments by speaking on moving toward game day preparations for South Alabama and what he will look for from his offense.
"Competition against the defense has been awesome,” Walters said. “Going against them every day has been awesome so we don't want to lose that. We don't want to lose that ‘good on good’, or that ‘iron sharpens iron’. So we'll still go against our defense ones versus ones, twos versus twos, but now the focus shifts to getting a jump on South Alabama. Understanding their tendencies and what we're going to see defensively.
“Now first game, you're never sure what you're going to see. We're going to go into that game plan, doing what we do. The good thing about our defense is that it is very similar to South Alabama so we'll be able to adjust to whatever they throw at us, and now we're trying to simulate game day atmosphere, game day situations so the guys have to be focused, dialed in and the extra days of going against South Alabama (in practice) will help us next Saturday."
The Huskers will continue preparations for South Alabama on Thursday. Kickoff for the season opener is scheduled for August 31, at 11 a.m. at Memorial Stadium with television coverage provided ESPN.
Martinez Named to Manning Award Watch List
Lincoln -- Nebraska sophomore quarterback Adrian Martinez garnered another watch list spot, as the Manning Award, sponsored by the Allstate Sugar Bowl, announced its 30-player watch list on Wednesday.
Martinez is one of three sophomores on the Manning Award Watch list, which is presented to the top quarterback following the conclusion of the 2019 season, including bowl games.
Martinez returns to pilot the Husker attack after a record-breaking freshman year in 2018. The 6-foot-2, 225-pounder set 11 school records after becoming the first true freshman quarterback to start an opener in school history. On the season, Martinez completed 224-of-347 passes for 2,617 yards and 17 touchdowns, while also rushing for 629 yards and eight scores en route to All-Big Ten and Freshman All-America honors.
Martinez ranked 12th nationally and led all freshmen nationally in total offense per game (295.1 ypg) while also setting school marks for 300-yard total offense (seven) and 400-yard total offense (three) games in 2018. Martinez set freshman records for completions, completion percentage, passing yards, passing touchdowns, total offense and total touchdowns (25), and he was fourth nationally among all freshmen in passing yards per game at 237.9 yards per game.
Martinez threw for a season-high 384 yards and two touchdowns against Wisconsin, while his best game of the year came against Minnesota, when he completed a school-record 86.2 percent of his passes (25-of-29) for 276 yards and three touchdowns, while rushing for a career-high 125 yards and a score on 15 carries.
South Alabama at Nebraska
When: 11 a.m. Aug. 31 (Pregame at 6 a.m.)
Where: Memorial Stadium, Lincoln
Radio: 103.1 FM and b103.fm