Pelini: "I wanted an angry team, and that's what I got"

2012-10-15T12:17:00Z 2012-10-15T22:24:07Z Pelini: "I wanted an angry team, and that's what I got"By DARNELL DICKSON / Lincoln Journal Star JournalStar.com

Nebraska football coach Bo Pelini would like to move on from the Ohio State loss, as you might expect.

But most of the questions at Monday’s news conference revolved around what happened on Oct. 6.

Even with 10 days to think about and dissect the 63-38 loss, Pelini stuck to his original explanation for what happened: Lack of execution.

Pelini pointed to Braxton Miller’s 72-yard run in the second quarter as a game-changing play, and the Huskers never recovered from it.

“That was the play that jolted us defensively,” Pelini said. “We had him surrounded by four guys and we missed. The kid made a great play and made some people miss, so he got out to a long run. For whatever reason, from that point on, our guys lost their mojo. They started doing things that were out of character and pretty soon it’s snowballing.”

Pelini said his team, to a man, was “sick to their stomach” watching film of the game and that he feels the players are eager to work hard for this week’s game at Northwestern.

“I wanted an angry team, and that’s what I got,” Pelini said.

He continued: “What I’ve never done is panic in this kind of situation. I’ve spent a lot of time looking at our football team and what we have going forward. I like where we’re heading into this game. I think our guys will respond really well.”

In personnel news, wide receiver Tim Marlowe is cleared for play after spending more than a month recovering from a broken collarbone. In addition, Pelini said running back Rex Burkhead — who injured his knee at Ohio State — should be ready to go for Northwestern on Saturday.

“Rex is doing well. He had a really good weekend and he’s feeling good. We’ll ease him into it this week.

"I’ve said all along I feel good about Ameer (Abdullah) and Braylon (Heard), and I like what Imani (Cross) brings to the field. But believe me when I tell you, Rex is a special football player.”

Reach Sports Editor Darnell Dickson at ddickson@journalstar.com or 402-473-7320.

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