Enough with the bye weeks, am I right?
Having played just twice since Sept. 21 because of a pair of byes, the 5-1 Huskers finally get back to serious Big Ten business over the next six weeks: at Minnesota, vs. Northwestern, at Michigan, vs. Michigan State, at Penn State and vs. Iowa.
Their goals are still within reach.
“It’s a day-to-day thing for this football team,” Nebraska coach Bo Pelini said at his Monday news conference. “I had a pretty good understanding of what it was going to take to bring this football team along. When I first looked at the schedule with two byes I wasn’t thrilled with it, but it’s been a good thing for us. It has helped us prepare us for this 6-week stretch we’re about to face.
“We continue to progress and there’s a lot more development that needs to happen, but if we keep getting better as the year goes on, we’ll like the results. If we get comfortable, we’re not going to like the results. I think our guys understand that.”
Pelini said senior quarterback Taylor Martinez (turf toe), who hasn’t played since Sept. 14, practiced on Sunday but his status for Saturday’s game at Minnesota is still up in the air.
“I thought he had a good day,” Pelini said. “We didn’t give him a lot of reps. We’ll see how it goes as the week goes on and he stresses it (the toe).”
Minnesota is coming off of its biggest victory in years, a 20-17 upset of Northwestern in Evanston, Ill. The Gophers have rallied around head coach Jerry Kill, who has taken a leave of absence because of poor health.
“They’re physical up front and they have good size,” Pelini said. “They’re committed to what they do. They’re not doing anything fancy in some areas. They just want to play ball-control offense and they are good at stopping the run on defense.”
Pelini said tight end Jake Long is still questionable for Saturday but wide receiver Jamal Turner should be good to go.