Beck pleased with lack of turnovers

2014-04-07T18:25:00Z 2014-08-12T11:34:05Z Beck pleased with lack of turnoversBy BRIAN CHRISTOPHERSON / Lincoln Journal Star JournalStar.com

Thirteen down, one more Wednesday, then Saturday's show.

The end of Monday's practice came with a twist, with Bo Pelini making his coordinators Tim Beck and John Papuchis available to the media. Both coaches met the microphones feeling good.

Beck says he likes the consistency that is starting to develop with the offense, notably the ability to keep turnovers away. "In those two big scrimmages, we've had 200-some plays and one turnover," Beck said.

The turnover, it should be noted, came on a pass from the No. 4 quarterback.

He also likes the way Nebraska's O-line has held tough against a D-line that is pretty salty when its ears are pinned back. "We see a lot of things from our defense and for a young offensive line until today -- today I think we got a little bit rattled -- they hadn't been rattled."

Rattled? Third-and-long against this defense will do that to you, Beck says. "It's been hard, man. Whew. It's been hard."

That sounds good to the ears of Papuchis, who says this defense has done a good job not taking steps back this spring after creating some momentum at the end of 2013.

"The long-term hope that we've always had was that with as many young guys as we played a year ago, that we'd build on what we did ... and we wouldn't miss too many beats from the end of the season until now," Papuchis said. "And I really believe we picked up where we left off. We're probably even a little bit ahead knowledge-wise of where we've been the last couple years as a defense."

Some other tidbits from Monday's practice:

*** Redshirt freshman Marcus Newby continues to catch the eye when given reps at defensive end. He twice made tag sacks on the quarterback, showing once again he could be a nice weapon as a third-down rush end.

Considering the crowd at linebacker, it's a very good way to get a freak athlete some snaps.

*** The Huskers used some different looks on that D-line today -- with Randy Gregory absent from practice -- sometimes lining up Maliek Collins as the end opposite Greg McMullen, with Kevin Maurice and Vincent Valentine working inside.

*** Aaron Curry, who was carted off the field after Saturday's practice, watched this one from the sideline, wearing a neck brace.

*** Jamal Turner seemed to have one of his best practices of the spring, catching a couple passes in stride, including one from Ryker Fyfe that very well might have been a 75-yard touchdown, but the whistle was blown when a defender got a hand on Turner at about the 40.

*** Fyfe had another good day and seems to be making his case louder to be the second guy at QB. The 6-foot-2, 210-pound walk-on not only had a couple real nice throws, but also showed nifty footwork on a first-down run.

*** Tommy Armstrong connected with Cethan Carter on about a 40-yard pass down the goalline. Armstrong showed good touch on the throw, but Carter's catch was even more impressive, bringing it with one hand with a linebacker there in tight coverage.

*** The O-line had three players out Monday, all with ankle injuries: David Knevel, Zach Hannon and Ryne Reeves.

*** Chongo Kondolo continues to make a move at right guard, splitting top-unit reps with Givens Price. It's a good competition that will be even better in the fall when Mike Moudy returns.

*** Michael Rose received many of the reps with the No. 1 defense at the MIKE and seemed to perform quite well from a layman's viewpoint. Rose came untouched for a tag sack on play. Rose and Josh Banderas are going to have quite a competition that will run through fall camp.

*** An off-the-radar name who has put together a nice spring at wide receiver? That'd be Lane Hovey, the 6-foot-4, 210-pound sophomore from Adel, Iowa.

He's shown some bursts after catches throughout the spring while working with the reserve units. He added a leaping catch on a pass from Tyson Broekemeier to his spring resume on Monday.

*** Athletic director Shawn Eichorst took in the practice, sharing a conversation with Beck while the Huskers worked on a special teams drill.

Reach Brian Christopherson at bchristopherson@journalstar.com or 402-473-7439. Follow him on Twitter @HuskerExtraBC.

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