South Alabama coach Joey Jones described Terrell Newby's performance against his team last Saturday like this: "Either he's a really good running back or we're not very good tacklers."
Husker running backs coach Reggie Davis would say the former. He liked most of what he saw from Newby during his 28 carries 198 yards. He added 38 more yards on two catches.
“He showed that he can be an all-around, every-down back, and that was good to see," Davis said.
The coach also felt the 5-foot-10, 200-pound back showed he could get some tough yards.
"I think the way he was able to finish off some of those runs was a message to the teams we have to play in the future, that he can be a physical runner," Davis said.
Expect the Huskers, however, to sub their running backs against Miami earlier than they did against South Alabama, when Newby had all the carries until Imani Cross got a touch with about eight minutes left in the third quarter.
"We would probably spell him a little bit more," Langsdorf said of Newby's workload for this upcoming Saturday. "We wanted to get him going a little bit, and he got going."
Langsdorf suggested he wants a little bit more of a rotation this week to keep everyone fresh.
"Not like the first game, but I think earlier in the game probably giving him a little bit of a rest, and change of pace with the backs. We'll need to do that down there with the heat, too."
As many yards as Newby had, Davis said there were a few runs where there could have been even a little more.
“He’s critical of himself, which is the mark of one of the great athletes," Davis said. "They’re always critical of themselves and looking at how they can improve.”
* CONFIDENT QB: Is Husker quarterback Tommy Armstrong the most confident he's been in his career?
"Honestly, yeah," he said after Tuesday's practice. "By knowing where I have to be, knowing my game, knowing the system, knowing that my guys trust me enough to make plays, and knowing that I'm going to make the smartest decision out there to get them the ball.
"When you got a trust level with those guys, offensive line-wise just believing in you each and every play no matter what you call, that builds confidence."
Armstrong is 45-of-71 passing in his first two games, a completion rate of 63.4 percent. He's thrown five touchdowns to one interception.
Langsdorf said Armstrong's decision-making has improved greatly since the spring.
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"Especially last week, there were some great examples of coming off of his first read and checking the ball down, or getting to the No. 2 (receiver) and spreading the ball around a little bit," the coach said. "So I think just the comfort level and what he's looking for, and seeing by coverage, and knowing where to go with the ball was pretty evident in that game."
* READY TO PUNT: Nebraska junior Sam Foltz will be available for the Miami game.
"We could've punted him Saturday," said special teams coordinator Bruce Read. "He was ready to go. We just held him out. We didn't want any type of scramble plays where he had to run … but he was ready to punt. He's good."
* LIMITED RETURNS: The Huskers haven't gotten much of an opportunity to return a punt or kick through two games. NU has one punt return for 5 yards and one kick return for 19 yards.
"We haven't had many opportunities at all," Read said. "A lot of it is the stadium and the wind because people tend to score with the wind and then kick off with the wind, so it knocks them out. And then just the punts, we just haven't had the opportunities. We were in base 'D' quite a bit of the game last game because we were ahead. … Trying to protect the lead, we're more liable to keep the base out and trying to rack up some stats and stuff like that.
"So, more to come on it. We still don't know what we got really, just yet. Hopefully maybe we get some reps this weekend and get some things started."
* STILL SIDELINED: Junior Josh Banderas remained out with a groin injury. Riley said Monday he hoped NU's starting linebacker would return by midweek.
Sophomore walk-on Chris Weber got his first career start in his place, notching six tackles and a fumble recovery against South Alabama.
Weber learned he was going to start that game Friday night. "Josh did a good job," linebackers coach Trent Bray. "He talked to him and calmed him down a little bit. So on Saturday there was no nervousness by him when he went out and played."
The Huskers are hoping Banderas is ready to join outside backers Michael Rose-Ivey and Dedrick Young and allow NU to play all of its starters together for the first time this season.
"Yeah, that'd be great, but you know, that's football," Bray said. "There are going to be injuries and stuff and next guy up, and he's got to step up and play."
* STEPPING UP: Langsdorf said redshirt freshman Nick Gates hasn't stuck out as a young guy at all in the first two games at right tackle. "He's played like a veteran."
NU's O-line will get a much better, and bigger, test from Miami's defensive line than it did from South Alabama. Miami has some 300-plus dudes on that D-line, "so they will be tough to just move out of the way, and they have some back-end speed, especially at linebacker."
* TV INFO: The 11 a.m. start time for Nebraska-Southern Mississippi on Sept. 26 was already known.
Now you know the channel to tune into. The game will be broadcast on ESPNews.