The Huskers don full pads for the August 8 practice for the first time this fall. On Saturday, August 9, it is presumed they’ll run their first scrimmage. What should fans have their ears open for? Let’s break it down by position.
Quarterbacks: Look for both Tommy Armstrong and Ryker Fyfe to continue to improve on their short and intermediate passing efficiency. They seem to both be making rapid progress on that so far this fall.
While many Husker fans will want to hear that Armstrong is running away with the starting job, it may not be a bad thing to have another signal-caller pushing him further into the fall.
Running Backs: Husker coaches know what they have in Ameer Abdullah. That doesn’t stop the All-Conference back from going 100 percent in practice. I hope coach Pelini and crew pull Ameer back a little to avoid injury and get the other running back some touches.
While Imani Cross has had more work with the first team offense this fall, he hasn’t necessarily separated himself from the rest of the pack.
Receivers/Tight Ends: It’d be nice for Nebraska to start getting separation between the players vying for time opposite Kenny Bell. It’s not necessary, however. Replacing Quincy Enunwa can be done by committee rather than one individual.
Tight end Cethan Carter is sure to get open during the scrimmage.
If he wants to solidify his starting spot, he needs prove he can make those big catches for first down, especially the wide open ones.
Offensive Line: The biggest challenge is to not look completely outmatched by the stud defensive linemen. Most starting spots already look solidified, but right tackle Zach Sterup could use a big day, as he has struggled in pass protection thus far in camp.
Defensive Line: The starters and depth at defensive tackle is about as solid as anywhere in the country right now.
How good this unit could be might rely on who steps up as backup defensive ends. Nobody has jumped out to claim those jobs so far. A big day on Saturday could give any one of them a large boost in claiming that job.
Linebackers: Nebraska has so many options here, much like at wide receiver. Different players are rotating in and out with the first team here more than at any other position. Saturday will present the opportunity for one or two of the linebackers to start creating separation.
Defensive Backs: Easily the most intriguing position, given Charles Jackson’s season ending injury and LeRoy Alexander’s year-long ban. How will Byerson Cockrell look in the nickel and who backs him up? What will Charlton Warren do to combat the loss of Alexander?
The longer Nathan Gerry mans his spot, the better chance he keeps it. It appears he’s not going anywhere for now.
Special Teams: The kicking game has looked shaky so far. Surely Husker Nation would love to hear kickers are booting 50-yard field goals through the uprights. More likely, coaches want to see more consistency on shorter field goal attempts.
Will this be the first time we see Nebraska’s much maligned punt return unit? If so, how much work has been done to improve on last year’s putrid numbers?
Plenty of questions, but we’ll have all the answers for you here as Husker Corner’s practice reports continue.
Are there any questions you have that weren’t mentioned? If so, leave them in the comment box below.
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Tags: Nebraska Cornhuskers