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November 9, 2010

Five things we learned on Tuesday

Each week during the fall Huskeronline.com will sum up the weekly press conference with a "five things we learned" feature.

Nebraska will get ready to take on a 3-6 Kansas team on Saturday in Lincoln. Here's the latest buzz from the Huskers as they get ready for the Jayhawks.

1 - Grinding it out

Every football team in America is going through the same thing right now. Players and coaches are beat up both mentally and physically, but as NU head coach Bo Pelini said on Tuesday the season has really just began for the Huskers.

NU is right where they want to be right now. If they win two of their final three games they clinch the Big 12 North and they'll get another chance to win the conference championship in Cowboys Stadium.

Pelini said it's important for his team to keep their foot on the gas pedal and keep fighting. These next four weeks will go a long way in deciding the overall success of this season.

2- Green did not have a concussion

Following Saturday's 31-30 overtime win over Iowa State there was some speculation on Internet message boards that sophomore quarterback Cody Green was playing with a mild concussion after he took a pretty good shot in the first half from an ISU defender.

On Tuesday Green was asked point blank if he suffered a concussion and he responded "no." Green said they gave him the three or four necessary tests on the sideline to check his head out and he passed all of them with flying colors. Green added that "he's had a concussion before, and know what they feel like." That's why he knows he didn't play through one against the Cyclones, despite what may have been thrown out there after the game on Saturday.

3 - Martinez should be ready to go

Multiple times Pelini has said that it was very hard for redshirt freshman quarterback Taylor Martinez not to play this past Saturday.

Both Pelini and offensive coordinator Shawn Watson said they expect Martinez to be ready this week for Kansas. However, one thing we might see more of is Rex Burkhead running out of the Wildcat to take away some of the hits and contact Martinez had been receiving early on in the season. If this team wants to win the Big 12, a healthy Martinez will be a must down the stretch.

4 - Recruiting for the Big Ten

It's a little early to start talking about the Big Ten, but one of the things Pelini addressed on Tuesday was how the Huskers might go about recruiting differently in their new conference.

It's no secret that the Huskers currently play with an undersized defensive scheme this season, but Pelini said a lot of that has to do with who their best players are. Pelini said NU wanted to get their best 11 on the field and the scheme they've come up with for this season has allowed them to do that.

As for next year in the Big Ten, Pelini said expect to see some different looks from the Blackshirts, as there will be new strengths to build the defense around. Right now the strength of the defense is the secondary, next year it will more than likely be in the front seven.

5 - Watson talks Colorado

It was announced on Tuesday that Colorado head coach Dan Hawkins was fired after five seasons in Boulder.

Watson spent seven seasons at CU and was asked if he has any interest in the Colorado job. Watson's response was "his only worry right now is preparing for Kansas."

I do think for what it's worth that Watson would be a good coach at CU, but it sounds like they will be looking in a different direction. Some of the early names being thrown out by the Boulder Daily Camera are Troy Calhoun, Jon Gruden, Brent Venables, Mike Bellotti, Les Miles and Bill McCartney.

Quote of the day

"Everybody is tired this time of the year - coaches, players, it's a grind. When you get to this point of the year though we've got a lot to play for right now. If we were 1-8 it would be a lot harder. My message to the football team is we'll take our rest in four week, but until then you've got to put your foot on the gas pedal and go. Nobody is going to give you anything, you've got to go earn it. If it was easy everybody would go do it."

-Head coach Bo Pelini on how his team his grinding it out during the month of November.


Funniest moment of the press conference

"I took an unofficial visit to Kansas and (Mark) Mangino introduced himself to me like six or seven times because he couldn't remember who I was or why I was there. That kind of took them out of the process."

-Kansas City native and Nebraska wide receiver Brandon Kinnie on his recruiting experience with Kansas out of junior college.






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