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December 26, 2010
Poor field conditions test NU on Sunday
SAN DIEGO - It's hard to even figure out when the last time Nebraska practiced on a grass practice field this season, but it's safe to say it was nothing like they saw on Sunday in San Diego.
Over the last week San Diego has experienced more rain fall than they typically get over the course of an entire year, and it rained again on Saturday night.
As the Huskers took the practice field at University of California San Diego on Sunday morning they were greeted with conditions that resembled a swamp more than a football field.
UCSD does not have a football team, so the fields on their campus are mainly used for soccer. However, at one time the San Diego Chargers did hold their training camp on those fields.
Following Sunday's two-hour half padded workout, several NU players said it was challenging to keep their footing on the slippery surface.
"We had a pretty good practice today, but the field since it's been raining, let's just say it's not our turf," Mike McNeill said. "We had a couple of slips out there, but overall it was pretty good."
The one positive for the Huskers though is that facing tough field conditions this week should have them better prepared for the potential worst they could see on Thursday if the rain continues in San Diego.
More than once on Sunday, McNeill said NU's receivers slipped to the ground coming out of their breaks.
"They were throwing me a ball today on a quick route and I turn and I just ate it," McNeill said. "Joe (Broekemeier) ate it too -all the receivers fell down today."
From a defensive players perspective, junior linebacker Lavonte David said he was able to adjust to the slippery track after adapting to it for a while.
"At the beginning I was slipping a lot," David said. "I just gathered myself and got used to it though and it got better."
Wide receivers coach Ted Gilmore said his guys struggled at times on Sunday, but he was glad they were able to face some tough conditions.
"It might be this same surface on Thursday," Gilmore said. "We have to learn how to run and transfer our weight and get in and get out. There was a lot of slippage today. You are going to have those kinds of conditions though, but you just have to block it out and play."