The Nebraska football team started its week of preparation for Saturday's Legends Division game against Minnesota on Monday. The team practiced in jerseys and helmets for approximately 90 minutes, splitting time between the Hawks Championship Center inside and outside on the Ed and Joyanne Gass Practice Field.
Offensive Coordinator Tim Beck addressed the media following practice, noting that senior running back Rex Burkhead returned to the practice field today.
“He has been doing a lot of things on his own,” Beck said. “I think he is working hard, and we will see how it goes. He probably ran as many plays as anyone else did.”
Beck also talked about the ideal split between the four running backs the Husker offense showcases.
“Oh man it is hard to tell,” Beck said about how the running back rotation would work should Burkhead be able to play. “A lot is going to depend on how Rex (Burkhead) feels and what he can give us. Whatever that is and whenever that is we will be ready. We will welcome him back for sure.”
In the past three games, the Huskers have faced three of the best defenses in the Big Ten, with Michigan State (1st in scoring defense), Michigan (3rd) and Penn State (4th), and Beck doesn’t think that it will get any easier in the future for the Husker offense.
“It is not going to let up, I can promise you that,” Beck said. “We are going to keep holding their feet to the fire. This is a veteran group, and we haven’t accomplished anything yet, our goal is not to go 8-2. We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us.”
Beck expects to face some challenges in the pass game Saturday, with Minnesota ranking as the nation’s seventh-best defense against the pass this year in the Big Ten. The Gophers have intercepted nine passes this season and are only allowing 168 yards per game passing.
“They play really hard,” Beck said. “You can see it defensively, they are very athletic, and have great speed, and good man-to-man cover skills.”