Pelini Emphasizes Execution in Big Ten Opener

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Lincoln, Neb.--The Nebraska football team began to wrap up a week of preparation for its Big Ten opener on Saturday, practicing for 90 minutes on Thursday afternoon. The Huskers took to the Hawks Championship Center and the Ed and Joyanne Gass Practice Field in helmets and shorts as they moved closer to their showdown with the Wisconsin Badgers this weekend.

Head Coach Bo Pelini addressed the media after practice, commenting on how prepared he believed senior linebackers Alonzo Whaley and Sean Fisher to be for Saturday's matchup.

"They'll be ready to go," Pelini said. "They've been playing some spot playing. It's a different type of offense we're seeing this week, so we have to make an adjustment there. It's about execution. Those two guys are obviously part of it, but everybody, we just have to execute at a high level."

The head coach stated that the defense will have several options to go to against the Badgers, but reiterated that execution is key.

"We've got a lot of options," Pelini said. "We'll see how the game goes. Like I said, in my opinion, it's not what you do it's how you do it. If we execute, we'll be okay."

Pelini also gave his thoughts on UW redshirt freshman quarterback Joel Stave, who will lead the Badgers' offense against the Huskers this weekend in Memorial Stadium.

"I think he's going to be a really good player," Pelini said. "He has good size, he has good arm strength. I thought he looked pretty cool and I think he's going to be a pretty good player. Obviously he's young in his career, but he's got a lot ahead of him. I think he's going to be really good for them."

Overall, Pelini said the team is ready for the challenge the Badgers will present in Saturday night's game.

"I think our guys are anxious to go play," Pelini said. "It'll be a heck of a challenge coming in here; we have a tremendous amount of respect for the opponent who is coming in."

The team will conduct a final walk-through practice tomorrow afternoon before their Big Ten conference opener against Wisconsin on Saturday night. The game is scheduled to kick off at 7 p.m. CDT and will be broadcast nationally on ABC.