The Nebraska football team practiced in pads and shorts for nearly two hours at the Ed and Joyanne Gass Practice Fields on Wednesday in preparation for its season opener on Saturday. Secondary coach Terry Joseph spoke to the media after practice and was happy with the result.
“It was a better day today,” Joseph said. “Obviously the full game plan is in. It was a good communication day. I’m really happy with how practice went today and hopefully we can go out tomorrow and continue to improve and get off their legs a little bit and be ready to go on Saturday.”
Joseph added that Southern Mississippi’s speed and confidence stood out when looking at film.
“They scored a lot of points last year,” Joseph said. “They play very high tempo. They played Houston and put up a ton of yards and a ton of points. (Tracy) Lampley is a great player, whether he’s a kick returner, wide receiver, running back; we’ve got to be prepared for everything because when they get the ball in their playmakers’ hands in space, they make you have to make tough tackles. Hopefully we can play Blackshirt defense and get a lot of guys on them and around them.”
Joseph also said that he thinks freshman cornerback Charles Jackson will get playing time on Saturday.
“Yeah I think (he’ll factor in),” Joseph said. “Here’s a freshman that comes in and the playbook grows every day. That’s the tough thing about training camp. When you have so many installs going back to back to back, that eventually Coach Dooley (while Joseph was at Tennessee) used to say a freshman hits the wall. A lot of them hit the wall at different times and Charles will be in on Saturday and he’ll fight through it, but I expect him to play and play well.”
In addition, Joseph said he’ll have defensive back Ciante Evans focusing more on playing nickel than cornerback against the Golden Eagles.
“When you look at the schedule, the first few teams we have are mostly spread offenses,” Joseph said. “I would say at least the first four games, he’ll be exclusively at nickel. That’s not to say if a team plays us in a base personnel and we got into a bind at corner, I think he can go out and play. But I think right now we are focusing on him being our nickel.”
Nebraska will continue preparations Thursday as the team moves closer to its season opener. NU will face Southern Miss on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. CST. The game will be broadcast regionally on ABC and ESPN2.