Lincoln- The Nebraska Cornhuskers began their preparations for the Minnesota Golden Gophers on Monday afternoon as they practiced for over two hours in full pads. The Huskers practiced indoors at the Hawks Championship Center and outdoors on the Ed and Joyanne Gass practice fields.
Defensive Coordinator Carl Pelini spoke to the media after practice about his squad and what type of offensive scheme they'll face in their game this weekend.
"It's similar to a lot of Big 12 offenses that we've faced. A lot of zone read quarterback run game; a very imaginative offense," Pelini said. "They have a real athletic quarterback and good speed in the skill positions. They'll challenge us in a lot of different ways. It's kind of a change of pace for us as we move to the Big Ten schedule."
With the season-ending injury to defensive lineman Jared Crick, Pelini spoke about his replacement in redshirt freshman Chase Rome.
"Chase plays like a madman. I love his effort," Pelini said. "He plays with great effort and that's where he stands out. He makes plays. He's not always perfect technique-wise, and he has to improve his game that way. But he plays with such outstanding effort that he just gives you something extra."
After intercepting a pass late in the second half against Ohio State while making his first career appearance at cornerback, Stanley Jean-Baptiste could see more action this weekend against the Gophers, but Pelini says he still is in the learning process of playing his new position.
"Stanley has a long way to go with understanding the position," Pelini said. "This bye week has been great for him, and for us as a whole defense, but especially for Stanley really getting him the basics of the cornerback position and trying to catch him up on a camp that he's missed. This has been his camp; these two weeks. We're trying to force feed him as much as we can and trying to get him to the point where he can execute our whole package."
The Huskers visit TCF Bank Stadium and the Gophers this Saturday. The game will be broadcast live on ABC-HD and kicks off shortly after 2:30 p.m.