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August 3, 2011

Pelini says schedule 'no picnic'

There's no beating around the bush when it comes to talking about the excitement Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini has for the 2011 season.

The Huskers will open up camp officially on Saturday to begin preparations for their inaugural year in the Big Ten Conference.

Speaking at the first ever Husker Athletic Fund Luncheon at the Embassy Suites in downtown Lincoln, Pelini told the sold out crowd of just over 400 people he's ready to take on the challenge this season will present.

"I don't know about you guys, but it seems like it was five years ago they made the announcement that we were going to the Big Ten," Pelini joked. "It gives you a sense of your anticipation and all those things that they are finally here. Obviously the nerves start coming up. It's time to step it up and be ready for that next challenge."

Pelini also made no bones about it that facing an entire schedule of new teams is a unique challenge that will test NU every week of the 2011 season.

"You all see the schedule. It's not going to be a picnic," Pelini said. "We understand that going into the first year playing 11 new teams. The challenge is there, but I think we have all the ingredients to meet those challenges head on. I think our football team has embraced those challenges."

When talking about NU's new conference, Pelini said there are probably a lot of people around the Big Ten anxious to get their shot at the Huskers.

"I guarantee there are a lot of teams in the Big Ten that are saying 'we are going to show Nebraska,' well they have to line up and play us," Pelini said. "Let the chips fall where they may. We are going to be ready each and every Saturday."

Another topic Pelini addressed on Wednesday was his decision to move fan day from Saturday to Friday afternoon.

Pelini said he's received some complaints from fans, but the decision was made to help the players.

"In the end I made that decision for our football team so they wouldn't have to be out in the sun for two hours and practice after that," Pelini said. "I thought it was the best thing for our football team. In the end you have to do what's best for our football team. Believe me, I know the Big Red Nation will be out there on Friday."

The next Husker Athletic Fund Luncheon is scheduled for Thursday Sept. 1 and Athletic Director Tom Osborne is the featured speaker. Tickets can be purchased for $23 on Huskers.com.

Friday's Fan Day will kick off at 2:00 pm inside Memorial Stadium and conclude at 3:30 pm. NU will officially open up fall camp on Saturday.


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