Monday takes: This week offers several unique challenges
Here are some quick takes and reactions following Monday's Nebraska football press conference as the Huskers get ready to travel out to Rutgers.
Making a quick turn
The Nebraska football coaching staff was just like everybody else on Sunday. They did not find out they were playing on Friday afternoon at Rutgers until around lunchtime Sunday.
That meant a very quick turn to not only get the team ready on a short week but to travel 1,300 miles on top of that. This will be the third road game the Huskers have played over the last four weeks.
NU's players were called in on Sunday night for special meetings, and then Monday's practice was a normal Tuesday for the team, with a much lighter feel to it.
The plan right now more than anything is to get this team mentally ready to go and to keep the players still fresh physically.
The Vedral factor
Things are very much "wait and see" on the status of former Nebraska and now Rutgers quarterback Noah Vedral. The Wahoo native left the Maryland game on Saturday with an ankle injury.
On Monday, Scarlet Knight head coach Greg Schiano said Vedral's status is still unknown, but he obviously would like to give it a go on Saturday.
“I know he’d love to (play),’' Schiano said. “Obviously where he’s from, it’s where he went to school. ... I’m sure there would be emotion I’m sure. I’m sure like all of us, he’s got pride. He wants to play well against his state school where he lives and one that he played at. But Noah is uniquely mature for his age. He’s beyond his years.
"So I think that he understands playing the quarterback position is maybe the detailed of anything in sports. In no other sport do you have to be that detailed (while) 300-pound men are trying to rip your head off. So I think he’ll be able to keep that (emotion) where it needs to be to play effectively.“My bigger concern is can we get him healthy enough to play on (Friday)? That’s what we’re hard at work on right now.’'
With that said, because Vedral knows NU's calls and playbook so well, the Huskers are going to have to probably change up their calls and what they do this week.
Figuring out the McCaffrey puzzle
Over the last two weeks, redshirt freshman quarterback Luke McCaffrey has only seen nine total snaps of action. Over the last three, it's been a total of just 27.
The bottom line is Scott Frost knows they have to find more ways to use McCaffrey. He's one of their best athletes on the team, and the flow of the game doesn't always allow for them to put him in.
Then there are days like Purdue where they tried to use McCaffrey and it just wasn't there. The Boilermakers had the plays sniffed out.
I think it's a lesson to all of us that in theory having two athletic quarterbacks is a good thing, but it's not always easy to figure out how to use them both properly.
Is Friday it for the Huskers?
Don't laugh at this thought, but could the Huskers still have another game after Friday?
It's a legitimate discussion because I'm hearing from a lot of people that several Big Ten teams are just done at this point. They don't plan to pursue a bowl, even if the opportunity is there.
Let's just say seven Big Ten teams are out, that would leave spots for the other seven teams in the remaining spots. Would Nebraska want to pursue that? My guess is a lot will depend on how things go at Rutgers.
2020 has been a long season, there's a lot to consider there and you get the sense Frost is just worried about Friday at this point.