Tuesday practice nuggets
Here are some quick notes to pass along from Nebraska’s full-pads practice on Tuesday morning…
***Special teams coach Jovan Dewitt said he expects kicker Barret Pickering to be back in action this week at Colorado. He said Pickering was dealing with “a freak soft tissue thing” that he’d never seen a kicker suffer.
***Defensive coordinator Erik Chinander said he thought his defense had a great week of practice last week, and through two days he’s liked what he’s seen from his group so far.
***Chinander said receiver Laviska Shenault was obviously the top priority on Colorado’s offense, as he’s arguably the best wide out in college football and CU does an excellent job of moving him around to several different positions to create mismatches.
That said, Chinander thinks quarterback Steven Montez is the guy who makes everything go for the Buffaloes, and the Blackshirts need to get pressure on him as much as possible to throw off his rhythm.
***Cam Jurgens said he knows what he needed to improve on after his first-ever game at center, and he was excited about correcting those mistakes this week in practice.
***Defensive line coach Tony Tuioti coached against Colorado last year at Cal, and he said there’s a big difference in CU’s offensive system under the new coaching staff. With head coach Mel Tucker being a defensive-minded guy, he said the Buffaloes had added a bigger power element to their offense, going under center 20-30 percent of the time and using two-tight end sets, things they never did last year.
***Inside linebackers coach Barrett Ruud said he liked the way the snap distribution ended up with his group, as Mohamed Barry, Collin Miller, and Will Honas all played between 50-60 snaps and seemed to stay pretty fresh throughout the game.
***Tuioti said there was a plan in place to get Jahkeem Green in the game vs. Saturday, but the opportunity never came up with the way the game went. He said they’ll need to decide over the next few weeks as to whether Green would redshirt this season but added that Green’s conditioning was getting better by the day.
***While he was proud of the way freshman walk-on Dylan Jorgensen stepped up on Saturday, Dewitt was honest in his assessment of his performance. Dewitt said Jorgensen “shanked” his missed field goal, even though it was scored as a blocked kick.
***Dewitt also said he was very proud of the restraint Marquel Dismuke showed on JD Spielman’s punt return for a touchdown. Dismuke had a chance to blow up a USA defender with a big block, but he held up at the last moment to avoid a “blindside block” penalty.
Dewitt said that was the type of play that “brings a tear to your eye” because it shows that guys are listening to what their coaches are saying.
***Ruud said he was as excited as anyone to play at Colorado again. He said the last time he was in Folsom Field was back in 2003, and he still remembers how tense those games vs. CU were when he was a player and growing up watching them on TV.
***Dewitt said he gave Wan’Dale Robinson a hard time for getting tackled by the kicker on a kickoff return he probably should have taken to the house. Dewitt joked to him that the rest of the return team would block everyone else, but Robinson’s one job is to beat the kicker.
Jokes aside, Dewitt said Robinson showed the type of “juice” he brings to the field whenever he touches to the football on Saturday.