Spaulding Roundup - Preparing For Nebraska



Coach Mora talking to the media after Tuesday's practice (via YouTube/UCLA)

The Bruins were back on the practice field Tuesday morning, working on the Nebraska game plan as well as doing their best to prepare to face Huskers' QB Taylor Martinez - who looks to have added the ability to accurately throw passes to an arsenal which in his first two years in Lincoln focused on his running ability. Coach Mora mentioned Taylor in his post-practice talk with the media.

"...He took a giant leap. He looked really good and comfortable in the pocket. He looked comfortable moving outside the pocket. He can run the football. He does everything well. What I respect most about him is his competitive spirit. The guy just keeps coming and keeps coming. He's a fighter."

As Nestor noted last night, Rex Burkhead is officially listed as Questionable for the game. As of now, he is on Bo Pelini's travel roster, while Rex also told a teammate that he is determined to play on Saturday. The Huskers showed some nice depth in the backfield after Rex went down last Saturday; whether or not he does play, the Bruin defense will have their work cut out for them - Mora gets that the Nebraska ground game is not dependent on Burkhead and Martinez.

We prepare for schemes not necessarily players. Their scheme isn't going to change no matter who's in there. They've got depth at that position. They didn't slow down a lick when (Burkhead) went out the other day."

From the talk of Husker players above, you can likely tell that there was not a whole lot of news concerning the Bruins coming out of practice. The team spent more practice time on Tuesday working on the fundamentals of placekicking - particularly the line/blockers. Anthony Barr felt a little bit of tightness in his leg during the Rice game, but was not unduly affected. Brett Hundley talked to reporters after practice.

Peter Yoon wrote a story on Datone Jones' performance against Rice and of the hopes that it will lead to the type of season that many of us expected to see from him last Fall. Datone has some tough words for himself regarding his play last season.

Jones said he spent the offseason of soul searching. He watched game films over and over and saw a selfish player. He had missed the season before because of a broken foot so maybe he was trying to make up for lost time. He has been touted as an NFL prospect, so maybe he was trying to live up to the hype. Whatever it was, Jones didn't like what he saw.

"I was chasing stats," Jones said. "My biggest thing was making plays and chasing down quarterbacks and my ego and that was one thing I had to let go. I had to check my ego at the door. I was worried about the quarterback so much, I was looking in the backfield instead of playing the block and I wasn’t making the plays I should have been making."

Doctors have cleared Dietrich Riley to do light, non-contact workouts as he works toward his goal of returning to the team in time to play in 2013. Great to hear that Dietrich is making progress in recovering from his neck injury, but the only important thing - whether or not he is ever able to suit up again - is that he is able to live a normal life.

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