Monday brings us another Bo Pelini press conference, and today Pelini didn't announce the one thing you were waiting for - that Taylor Martinez was a sure start for the game at Minnesota. Instead, Pelini stated that Martinez had been practicing:
"Taylor did a little bit yesterday. He did some field work yesterday. He took some reps. We're just seeing how he's progressing. How he comes out of it. How he feels later on today, tomorrow. We'll see if we can give him a little bit more on Tuesday and kind of play it by ear as the week goes on."
Pelini also noted the problem Martinez will face upon his return - rust from not having played or practiced (much) in the previous weeks.
Obviously he's got some rust in some areas that he has to get cleaned up. It's going to be getting back footwork-wise. How he feels comfortable doing all the different movements. Play actions, footwork and the things that he has to do throwing the football and obviously feeling comfortable putting his foot in the ground.
It'd be best if Martinez were to make it back for the Minnesota game. Nebraska doesn't necessarily need him to win it, but it will need him to face a tough November schedule, and it will be best if he has some time on the field before the Huskers face Northwestern on November 2nd. Forget that the Wildcats lost to Minnesota this past weekend - Northwestern was missing their two best offensive players, Kain Colter and Venric Mark, and if those two are back for the Nebraska game, the Huskers will face a very different team than the one that couldn't score against the Gophers.
Pelini addressed another high priority issue - what to do about replacing All-American and Nebraska's best offensive lineman Spencer Long, who has been lost for the year to a knee injury.
Mike Moudy took over Long's guard spot after Long's injury at Purdue. No doubt he'll get plenty of time at the position, but you'd like to have more linemen available for a rotation or in case Moudy has problems or gets injured.
JUCO transfer Chongo Kondolo (one of the greatest names ever) is currently in a redshirt season. Pelini did not dismiss yanking Kondolo's redshirt should it come to that:
On redshirting Chongo Kondolo
"That's a possibility. Like I said, we're practicing a number of guys there and we're going to go with our best option. That's always a consideration. We're not saving him for anything. We've got a lot of football left to play this year and we're going to do what we feel gives us the best opportunity to win."
Let's hope that Moudy and a combination of Ryne Reeves and Givens Price can handle the position without the need to use Kondolo. I hate the idea of yanking someone's redshirt halfway through a season. It smacks of desperation, and worse yet, it will be a sign that the other players are not ready to make up for Long's absence.
Also Jamal Turner should be fine.
On Jamal Turner
"No issues with Jamal. Other than that, we are pretty healthy."