Mike Riley opened up his weekly news conference with the news we feared about wide receiver De'Mornay Pierson-El:
Coach Riley confirms that De'Mornay Pierson-El is out for the remainder of the year: "tore up his knee and fractured his leg."— Nebraska Huskers (@Huskers) November 2, 2015
Riley didn't elaborate further, but I suspect this is not as simple as an ACL; it may me more like the injury Taariq Allen suffered. Pierson-El does have a redshirt season available to him, should he not be ready for 2016. Hopefully, he'll recover sooner than that.
More bad news on the injury front:
Riley said Davie has a dislocated finger. Questionable. T Newby questionable with ankle. B Reilly toe injury, in boot, questionable.— Brian Christopherson (@HuskerExtraBC) November 2, 2015
I wonder if Daniel Davie played with that injury on Saturday? And if Terrell Newby can't go Saturday, will one of the running backs currently on the milk carton (Mikale Wilbon or Adam Taylor) get a chance to play?
In addition to Pierson-El, out against for Nebraska against MSU are DT Kevin Williams, LBs Ty Gifford, Michael Rose-Ivey & OT David Knevel.— Mitch Sherman (@mitchsherman) November 2, 2015
Now the good news:
Alonzo Moore should be back, Armstrong should be back, Weber should be back, Gates should be back.— Brian Christopherson (@HuskerExtraBC) November 2, 2015
Riley thinks Tommy Armstrong will be ready to return this week, along with Alonzo Moore, Chris Weber, Nick Gates and Jonathan Rose. #Huskers— Steven M. Sipple (@HuskerExtraSip) November 2, 2015
With Shawn Eichorst having to release a vote of confidence in Riley this morning, Riley reflected on where the program is.
Riley gives "administration" a shout out, including Eichorst. #Huskers— Thor Tripp (@ThorTripp) November 2, 2015
"This is just a great place with great people and we're extremely fortunate to be here. Greatest fans in the world." - Mike Riley— Erin Sorensen (@erinsorensen) November 2, 2015
Riley: touts Eichorst, Waterfield. "Student athlete is in good hands." Touts Perlman, Bounds, "lots of people here care."— Samuel McKewon (@swmckewonOWH) November 2, 2015
The thing is, we do care. Nebraska fans are passionate, and we wear that passion publicly. And when we see that things aren't right, we want those things corrected. And that's making people who have bought in hard with Mike Riley and his new staff uncomfortable, because while it's somewhat unprecedented to talk about dumping a new coaching staff after just one season, it's also unprecedented for Nebraska to have lost six games going into November.
This is new, uncharted territory folks.
Riley said the passion/criticism all comes from a good thing, which is caring. "You wouldn't want it any other way."— Brian Christopherson (@HuskerExtraBC) November 2, 2015
Riley: "People here care. When you're disappointed, caring comes out in different ways." #Huskers— Hail Varsity (@HailVarsity) November 2, 2015
Exactly. Because frankly...
Riley: "There's no doubt we have failed in the eyes of what everybody wants to do. That's a given." Straight talk never hurts.— Mitch Sherman (@mitchsherman) November 2, 2015
Nobody anticipated this. The talk was 9, 10 or even 11 wins. Not a nine loss season.
Then the talk turned to that elephant in the room...the previous guy...
"It's going to be different because we're different people." - Mike Riley with maybe the most accurate comment on him and Bo, ever— Erin Sorensen (@erinsorensen) November 2, 2015
Riley won’t compare and contrast between he and Bo. Just says it’s different and players will want this new culture. #huskers— Samuel McKewon (@swmckewonOWH) November 2, 2015
We didn't see a lot of turnover after last season, because players gave Mike Riley a chance. (And let's give credit to Bo Pelini here, who told the players to do just that last December...) But don't be surprised if a bunch of players (especially guys who we thought would contribute in August and September) decide to move on in December.
At long last, Riley concedes: The defense has to play better. "We can do better. We can definitely do better."— Samuel McKewon (@swmckewonOWH) November 2, 2015
Riley: Coaches haven't done "good enough" in teaching players new systems, considering "where we are." WATCH LIVE: https://t.co/sRO9EfIJSW— Husker Extra (@huskerextra) November 2, 2015
Some people like to bash the players Mike Riley inherited, but let's not absolve the culpability of the assistant coaches on defense that Mike Riley brought to Lincoln, with a checkered resume at their previous stops.
Riley doesn’t see a lack of effort on defense. Sees alignment errors, mistakes.— Samuel McKewon (@swmckewonOWH) November 2, 2015
Look at that hole in Banker's defense on Purdue's long run. Nobody on the "P" in the middle of the field. pic.twitter.com/mMR5z32bK3— Husker Mike (@Husker_Mike) October 31, 2015
That's how Nebraska lined up for that quarterback draw.
So how does Nebraska bounce back this week? Was last week really "rock bottom"?