Prior to Mike Riley’s weekly news conference, the Big Ten announced that kickoff times for November 18 games would not be determined until next weekend. Under the Big Ten’s television agreement with ESPN and Fox, the networks have the option to occasionally defer their selections until six days before kickoff. And since the TV networks haven’t used their six day window yet this season, they are using it on the final weekend. (Why this rule still exists is something I just don’t understand in this day and age when schools are trying to find ways to better accommodate the fan experience.)
Besides Nebraska at Penn State, the other games of the day are Michigan at Wisconsin, Rutgers at Indiana, Maryland at Michigan State, Illinois at Ohio State, Purdue at Iowa and Minnesota at Northwestern. The Big Ten did announce that no games will be in primetime that day.
Injuries were the news of the day, probably because answers to the big questions probably aren’t coming for a while:
Mike Riley says LB Luke Gifford doesn't look like he'll play vs. Minnesota. Says LB Tyrin Ferguson "getting better."— Evan Bland (@EvanBlandOWH) November 6, 2017
Riley: CB Eric Lee continues to go through concussion protocol. Will have update Thurs. S Antonio Reed should practice this week.— Evan Bland (@EvanBlandOWH) November 6, 2017
Riley: LB Chris Weber (stinger) is hopeful to play. Ben Stille (groin) likely to play too. holder Zack Darlington still sick.— Evan Bland (@EvanBlandOWH) November 6, 2017
Depth at linebacker appears to be a huge issue with Chris Weber, Luke Gifford and Tyrin Ferguson all potentially being unable to play this weekend.
Riley says he's hopeful RB Jaylin Bradley (ankle) will practice this week.— Evan Bland (@EvanBlandOWH) November 6, 2017
Here’s one crazy idea that came up today in response to injuries.
Riley said staff talked this summer about playing JD Spielman at CB. Too late to have him help there now.— Sam McKewon (@swmckewonOWH) November 6, 2017
Of course, wide receiver depth has also been an issue this season as well; I’m not sure what this might accomplish, other than helping rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic.
Riley say many moving parts, injuries a reason for defense recent regression. Notes recent loss of injured linebacker Luke Gifford as factor— Brian Rosenthal (@GBRosenthal) November 6, 2017
Riley still confident in defensive staff. Seeing growth, understands production doesn't match what he sees developing.— Sam McKewon (@swmckewonOWH) November 6, 2017
Honestly, I’m not sure what else he can say at this point.
Riley continues to expect enthusiasm and solid practice this week despite the circumstances, he said. #Huskers— Brian Rosenthal (@GBRosenthal) November 6, 2017
Might as well add that... Now to the elephant in the room.
Mike Riley says he's had "good talks" with AD Bill Moos since his arrival. "The topics will be between us at this point," Riley said.— World-Herald Big Red (@OWHbigred) November 6, 2017
We’ll leave it to you to speculate about the topics that Bill Moos discussed with Mike Riley in the comments below.
Back to the depth chart, Riley finally confirmed something that everybody has seen over the last month.
Not about injury in RT decision anymore. Riley said, “At this point, Brenden (Jaimes) has won the job.”— Brian Christopherson (@Husker247BC) November 6, 2017
There you have it... it was a pretty light news conference. Is everybody just kind of waiting for real news in a couple of weeks?