The Nebraska Cornhuskers had their first day in full pads on Tuesday night. However, the offense was missing some key pieces due to what Mike Riley likes to call “muscle issues.” Overall, the Huskers were without four wide receivers, including De’Mornay Pierson-El and Jordan Westerkamp. They were also missing Taariq Allen and Sam Burtch, so it gave a chance to some young receivers to get plenty of reps.
Stanley Morgan and Lavan Alston are a pair of freshman that are certain to make their mark at Nebraska. However, there’s no guarantee that either player would see large amounts of playing time in 2015. Still, it didn’t stop Riley from being impressed with Morgan’s prowess on the field. So far, he has taken advantage of every opportunity in the absence of the big stars.
After a lackluster practice on Sunday, the Cornhuskers had a spirited 90-minute session before they ended practice with a scrimmage. According to reports, Riley’s team performed more live action than he’s ever done on a first day of hitting. He got the young guys acclimated to the contact in college football, and the intensity of any scrimmage raises the level of play.
Another standout in Tuesday’s practice was Mikale Wilbon. After running impressively during the spring game, Wilbon was a player to keep an eye on. According to Riley, Wilbon has gotten better with each rep, and his ability is taking over, now that he’s comfortable with the new offense. It’s starting to look like Wilbon will be a factor for the Cornhuskers this season.
Once the season starts, according to Nebraska.247sports.com, Riley said that “it’s possible Nebraska will travel with more running backs than they normally would” due to their special teams prowess. In addition, Nebraska is starting to look like a team loaded with running back talent. Most of the players are unproven on this level, but there seems to be something special brewing with the ground game.
Once again, Tommy Armstrong had and up and down performance. There’s no question that the pressure is on for him to perform at the highest level. During 7-on-7 drills, Armstrong threw a pair of interceptions, but displayed quite a few positive moments for the Cornhuskers’ offense.
During the post practice interview, Riley stated, Tommy will have some rough spots, but he always seems to bounce back.” He elaborates how hard it is to pass in situational 3rd down drills when the defense knows you’re throwing the ball. Hopefully for the Huskers, Armstrong’s struggles with the defensive line pressure, will translate into opponent’s struggles against the “Black Shirts” during the season.