Huskers Continue Preparations for Ole Miss as Independence Bowl Draws Near

By NU Athletic Communications
Photo by Scott Bruhn/Nebraska Communications

Shreveport, La. -- Nebraska practiced for one hour and 45 minutes on Tuesday afternoon at Independence Stadium with the Huskers? matchup with Ole Miss in the 2002 MainStay Independence Bowl just three days away. The Huskers worked out in sweat clothes as they began scaling back in advance of Friday?s game.


?We had a spirited practice today,? Solich said. ?We did not go in full pads and the players picked up the pace. I feel good about their attitude and work ethic, and I believe we are well-prepared for this game with the intent of playing a very physical game.?


Tuesday?s workout was conducted in cold, windy conditions in Shreveport. The Huskers worked out on Monday in light rain at Independence Stadium.


?It rained yesterday and was cold today, so we feel like we are prepared for whatever weather comes on game day,? Solich said.


Solich also commented on the task Nebraska?s defense faces in taking on an explosive Ole Miss offense led by junior quarterback Eli Manning.


?He is talented and smart,? Solich said of Manning. ?He has great anticipation and throws to the spot. It will be important to get a good rush on him. We have cut down on the complexity of our defense in terms of the amount of things we have thrown at them, which has allowed the players to zero in on techniques and they feel good about that.?


Defensive line coach Jeff Jamrog also commented on Nebraska?s defense at an afternoon press conference. He said he thinks the Blackshirt defense is prepared to finish the season on a strong note.


?We would like to finish the 2002 season on defense the same way we started,? Jamrog said. ?We opened the year with a good effort on defense against Arizona State (48-10 NU win) and we?d like to finish by playing a great football game on defense.?


Husker quarterbacks coach Turner Gill also attended Tuesday?s press conference. He said the key for the offense in Friday?s game will be executing without mistakes and Gill said a strong performance could be a springboard for next season.


?This is an opportunity for us to make a statement for ourselves to finish the season and also as we look ahead to next season,? Gill said. ?Our main philosophy has been that we are going to be a physical football team and that will not change in this game. The bottom line is execution.?


Nebraska will hold a light practice in sweat clothes on Christmas Day at Independence Stadium. The Huskers also have a Christmas dinner planned on Wednesday evening in Shreveport before a short walk-through at Independence Stadium on Thursday afternoon.


The Huskers? day in Shreveport Tuesday began with a busload of players in attendance at an FCA Breakfast. Solich briefly addressed the audience and Husker seniors Will Dabbert and Demoine Adams also spoke at the event.


Kickoff for Friday?s matchup between the Huskers and Ole Miss is set for 3:30 p.m. The game will be televised live on ESPN.


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