Newby

Injuries happen.

That is part of football.

When they do, guys have to step up.

That was evident on Saturday afternoon after one play of action.

David Knevel went down in pain, he has had ankle problems the past few weeks.

Who did the Huskers turn to?

Redshirt sophomore Cole Conrad.

Conrad is a walk-on from Fremont Bergan High School.

Where he was a Class-C2 all state honoree by all the newspapers in Nebraska.

He also was a Class-C2 state basketball champion.

All that and his time at Nebraska had welled up to Saturday and the opportunity.

“You just have to prepare, and keep grinding every week like you’re going in there,” Conrad said after the game.

That is what Conrad did.

On his first drive in the game, the Huskers ran off tackle a few times behind Conrad.

One of the plays was an 11-yard run by Terrell Newby that gained a first down for NU on their way to a field goal.

Mike Cavanaugh, the Nebraska offensive line coach, had been telling Conrad all week to be ready.

“He’s been saying the same thing, that I’m the two guy and just to do your thing and prepare like you were going to play,” Conrad said.

That has been the theme for the Huskers up front all year, and even before it.

Jerald Foster tore a ligament in his knee before the first game, and is out for the season.

Then, Tanner Farmer sprained his ankle during the road game at Northwestern.

This game was no different.

“Nick Gates was hobbled too, he’s got a sprained ankle.  They just taped it up real solid and he played,” Mike Riley said after the game.

With these injuries, most offensive lines would struggle.

Nebraska has played well.

After all, they have only given up four sacks on the entire year.

That is tops in the Big Ten.

Indiana did bring a lot of blitz packages towards the Husker front five the whole game.

Conrad was not surprised.

“They brought a lot of pressure, and they have great linebackers.  We knew that, but at the end we handled it good and just found a way to win,” Conrad said.

In the end though, it did get interesting.

The Huskers got stuffed at the 48 yard line of Indiana with just over three minutes left in the game.

What did Mike Riley do?

No doubt, go for it.

“They’ve just proven through time that they can do that and make the plays when it counts,” Riley said.

He put his trust in Conrad and the big guys up front, and they did not disappoint.

The so called backups.

The “two’s” as Conrad called himself.

They got the job done when it counted on the road to keep the Huskers perfect season alive.

Nebraska went on to kick a field goal, intercept Indiana quarterback Richard Lagow, and move to 6-0.

“Put it on our shoulders, that is what we want to do when it comes down to it,” Conrad said.

Conrad said he was not surprised at all by Riley’s call to go for it late in the fourth.

“It was just a good play call, and obviously it worked out.”

Who knows what will happen next week, or who will be taking snaps at the right tackle position.

But on Saturday in Bloomington, the Huskers got the job done.

sports@dailynebraskan.com