Practice

Michael Rose-Ivey finally given a Blackshirt

With five opening-game suspensions looming, it was pretty obvious linebacker Michael Rose-Ivey wasn’t playing against BYU when he stepped onto the practice field without a Blackshirt on the day they were handed out.

But even after serving his suspension, Rose-Ivey had to wait until Monday to earn his black practice jersey.

“He was the hardest player not to give (a Blackshirt) to when the season started,” coach Mark Banker said.

It was difficult for Rose-Ivey, who missed all of 2014 with an ACL injury and waited throughout the spring and fall to play.

“It was tough to listen to him talk about his injury the previous season, and the way it took an emotional toll on him,” Banker said. “His academics really went in the tank for him, too.”

Nevertheless, after waiting for months, he was given his Blackshirt in team meetings Monday.

“He worked extremely hard,” Banker said.

Cornerback Jonathan Rose also earned a Blackshirt after being suspended against BYU.

Preparing for Miami

After rebuilding some confidence with a 48-9 win against South Alabama, NU now heads south to play arguably its most difficult road game of 2015 in Miami.

But Banker and the Huskers are already working on managing the potential matchup issues.

“We’ll be tested this week,” Banker said. “(The Hurricanes) are a stretch team, but then they’ll come right back up the middle with draw plays. (The draw) is a big play for them, and we’ll be tested.”

While Miami may be 2-0, the start hasn’t been convincing. Yet, NU still has to figure out a way to stop quarterback Brad Kaaya, who threw for 359 yards and three touchdowns in Lincoln last season.

“(Kaaya) has an extremely strong and accurate arm,” Banker said. “They’ve got very capable receivers who are good athletes with a lot of speed.

“They’ll take a couple of shots (down the field) and see how that goes for them.”

Tightening up pass defense

For all the good that came from Nebraska’s win against South Alabama this past weekend, there are still some things that need to be addressed before the Huskers head to Miami this weekend.

Despite only allowing single digits, the Huskers did give up 313 passing yards - something defensive coordinator Mark Banker stressed in practice Monday.

“(Against South Alabama), they kept hitting us right up the middle, and we can’t have that happen,” Banker said. “And for the corners, it does you no good to win at the line of scrimmage. You have to win at the place the ball is being thrown to.”

For Banker, it wasn’t the coverage that was suspect; it was the defensive backs’ inability to make a play on the ball.

“By and large, the corners were in position of four of the six (deep) balls (against the Jaguars),” Banker said. “They just didn’t make a play.”

Banker said he had an opportunity to make a few adjustments, but he wanted his secondary to keep seeing the kind of deep throws that they’ll see for the rest of the season.

“We’re going to see a ton of (deep throws) until he can shut them down,” Banker said.

sports@dailynebraskan.com