With the Red-White Spring Game six days away, the Nebraska football team shifted practices from the Hawks Championship Center to Memorial Stadium on Monday morning.
Following practice, offensive coordinator Troy Walters and several players from his offense spoke to the media about practice and the upcoming scrimmage.
“We’re heading in the right direction,” Walters said. “We just have to be more consistent. A lot of guys are getting reps, a lot of young guys are getting thrown into the fire against a senior defense. We’ve just got to be more consistent and have a little more grit.”
“We’re pleased, but there’s still work to be done,” he said
When asked about what he was looking for out of his offense in the spring game, Walters had just one focal point.
“Execution,” Walters said. “We’re going to keep the game plan simple. We’re going to let guys run around and make plays, we’re not trying to trick the defense or the other team. It’s going to be a great atmosphere.”
Walters added there will not be any contact on the quarterbacks allowed in the game, a policy they have had all spring. He also mentioned that some of the team’s star players, like sophomore quarterback Adrian Martinez and junior wide receiver J.D. Spielman, may not play much in the game.
As for the rest of the wide receivers, Walters acknowledged improvements from sophomores Andre Hunt and Mike Williams and freshmen Jamie Nance and Wan’Dale Robinson.
“It’s going to be hard to replace a Stanley Morgan,” Walters said. “Once again, it comes down to guys showing up day in and day out, being consistent on the perimeter blocking, running routes. We’ve got a ways to go but the guys have taken a step in the right direction.”
“All of them are working hard,” he said. “They know that something’s on the line every time they take the field.”
Redshirt freshman running back Brody Belt also met with the media on Monday morning. Belt had been a player mentioned throughout the spring by coaches as a player showing improvement in practices.
“I would credit myself to the offseason and getting to learn the playbook,” Belt said.
“The goal is to get reps and travel,” Belt continued. “It is what is, whatever they [the coaches] want to do I’m here for that.”
Belt’s opportunity came in the wake of senior running back Devine Ozigbo’s graduation and sophomore running back Maurice Washington’s absence due to disciplinary reasons. Two more running backs are set to join the team before fall practice begins.
“I came in knowing that we were going to be a little slim this spring,” Belt said. “It fueled my fire and made me want to work even harder.”
While Martinez and Spielman may sit out most of Saturday, players similar to Belt are relishing their new opportunities.
“I’m really looking forward to it,” Belt said about the spring game. “It’s kind of like a coming out party, to show what I can do for everybody. It’s going to be a good time.”
“We want to make sure that fans know this is a well-coached team that’s not going to make the mistakes that we made last year,” Walters said.