Lincoln, Neb. – The Nebraska football team practiced for just under two hours in half pads and helmets Tuesday evening. Both the defense and offense started with stretching and individual drills in the Hawks Championship Center before the offense moved to Memorial Stadium, while the defense practiced on the Ed and Joyanne Gass Practice Fields.
Defensive Coordinator Mark Banker met with the media following practice and discussed the final home game of the season against Maryland this Saturday. One topic addressed was the player of senior safety Nathan Gerry, who received and invite to the Senior Bowl earlier this week.
“He’s positioned himself right now very handsomely from the standpoint of where he is within the team in tackles, interceptions, historically within the program,” Banker said of the Chuck Bednarik Award candidate. “So, it’s on him now. I really just enjoy watching him get away from the negativity and pain he went through last year.”
Banker also talked about the Blackshirts’ performance last weekend against Minnesota, which included not allowing any points in the second half.
“I thought, No. 1, we accomplished what we wanted to,” Banker said of the Minnesota game. “They wanted to run the ball, we didn’t let them run at all. The one that you want back again but you can never get it is we didn’t spill the back, instead he hit the edge and the safety missed the tackle on the one run for 31 yards.”
With Saturday marking the final home game for Nebraska’s senior class, Banker was asked about the play of defensive tackle Kevin Maurice, who is enjoying an outstanding senior season.
“Kevin Maurice is the heart and soul of that defensive front, I don’t care what the numbers say,” Banker said. “He’s a great leader, he’s a great guy to be around, he brings a certain amount of toughness, great work ethic. And guess what? It just so happens that he’s really grinding his way in every game to make plays and people don’t even see.”
As for what to expect out of the Maryland offense, Banker said “Maryland would parallel Ohio State. There are a lot of things that come out of their package that Ohio State ran. The other thing is, right now their quarterback position is unsettled, and they all bring something different. This is a dangerous team from a standpoint that they’re going to do anything they can to score points.”
Tickets remain for Nebraska’s 2016 home finale and Senior Day against Maryland on Saturday at Memorial Stadium. The majority of the tickets are from the visiting team allotment and are available for $65 each at Huskers.com/tickets or by calling 1-800-8-BIG RED. Game time for the Maryland contest is set for 11 a.m.