Nebraska opened fall camp this week, which was kicked off by the annual Fan Day on August 1.
Bo Pelini has given the media access to fall camp, much like he did for spring practice. This will allow more insight for fans as the season gets closer. While it's only the first week, position battles and storylines are already starting to take shape.
News from the Week
Junior Charles Jackson will miss the entire season due to a leg injury, per Jon Nyatawa of the Omaha World-Herald. The news is disappointing for the Huskers, who expected Jackson to start at nickel.
"It's a tough blow because he's put a lot of work in, a lot of time into it," Pelini said to the media. "It's very unfortunate for Charles."
Sometimes adversity is what you need to face in order to become successful. #GBR— CHUCKY (@JUSTCHUCK21) August 8, 2014
Jackson still has his redshirt, which would allow him to play two additional years at Nebraska once fully recovered. Byerson Cockrell is expected to be Jackson's replacement.
In other injury news, long snapper Gabe Miller is out with a back issue. Pelini told reporters that he should be out at least a few days. His replacement is a work in progress.
#Huskers trying to figure out long snapper. Gabe Miller out with injury. Banderas, Gerry and Josh Faulkenberry all trying their hand at it.— Brian Christopherson (@HuskerExtraBC) August 5, 2014
Important Position Battles
Josh Banderas and Michael Rose Jr. are expected to compete for the middle linebacker job. Defensive coordinator John Papuchis said it's likely the position battle will last throughout fall camp, per Nyatawa.
It's been pretty clear that the quarterback position is Tommy Armstrong's to lose. Pelini said as much during Big Ten media days, as the SandhillsExpress.com reported. Is that still the case?
During the Aug. 6 practice, offensive coordinator Tim Beck was asked how the quarterbacks look. Per Sam McKewon of the Omaha World-Herald, Tommy Armstrong, Ryker Fyfe and Johnny Stanton all have work to do but are improving:
I feel like they're at practice three of fall camp, as sophomores. They've got a long way to go, yeah. Just inconsistency right now. We're putting in the install (of the offense) and their heads were swimming a little bit. But there's a lot of good things that they're doing right now. I'm pleased. I'm seeing improvement every day.
Stanton and Fyfe had a chance to work with the No. 1 offense this week. Reporters at camp were very impressed with Fyfe right off the bat.
Ryker Fyfe looked great as well. He completed four passes in a row at one point and looked good during his time with the 1st-team offense.— Dan Hoppen (@danhoppen) August 8, 2014
Armstrong, on the other hand, looks ready to put in the time needed to guarantee the spot is his come Aug. 30.
Made myself a promise that I'll be the last to leave the stadium after practice. Extra film doesn't hurt anyone.— Tommy Armstrong Jr. (@Tommy_Gun4) August 5, 2014
During the Huskers' first practice, something was different. That was the new Catapult GPS trackers. I took a more in-depth look at the trackers, which have been a favorite of Florida State's Jimbo Fisher. In fact, Fisher credits some of the Seminoles' success in 2013 to the trackers.
As for Nebraska, Pelini spoke briefly about them to the media following the Aug. 4 practice.
“They can track these guys, built up some data and learn a lot as far as making sure we’re tailoring practice the right way, not only for performance, but for injury prevention and that type of thing,” Pelini told reporters.
Efficiency has been the buzzword for fall camp so far. As 247Sports' Michael Bruntz noted, the Huskers practiced for a little less than two hours during the Aug. 4 practice. Bruntz also reported that, "Nebraska cut through some of the walk thru time at the beginning of practice, though the number of plays run won’t change."