LINCOLN, Neb. — Nebraska coach Mike Riley said on a conference call with local media Sunday night the announcement of the hiring of Arizona cornerbacks coach Donte Williams is “imminent.”
He also said senior QB Tommy Armstrong is still working through a hamstring injury and it’s not 100 percent that he will be the starter for the Music City Bowl against Tennessee on Dec. 30.
Here’s a run-down of what Riley said:
- “First of all we are proud to be selected and we’re excited to go. I think that I’ve never been involved in a game in Nashville before but I’ve heard great things about it. So it’s exciting for the Huskers and we’re looking forward to not only the game but the prep before that game.”
- On how the schedule this week will look: “We will certainly take advantage of the time we get. I think that the bowl game, I said this going into last year, it’s a lasting memory of the season that just occurred, so it’s important to win. And the other part of it is it’s a great time to practice and develop with younger players in the program.”
- On the health of Armstrong: “We’ll still have lingering questions about the health of our quarterbacks, so that’s not great.”
- Riley said he hasn’t watched much of Tennessee this season. “I don’t know too much about them, that’s going to be quickly diving in and learning as much as we can about them.”
- Riley on the firing of special teams coordinator Bruce Read: “One of my thoughts has been to eventually here soon add another coach to our staff and then split up the special teams duties amongst our staff. That’s contrary with what we’ve done for years with Bruce and we appreciated what we’ve done with Bruce, but we’ll add another position coach to our staff and then if they pass the 10th coach rule then we’d add one to the offensive side of the staff, so we’d have an even staff, five on offense and five on defense.”
- More on Read: “It wasn’t an overnight decision but in making that decision soon after the game basically had to do with a couple of things that we could get started with of adding a guy to our defensive staff and therefore adding a coach on the defense and a recruiter on the defense. The other part of it (is that) it gave Bruce a longer period of time to position himself for a job as these jobs are opening up.”
- Riley said the hiring of Arizona cornerbacks coach Donte Williams is “imminent.”
- He also said he wants a 2017 recruiting class of about 22 recruits. Nebraska is currently at 16.
- On whether senior QB Ryker Fyfe would start if Armstrong cannot play: “The first thing we have to do is see who is healthy. Tommy will start if he’s going to be healthy for a good part of the prep time. That could mean a week or 10 days before the game. I do like to think that he’d be healthy and he’d be able to function properly for the game. If everything is good, Tommy will start. If he’s not ready, Ryker will start.”
- Riley said one of his earliest memories is playing for the freshman team at Alabama and playing Tennessee in Knoxville.
- On the bowl in general: “It’ll be two great schools with great histories who will bring a lot of great fans.”