LINCOLN, Neb. — Mike Riley has faced his fair share of injuries during fall camp. From cornerback Chris Jones to wide receivers Keyan Williams and Jaevon McQuitty, Riley and his staff have had to adjust.
The good news? The final week of game preparation hasn’t resulted in any new injuries.
“There are no new injuries where we don’t expect a guy to play,” Riley said after practice Thursday at Memorial Stadium. “This was good to get through this day that way.”
Riley is thankful for that, especially considering something he experienced in a previous season.
“I lost a receiver on Friday one year when he was messing around trying to dunk the ball over the goal post and he busted up his hip and couldn’t play the next day,” Riley said. “That was a first. We don’t allow that anymore.”
On the suspension side of things, Riley confirmed Thursday that Stanley Morgan Jr. and Antonio Reed will not miss any time for their arrests this summer on suspicion of marijuana possession.
“They went through an extensive period of time doing what they were supposed to do and it wasn’t just the extensive time period,” Riley said. “It was what they did they had to do and spend with it, so they will not miss any time playing in the games.”
More from Mike Riley
• When Nebraska released its first depth chart of the season on Monday, freshman Deontre Thomas was listed alongside freshman Damion Daniels as the backup nose tackle. Riley likes Thomas and what he has brought to the Huskers.
“Deontre, because of who he is and [because he] wasn’t recruited at the time exactly to play that spot for us in our past defense, our previous defense, has been a very good fit, very good curve ball and we think a productive, good player that we think should play in the games,” Riley said.
• With the NCAA enforcing the sideline rule this season, Riley is doing everything he can to ensure his staff is not penalized for going onto the playing field. In fact, he has come up with a solution that should prevent any problems.
“I have weight coaches assigned to coaches,” Riley said. “I have weight coaches assigned to positions behind certain officials on the sideline, and then when the guys assigned to coaches will hopefully tackle them before they run on the field.
“I don’t think there’s going to be a problem if you score a touchdown and you give a guy a high-five. I’m not sure about that so we’re going to be real careful.”
• With Nebraska kicking off at 8 p.m. ET on Saturday, Riley admits the wait can be hard. He hopes to switch things up a bit this season, getting the players up and moving early versus lounging around the hotel too long. That’ll include getting them outside.
“Those are hard days, actually, and things to think about when you have a late kickoff,” Riley said. “We have learned through the years in college football that nothing is normal anymore, so you try to teach your team that that’s exactly the case. We’re not going to obsess over kickoff times.
“We are going to try something new to handle it as far as a little more dynamic morning instead of just laying around and waiting for the game all day.”
• Riley knows who will start at running back on Saturday. Is he ready to shed any light on who it will be?
“Yes,” Riley said. “That’s it. That’s the light I’m going to shed.”
• Arkansas State coach Blake Anderson’s wife, Wendy, underwent breast cancer-related surgery earlier this week. With that in mind, will Nebraska do anything special to honor Wendy on Saturday?
“The answer to that is yes,” Riley said.