LINCOLN, Neb. — Sophomore offensive tackle Nick Gates missed another practice with an ankle injury on Wednesday, putting Nebraska in a bind for its game Saturday against Purdue.
The Boilermakers are the worst run defense in the conference, giving up 264 yards a game on the ground. But without a healthy offensive line, offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf said he’s concerned with being able to take advantage of the Boilermarkers.
“We’re working through that and it’s a concern with a good defensive front,” Langsdorf said.
Langsdorf and head coach Mike Riley have said they could move guard Sam Hahn to the tackle position, but Langsdorf said they need to get Gates back as soon as they can.
“We need him as soon as possible,” Langsdorf said. “He’s still pretty hobbled so we’ll see. We’ll get some more information tomorrow.”
Despite Purdue having the worst run defense in the conference, Langsdorf said the Boilermakers’ front four is the strong suit of the defense, which is all the more reason to need a healthy offensive line.
The other offensive tackle, David Knevel, was taken out of Saturday’s game against Indiana after the first play with an ankle injury. He has been practicing but Langsdorf and Riley have not said if he will play.
The shuffle up front doesn’t bother senior quarterback Tommy Armstrong.
“You just gotta trust in your teammates and trust in your line no matter,” Armstrong said on Wednesday. “When Knevel went down (Cole) Conrad stepped in and made a great adjustment and did what he was supposed to do. Coaches always say next guy up, just gotta be ready to make plays.”
In another note from practice:
- Armstrong said his touchdown throw to Stanley Morgan Jr. last Saturday against Indiana was something they practice “all the time,” despite how unconventional it looked. Armstrong said he works on “scramble rules” with receivers in practice. Morgan’s move to get open was just part of the rules they work on, Armstrong said.