LINCOLN, Neb. – In coach Mike Riley’s press conference on Monday he said the reason Nebraska didn’t break out a long run against Fresno State was because of the lack of blocking by the wide receivers. Despite Nebraska’s 51 run plays and 292 rushing yards, Nebraska’s longest run by a running back was a 17-yard gain by sophomore Devine Ozigbo.
Senior wide receiver Jordan Westerkamp said after practice on Wednesday that the receivers need to take more pride in blocking.
“For us it’s a mentality,” Westerkamp said. “It’s either you want to do it or you don’t and if you don’t want to do it then you’re not going to be on the field.”
Westerkamp said receiver blocking is crucial especially in a game like last Saturday’s, when Nebraska runs the ball a lot. He thinks Nebraska blocked pretty well, but the receivers need to hold their blocks longer.
More notes from practice:
- Ozigbo gives most of the credit for his first touchdown of the year to senior offensive lineman Dylan Utter, who Ozigbo says essentially pulled him into the end zone from the 1-yard line.
- Ozigbo said he felt vindicated when he saw he had the most carries and more than 100 yards against Fresno State. Ozigbo has been vocal about vying for the starting running back spot over senior Terrell Newby and getting the majority of the carries. He had 17 carries for 103 yards and two touchdowns. “It was definitely one of those games that you wish for, getting the ball that many times and the defense is allowing you to run it like that,” Ozigbo said.
- Coaches told Ozigbo and the other running backs not to expect a lot of games like the Fresno State game, Ozigbo said, in terms of the ease of running up and down the field.
- Senior wide receiver Brandon Reilly is ready to play in his first game of the season after being suspended for the first game for violating team rules. Reilly said he expects a scrappy Wyoming defense to come to Lincoln on Saturday.
- Despite Nebraska being a 25-point favorite over Wyoming, Westerkamp said the team is preparing like it’s going to play the No. 1 team in the country. “We don’t take teams lightly,” Westerkamp said.