Huskers Hold First Bowl Practice

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Huskers Hold First Bowl Practice

Lincoln – The Nebraska football team returned for its first practice in preparation for its Dec. 26 Foster Farms Bowl game against UCLA, practicing for two hours in the Hawks Championship Center on Friday in helmets and shoulder pads. Friday’s workout marked the first of seven practices between now and next Saturday. The team will depart for the Bay Area on Dec. 21.

“We’re really glad to be practicing football,” said Nebraska Coach Mike Riley. “We have a great opportunity. All of what we are doing is focused on winning the game. This is one more great opportunity. We’ve had a couple of them in the past month, and we have one more coming up.”

The practice was the Huskers’ first in two weeks as the Nebraska coaching staff spent over a week on the recruiting trail following the Iowa game on Nov. 27, but the team had no trouble on the first day back.

“We’ve prepared really well,” said junior wide receiver Jordan Westerkamp. “We’ve had a week and a half off because the coaches have been out recruiting, but we’ve had lifts and runs with our strength staff and guys have been energetic and ready to go. We’re all excited about the extra game and we’re going to give it our all. We had a great day today, extremely upbeat, and we’re going to get back at it tomorrow.”

Riley understands the task that awaits the Huskers, as he knows the Bruins well from the time he spent as a Pac-12 coach at Oregon State.

“I think this is a great matchup for us,” Riley said “It’s a great challenge. This is a talented, fast, athletic football team. It’s a challenge all the way around. This is a speed team.”

For the Nebraska senior class, the game represents one last chance to take the field wearing a Husker uniform.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for us to show that we’re a better team than what our record says,” said senior offensive lineman Ryne Reeves. “For us seniors, it’s another opportunity for us to go out on top with a win and it would be a good springboard for the guys going into next year.”

For about 45 minutes following the Huskers’ main practice, a group of redshirts and scout team members worked out with the coaching staff. Riley hopes to include a specialized session for that group at the end of nearly every practice this week.

The Huskers will return to the practice field Saturday afternoon to continue their bowl preparations. Kickoff for the Foster Farms Bowl is set for 8:15 p.m. CT on Dec. 26, with the game set to be televised on ESPN.