Nebraska 2 weeks away from Capital One Bowl

With only two practices left before the a break from the holidays,  the Nebraska football team took the practice field on Monday as it continues preparations for its upcoming bowl game against South Carolina in the Capital One Bowl on Jan. 2. 

With blustery conditions hitting the city of Lincoln, the Huskers practiced inside the Hawks Championship Center north of Memorial Stadium in full pads for nearly two hours. After preparing for eight Big Ten Conference games this season, defensive line coach John Papuchis gave some insight into what to expect against the Huskers first SEC opponent since 2007, when they faced off against Auburn in the Cotton Bowl.

“They're good,” Papuchis said. “They are well coached. They're fast. They're physical. It's going to be a challenge. I don't know if it's necessarily has anything to do with what conference they're in, but they are a well-coached team and they play hard. They have a good offensive scheme and we have to work hard between now and then to make sure we're ready.”

Papuchis also touched on the health of his defensive line unit, saying the break between the Huskers' victory over Iowa and now has been beneficial for several players.

“The break between the Iowa game and now has given the guys a chance to heal up, so we should be in better shape up front than when we were when we ended the season.” Papuchis said.

One of those players is sophomore defensive end Eric Martin. Papuchis said Martin, who didn't play in the Iowa game, has progressed well over the past couple weeks.

“He's been better and he's been practicing,” Papuchis said. “What degree of percentage, I don't know. I leave all those injury questions to Bo (Pelini) anyway, but Eric has been out there practicing and he's done a good job so far.”

The Huskers will practice on Tuesday before taking a break for Christmas and will depart for Orlando, Fla., on Monday, Dec. 26. The Huskers and Gamecocks will kick off from the Citrus Bowl at Noon (CT) and can be seen nationally on ESPN.