Pelini Holds No Soft Spot for Buckeyes
Posted by: Matt Lothrop
Nebraska coach Bo Pelini claims he can't remember his last trip to Ohio Stadium.
“It's been a long time ago,” Pelini said Monday.
A four-year letter winner at Ohio State in the late 80's, Pelini says the return to Columbus hasn't stirred any thoughts of his Buckeye background.
“No. Why would it,” Pelini said. “Not any more. I mean it's, I'm in a different time in my life, different place and I mean I have a job to do. That's all I'm concerned with.”
Coach Pelini's feelings toward his alma mater has completely changed in a year. Prior to the 2011 meeting Coach Pelini praised Ohio State. He even recollected memories of old Michigan match–ups.
“I had a great experience there.” Pelini said in 2011. “I enjoyed my time playing there. I have a lot of friendships I've made. I played for a lot of great coaches. You know I've always said the experience you have kind of help you know lead you to where you are and the things you're able to accomplish.”
So why the change? Perhaps Pelini feels more comfortable facing Ohio State a second time. Or maybe it's a facade to keep the spotlight off him.
“Probably deep down it does,” senior running back Rex Burkhead said. “I mean he doesn't ant to be like that but being his alma mater you know growing up there I'm sure has a different meaning to him.”
Only those closest to Pelini will know the significance Saturday's homecoming will have. To his players and the Husker fan base Pelini remains focused on Ohio State, and not on nostalgia.
“It doesn't really make any difference what happened back in '86–'90,” Pelini said. “I mean that's a different point and time in my life.”
It's tough to pin point the differences from a year ago to now. One big difference is how the Huskers enter the Ohio State game, coming off a win and in their best position for a conference title since 2010.