Sunday Night Lights

The Memorial Stadium doors were open Sunday evening as theNebraska football team entertained an estimated crowd of 4,000 NU students with a special practice under the lights. Fans were treated to a one and one-half hour, half-pads workout as the Huskers continued their preparations for the Sept. 3 season opener against Maine.

NU, which took the field to its familiar Tunnel Walk music, welcomed fans with speeches from Head Coach Bill Callahan and senior captains Cory Ross and Daniel Bullocks. The Huskers followed by singing the school fight song, which was played by the University of Nebraska marching band. The team will join the student section in singing “There is No Place Like Nebraska” following each home Husker win this season.

Callahan was overwhelmed by the high student turnout, which he attributed to the excitement for the upcoming season.

“It was a great practice for our team,” Callahan said. “We had a chance to get under the lights, get acclimated to a different environment with the help of our students. Tonight was exciting, it brought a lot of energy and really got our adrenaline going. Our kids practiced hard, it was a quick, brisk practice. It was good to get a tempo like we got tonight. You couldn’t buy this type of tempo anywhere.”While the night was devised as an opportunity for the NU student body to take in a sneak peek at the 2005 Huskers, Callahan said the event also payed dividends in terms of practice quality.

 “What we tried to get accomplished by opening the practice up to the students, number one, we felt that this was really their team, their university. We wanted to give them an opportunity to come watch us, more than it was a tune-up for us under the lights for next Saturday. Secondly, to just to have an opportunity to work in an atmosphere where there is enthusiasm, electricity and emotion, you could feel the jitters. You could sense that in our players, and it was great to have (the players) out in this type of environment. Their speed picked up, their energy picked up and their timing was very good tonight.”