Lincoln, Neb. -- The Nebraska football team practiced for two hours on Wednesday outside on the Ed and Joyanne Gass practice fields in shoulder pads and helmets.
After practice, Offensive Coordinator Troy Walters addressed the media about the team’s momentum heading into the first game of the season on Saturday against Akron.
“I like our tempo,” Walters said. “I like our effort and our excitement. Guys are ready to play. I think we’re ready to go against somebody other than our defense. I think we’re tested. The defense has given us great looks. We’re excited to play in front of 90,000 at Memorial Stadium and show Husker Nation what we’re all about.”
Walters also talked about true freshman quarterback Adrian Martinez, who will get the start on Saturday against the Zips.
“Our motto is attack,” Walters said. “We’re going to play to win. Whatever gives us the best chance to be successful, whatever Adrian does the best, that’s what we’re going to do. Obviously, he can beat you with his legs, but he’s getting a lot better with his arm. You’ll see him make some plays with his arm on Saturday.”
According to Walters, the offense plans to attack each week and each opponent differently.
“We’re going to play fast,” Walters said. “We’re going to have new wrinkles every week. We’re going to game plan, watch what those guys do, watch what our opponents do, what their tendencies and what they do. We’re going to come up with plays that give us the best chance to win, and we’re going to put our playmakers in position to be successful. I think week in and week out, we’re going to have different wrinkles in the game plan that maybe the team hasn’t seen. We’re going to play fast. We’re going to be confident. It still comes down to execution. You can do all of this stuff on the side and different formation, but it comes down to guys executing. It comes down to me beating the man over top of me. That’s what we’re going to hang our head on.
When asked about Akron’s defense, Walters mentioned that they have a good defense with eight or nine returning starters.
“Basically their whole secondary returned from last year,” Walters said. “So, they’re going to play hard. They’re physical. They’re going to try and get eight or nine guys in the box, play man on the outside and force you to make plays. We’ve got to be ready to go. Just watching tape, they’re a good defensive unit. Linebackers, they’re all coming back. [Ulysees Gilbert III] is a good player. [Brian Bell] is a good player. So, we go to be ready to go.”
Nebraska and Akron will face off on Saturday, Sept. 1 at Memorial Stadium at 7 p.m. FOX will provide national TV coverage.