Published Monday, September 9, 2013 at 12:01 am / Updated at 11:18 am
Notes: Husker players looking forward to being men in black Saturday

The black alternate uniform Nebraska will wear for Saturday's UCLA game was on display in the back of the media room Monday. Most reporters took a picture with their smart phones. Even the caterer took a shot.

Players seemed to like the black version more than the all-red look Adidas designed for the Huskers last year.

“I think it's about time,” center Cole Pensick said. “I grew up in Nebraska, and you always have just the scarlet and cream. Ever since I got here, we've always talked about having black jerseys, so I think it's fitting.”

Coach Bo Pelini said the uniforms blended well the players' and fans' desires for black with the Huskers' long-standing traditions. He said it'd be a boon for recruiting, too, although Nebraska's official visitor list may be small because of the 11 a.m. start.

Running back Ameer Abdullah agreed that high school players love the alternate looks.

“Each year, Adidas is getting better, I feel like,” he said. “A little more swag. It's huge for recruiting. Me? I just want to win the game. I don't care what we wear. We can be in underwear out there, I don't care. But for recruiting, it's big. You see Oregon and a lot of schools wearing different unis every day.”

Bruins dealing with player's death

It's a tough week for UCLA football, as one of its team members, redshirt freshman wide receiver Nick Pasquale, was killed over the weekend when he was struck by a car. Nebraska coach Bo Pelini started his press conference Monday by offering condolences to Pasquale's family, the entire UCLA football program and everybody associated with it.

“That's a lot bigger than any football game,” Pelini said.

Apparently for one reporter, it was not bigger than a phone call. At the outset of Jim Mora's press conference — in which Mora addressed how his team was handling Pasquale's death — a reporter is distinctly heard talking on his phone.

“Hey, shut up!” Mora said.

“Sorry,” the reporter said.

“The disrespect of some people is unbelievable, man,” Mora said. “Unbelievable.”

The reporter apparently said Mora could continue talking right after he apologized. Mora became angry.

“Don't tell me to 'go on,'” Mora said. “I'll go on when I'm ready to go. Why don't you take your butt out of here, if you're going to be disrespectful.”

“I apologize, I didn't mean to be,” the reporter said. “I didn't mean to.”

“Well, you were,” Mora said. He then got up and ended the press conference.

Practices have been closed and UCLA players are not available for this week.

Beck focusing on the little things

Offensive coordinator Tim Beck on Monday lauded a “really good practice” as Nebraska began to prep for UCLA. The Huskers practiced in shoulder pads and shorts, installing the offensive and defensive game plans.

“The biggest thing I really want to try to avoid is making it bigger than it is,” Beck said. “We've just got to do what we do and fall back on our training and our coaching. Just do the little things right well, hang on to the football, finish our blocks, finish our runs, the things we've been coaching since we started fall camp.”

Depth chart moves motivated Rose

A depth chart demotion halfway through training camp motivated redshirt freshman linebacker Michael Rose to start playing faster and with more confidence. Rose is challenging for more time at the Mike linebacker spot — his preferred position — after moving briefly to Will linebacker.

Though Rose declined to get into specifics, he said, “I was pushed by a couple depth chart moves” that left him looking for more.

“The depth chart's so flexible you can be a 1 one day and a 3 the next day,” Rose said. “You just got to keep pushing and not worry about where you are on the chart, because you're always one play away ... it got my attention, oh, yeah.”

Rose, who prepped at Kansas City (Mo.) Rockhurst High School, said he brings “football knowledge” and “athleticism” to the field.

“I want to be considered a playmaker and that's something I'm working on out there on the field,” he said.

UCLA not new to freshman Newby

Add Terrell Newby to the list of Huskers who know the UCLA football program a little better than their Nebraska teammates.

The freshman I-back said he lived about 15 minutes from the UCLA campus in West Hills, Calif. He knows several Bruin players, and UCLA was one of the Pac-12 schools recruiting him.

“I really liked UCLA,” Newby said Monday. “I was more of a UCLA fan than USC fan.”

NU quarterback Taylor Martinez and cornerback Josh Mitchell are among other Huskers who grew up at least loosely following the UCLA program. Martinez, from Corona, Calif., said before last year's road game with the Bruins that he previously had seen a game in the Rose Bowl.

Time set for South Dakota State game

The Big Ten Conference and BTN announced on Monday that Nebraska's Sept. 21 home game against South Dakota State will be televised by BTN at 2:30 p.m.

Game times previously were set for Nebraska home games against Illinois (Oct. 5) and Iowa (Nov. 29). Both games will kick off at 11 a.m. at Memorial Stadium.

* * *

Video: See Nebraska's Monday press conference:

Contact the writer: Sam McKewon    |   402-219-3790    |  

Sam McKewon covers Nebraska football for The World-Herald. Got a tip, question or rant? Good. Email him. Follow him on Twitter. Call him.

Read more related stories


< >
2013 college football preview
View our 2013 college football preview, a 26-page, three-part section filled with coverage of the Huskers, Big Ten conference and more.
Big Red Bowl Retrospective
See complete historical results, game recaps and photo coverage from the Nebraska Cornhuskers college football bowl game appearances, from the 1941 Rose Bowl up to today.
Big Ten football recruits
The World-Herald's Big Ten recruiting database contains every football recruit that signed with a Big Ten school from 2002 to 2011, complete with color-coded interactive map representations, player information, high-concentrations recruiting clusters and more.
Devaney Center timeline
Check out a World-Herald timeline to see the evolution of memorable moments at the Devaney Center, complete with photos, videos, memorable quotes and more.
Follow OWHbigred on Twitter
Looking for the latest Husker sports news from The Omaha World-Herald and Follow us on Twitter!
Husker scholarship distribution chart
Want to see how many scholarships NU has invested at each position? Wondering how the Huskers have appropriated their offers by class? Check out our handy chart to look further into how Bo Pelini has built his team.
Husker Signing Day 2013
The World-Herald's top-notch coverage of the Nebraska football's class of 2013, complete with videos, photos, articles, live recruit interviews, interactive components and more.
Husker turnovers: A slippery slope
Bo Pelini has coached 68 games at Nebraska. When NUís turnover margin is positive or even, the Huskers are 35-2. When they lose the turnover battle, theyíre 13-18. Why hasnít Nebraska joined the nationís elite? More than anything, itís turnovers.
Interactive: Bo Pelini's contract
View an interactive PDF of Pelini's revised contract signed by the NU football coach, complete with brief summaries of the legalese and insight into the document's finer points.
Interactive: Darin Erstad's contract (2012)
View an interactive PDF of NU baseball coach Darin Erstad's contract released in August 2012, complete with brief summaries of the legalese and insight into the document's finer points.
Interactive: Tim Miles' contract
View an interactive PDF of Tim Miles' contract signed by the Nebraska men's basketball coach on May 4, 2012, complete with brief legal explanations, comparisons to other Big Ten coaches and more.'s Big Ten coverage
Delivering the best news coverage and analysis of the Big Ten Conference, from and other top news outlets from around country.
Husker Recruiting: Changes shrink NU's sphere of influence
For decades, the Great Plains represented fertile recruiting ground for Tom Osborne's football program. Restoring that lost tradition won't be easy.
Deadline Deal thumbnail
Meridian Med Spa
50% Off Botox®, Botox® Bridal Party, Fillers and Peels
Buy Now
< >