Huskers Humbled, But Bo Not Ready for a Rubber Room

Bo Pelini says a strong focus on his team means he can’t worry about what others think.

By Randy York

After a day-and-a-half of film study, Bo Pelini wore his game face to Monday’s press conference leading up to Saturday’s 2:30 p.m. ABC-televised game against Washington. Pelini said Fresno State humbled his Huskers in last weekend’s 42-29 matchup that went to the wire, but know this: The rubber match in the 12-month, best-of-three Washington series is getting Bo’s full attention, not the rubber room.

 After giving his “black-and-white” analysis of Nebraska’s 2-0 start, one reporter asked Pelini if he pays attention to public perception. “I couldn’t care less,” Pelini said. “There’s consternation around here if you don’t win 50-0 every week. That’s just the way it is. I look at the reality of where we are and where we need to go to get better. That’s what I focus myself on. If I start worrying about what others think, I’ll end up in a rubber room.”

Minutes later, Pelini elaborated on the Huskers’ defensive letdown Saturday night. “I think every now and then you need to get smacked in the face and get a wakeup call,” he said. “Last week, we were humbled. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what people say you are, or what you are supposed to be, you have to put it out there. You have to do it between the white lines. I don’t care who you are. I don’t care if you’re a projected All-American or if you’re a first-year guy. You have to go out there and play. That’s what makes this game great. You’re only as good as your last snap. Hopefully our guys learned that.”

According to Pelini, Alfonzo Dennard is ahead of schedule recovering from an injury that has sidelined him for Nebraska’s first two games and could return to the secondary soon. “He was a six- to eight-week guy, and it’s been about five, in the ball park,” Pelini said. “He is close.” Here’s a full transcript and video of Pelini’s press conference, plus a transcript and video of quarterback Taylor Martinez’s press conference that followed Pelini’s Meet the Press session.

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Voices from Husker Nation

Knowing Bo’s basic nature, I can only imagine how physical this week will be for the No. 1 offense and the No. 1 defense. It would be a great week to mike up the coaches and film practice. Know that won’t happen, but it would be better than watching what they do in the NFL on HBO. In fact, I’d pay money to see it. Go Huskers! Matt Stevens, Bismarck, North Dakota

The thing I like best about Bo Pelini is his disdain for political correctness. He’s old-school and he belongs at Nebraska forever! Dave Collins, Omaha, Nebraska

Think Bo will surprise people. Every time you think he’s going to get all fired up, he becomes calm, and guess what? The team fires itself up. I’m sure the Blackshirts feel like they owe their head coach, his brother and the three other defensive coaches some sort of payback this weekend. They will play with passion … almost guaranteed. Jeff Haase, Billings, Montana