Practice Report 11/2: Martinez, Dennard Held Out

By at November 1, 2010 | 9:29 PM | Print


Two of Nebraska's best players – quarterback Taylor Martinez and cornerback Alfonzo Dennard – are “day-to-day” after missing NU Monday practice for entirely different kinds of injuries.

Martinez sustained an ankle sprain Saturday in the second quarter of the Huskers' 31-17 win over Missouri, head coach Bo Pelini told reporters Monday. Pelini initially called it a “bone bruise,” but revised his injury report after getting more information.

Pelini said Martinez should practice Tuesday. Zac Lee and Cody Green split reps with the first-team offense in Martinez's absence. Lee replaced Martinez in the Texas and Missouri games.

“There hasn't been a week where I've let up in my preparation because of the situation,” Lee said.

Dennard is recovering from a concussion sustained in an accidental hit with teammate Courtney Osborne. Team doctors must OK Dennard's return to the field. Generally, concussed players take a battery of tests throughout the week and emerge symptom-free.

True freshman Ciante Evans replaced Dennard and “did a great job,” Pelini said.

“He really rose to the occasion and made some plays out there,” he said.

Evans consistently covered his receivers despite frequently being tested downfield, but his best play may have been in run support; he stuffed Missouri quarterback 6-foot-5, 240-pound Blaine Gabbert on a third-down-and-goal play. Mizzou had to settle for a field goal.

“He's not afraid to stick his nose in there,” secondary coach Marvin Sanders said. “You're not looking for your corners to be the Ronnie Lotts of the world, but if they're willing to stick their nose in there, they've got a chance.”

Particulars: Nebraska conducted a shorter, 90-minute practice outside the Hawks Championship Center.

What’s New: Martinez and Dennard were held out of practice.

Coach Quote: "The light's been on. I said this earlier in the year: There are five or six guys that I was comfortable with in playing…I had total confidence in them. Through the course of the season these guys earned their opportunities and this past game they've taken advantage of it. It's been happening all year" Secondary coach Marvin Sanders on the progression of Austin Cassidy and Courtney Osborne

Player Quote: “With all the tradition that Coach Osborne and Coach Devaney built here, the running football, the smashmouth football, for a running back to get an accolade like that, it's amazing We're proud to be a part of it and for him and what he was capable of doing.” Tight end Ben Cotton on Roy Helu's school rushing record

Notes:

*Nebraska will have to explore pay-per-view one more time for the Nov. 13 game vs. Kansas. The contest was not picked up by any network. A traditional 1:00 p.m. start could be an option.

*Roy Helu was named Big 12 Player of the Week.

*Cotton said he knows several of the Iowa State players and routinely keeps in touch with ISU senior quarterback Austen Arnaud, who played at Ames High School as a senior when Cotton was a sophomore.

Barney Cotton coached in Ames for three years as ISU's offensive coordinator.

“It was a good experience,” Ben Cotton said of living in Ames. “They love their football just like we do here. We've got our work cut out for us.”

*Sanders said Evans may be the first guy to replace Dennard, but Anthony West could get a look, too. Dejon Gomes and Eric Hagg can play the spot in a pinch. Anthony Blue is out for the season with his second torn ACL.

Next Practice: Tuesday

(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today)

General