Published Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 10:42 pm / Updated at 10:51 pm
FOOTBALL
Notes: Carl checked on Bo's health from Georgia

By the time Florida Atlantic had kicked off its game Saturday night at Georgia, coach Carl Pelini already knew his brother Bo was doing just fine.

Fifth-year Husker coach Bo Pelini left Nebraska's 42-13 win over Arkansas State in the second half Saturday, transported by ambulance to a local hospital. Carl said during a radio interview Tuesday that he was in contact with NU officials Saturday afternoon.

Carl, speaking to ESPN 760 AM in West Palm Beach, Fla., said Bo had the flu Saturday and his symptoms led the Nebraska medical staff to perform an electrocardiogram at halftime. The Huskers' coach underwent more tests at a heart unit of a local hospital, Carl said.

Bo told local reporters Monday that he had an upset stomach and severe heartburn while also experiencing some dizziness on the sideline during the first half. The 44-year-old NU coach said multiple times Monday that the doctors gave him a “clean bill of health” and his routine would not be disrupted going forward.

“He turned out to be healthy, which didn't surprise me,” Carl said. “I know he's a very healthy guy, and he takes his health seriously and gets a physical every year, which you've got to do in coaching.”

Carl, who's three years older than Bo, was Nebraska's defensive coordinator from 2008 through '11. He took the Florida Atlantic job in December.

Els likes freshman LBs

Though freshman linebackers Jared Afalava, Thomas Brown and Michael Rose are redshirting right now, their position coach, Ross Els, is optimistic about their futures.

If any of the three were to play this year, Rose might be the guy. He's still with the top units in practice, Els said, and has not yet been sent down to the scout team.

“We want to continue to give him reps,” Els said. “He's a very intelligent player. He can play inside the box. He could possibly play this year.”

Brown, Els said, gives Nebraska's first-team offense “fits” because of his speed off the edge. Only a bad ankle sprain has kept Brown from being a more viable option to play.

“He can play in space a little bit better than the other guys — that's why we recruited him — but he's also got some height.”

Afalava arrived at NU's fall camp late because of NCAA eligibility snags and is certain to keep his redshirt this year, but Els gushed about his upside.

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“Jared's a raw, very talented athlete,” Els said. “He's a strong kid. He's going to be a very big kid. I really like what I've seen from him. ... Watch out, he's a good football player.”

Els said he doesn't necessarily want the 6-foot-3, 215-pound Afalava putting on extra weight. Els wants Afalava to redistribute some of his weight to the midsection, or “core,” so he doesn't play too high.

When seniors Will Compton and Alonzo Whaley depart after this year — senior Sean Fisher could still petition for a sixth year of eligibility since he's missed all of two seasons because of injury — Els said he plans to “wipe the slate clean” and figure out the three best linebackers to put on the field, regardless of the position they play now.

“Right now, Rose is a Mike,” Els said. “But he could be a Will linebacker.”

Passing test

Nebraska's cornerbacks will stay busy and get their exercise against Idaho State, which already has thrown 121 passes in two games.

NU assistant coach Terry Joseph called that a challenge, but also an opportunity to make plays for a Husker secondary that has just one interception in three games.

“They got some ball-catchers, so we're going to have to chase around and be in the right place to get them,” Joseph said. “Everybody who's in that rotation will have ample opportunity to show what they can do and show that they can be productive players, and help us win.”

Bengals relish chance

Idaho State coach Mike Kramer said Wednesday on the Big Sky teleconference that Athletic Director Jeff Tingey offered up several options as the Bengals put together their 2012 schedule.

Kramer picked Nebraska over, among others, a trip to Colorado State.

“I'm a big guy, fellas: You put ice cream in front of me, I'm gonna eat it,” Kramer said. “When Nebraska comes on the table, you want to be a part of something like that, just for the experience of it. We don't shy away from any competitive opportunities.”

— Jon Nyatawa, Sam McKewon and Rich Kaipust

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