Published Wednesday, September 4, 2013 at 8:26 pm / Updated at 10:11 pm
Notes: Joseph: Communication before, after snap still an issue for safeties
Southern Miss at Nebraska
When: 5 p.m. Saturday
Where: Memorial Stadium
Radio: 1110 AM KFAB

LINCOLN — Secondary coach Terry Joseph said Tuesday that the plan for Saturday's game is to continue to split reps between junior Harvey Jackson and senior Andrew Green at safety next to junior Corey Cooper.

Jackson and Green rotated at one safety spot during the season opener against Wyoming, while Cooper played the entire game.

All three safeties met Joseph's expectations but still have plenty to work on, starting with communication, both before and during the play.

“There were some situations in pass coverage where there wasn't enough communication to realize where help was at,” Joseph said. “That's the biggest thing back there.”

Joseph mentioned a play on Wyoming's first drive, when Cooper broke up a pass on third down. That might have been an interception had there been better communication, Joseph said.

And it's not necessarily being louder or more forceful with the calls, Cooper said. He made it sound like a confidence issue, something that can be gained through experience.

“It's being able to make adjustments on the fly,” Cooper said. “When you get caught off guard, it's applying your rules. If we're all on the same page, it doesn't matter. It's being comfortable when you see something you haven't seen before.”

Cotton: Expect more targets for tight end group in future

After Nebraska tight ends caught 48 passes last season, some eyes might have been on that unit Saturday night to see how it fared without Ben Cotton and Kyler Reed.

The fact that there was only one target in the passing game, NU assistant coach Barney Cotton said, probably wasn't an accurate read of what's to come.

“What happened in that second half is we went to a ball-control offense,” Cotton said. “And the biggest thing in a ball-control game is you eliminate a lot of guys' (receiving) chances.”

The lone reception by a Husker tight end in the 37-34 win over Wyoming was a 26-yarder by Jake Long on a pass intended for Quincy Enunwa that skipped off his hands. Long had another opportunity but couldn't pull in a Taylor Martinez pass.

Long played around 50 snaps after the senior was limited for most of preseason practice with an injury. It was a higher number than planned but dictated by the amount of two-tight end sets in the second half.

“You could tell Jake was a little bit rusty,” Cotton said. “I know he has better football in him.”

Cotton said true freshman Cethan Carter played 38 snaps and redshirt freshman Trey Foster 16.

“Once both settled down, got in a flow, they played better,” Cotton said.

Carter was not targeted in the passing game, but Cotton said he has Martinez's trust with his work through the summer and preseason camp.

It's hard to say if the receiving number increases this week or next, Cotton said, but he expects the tight ends to be better each week. It appears likely the group will be without redshirt freshman Sam Cotton again this week.

“We'll see a big jump,” Barney Cotton said. “I'm not disappointed, but we've got to see big improvement.”

Southern Miss assistant has faced Huskers before

The Southern Mississippi returnees from the 2012 team won't be the only Eagles that have played before in Memorial Stadium.

Southern Miss first-year offensive coordinator Marcus Arroyo was a San Jose State sophomore quarterback starting the season opener in 2000, when the Spartans lost 49-13 to No. 1-ranked Nebraska.

Arroyo completed 10 of 23 passes for 120 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. That was against a Husker defense starting four future NFL draft picks and coming off a Big 12 championship and Fiesta Bowl win over Tennessee to finish 1999.

Arroyo came to Southern Miss from California, where he was the quarterbacks coach in 2011 and added duties as passing game coordinator in 2012. Current Eagles quarterback Allan Bridgford played under Arroyo at Cal.

“I think he's a really good and up-and-coming coach,” Bridgford said Wednesday. “I feel like he'll be a guy 10 years from now that you see being a head coach somewhere in a top program. I can't say enough good things about the guy with how hard he works, how detailed he is and just what a great teacher of the position.”

* * *

Video: "The Big Ten Preview Show"

Contact the writer: Jon Nyatawa    |   402-473-9585    |  

Jon Nyatawa has covered local sports, primarily Nebraska football and baseball, for The Omaha World-Herald since 2008.

Contact the writer: Rich Kaipust    |   402-444-1042    |  

Rich Kaipust is a staff writer for The Omaha World-Herald and covers Nebraska football and some general assignment tasks, including the College World Series and U.S. Olympic Swim Trials.

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
Tokyo Sushi
$5 for $10 or $10 for $20 toward All-You-Can-Eat Sushi Purchase
Buy Now
< >