LINCOLN — Bo Pelini heard the stadium erupt and he saw his players charging the field after that miracle catch Saturday, but the Nebraska coach wasn't ready to celebrate initially.
The play was under further review.
The referee announced that, and Pelini had a nightmarish flashback. Back to 2009, when a booth review put 1 second back on the clock and allowed Texas to kick a game-winning field in the Big 12 title game.
“I was sitting there thinking, 'Oh my goodness, there's going to be a riot here if this thing gets called back,' ” Pelini said.
But Jordan Westerkamp's 49-yard Hail Mary catch counted, giving Nebraska the much-needed win.
Pelini didn't get to see a replay until he taped his weekly coaches' show later Saturday night. He watched the play again on film Sunday.
The best part, to Pelini, was watching his players celebrate. He mentioned Ameer Abdullah, who “was almost running in a circle (because) he didn't know what to do,” Pelini said.
It was a similar reaction for most Huskers, according to Pelini. A game-winning moment like that is something all of the Nebraska players will never forget.
“That's what college sports is all about,” Pelini said. “It's the experience of the student-athletes.”
Offensive line could continue to reshuffle following injury
Senior offensive tackle Brent Qvale said he'd be willing to take some in-game snaps at guard, if the Huskers need him there Saturday.
Pelini said Monday that Nebraska's coaches might consider moving Qvale or senior tackle Andrew Rodriguez (both started their careers at guard) to help provide some depth on the interior of the offensive line.
Senior Cole Pensick switched from center to right guard during the Huskers' win over Northwestern Saturday after Jake Cotton went down. Junior Mike Moudy played left guard. Junior Mark Pelini stepped in at center.
That appears to be the likely lineup going forward.
But Pelini indicated that sophomore Ryne Reeves could get more reps after recent improvement in practice. Qvale and Rodriguez are options, too.
“We'll see. There's talks about someone switching. We'll see what happens,” Qvale said. “That's still up to the coaches.”
Abdullah motivated to earn victory against Michigan
As a true freshman, Ameer Abdullah scored a memorable touchdown off a double option at Michigan in 2011. He doesn't really remember it. He doesn't expect fans to recall it, either.
What Abdullah remembers are Michigan fans. Although Michigan Stadium — also known as The Big House — is not necessarily known as a snake pit of a stadium because of the way its 110,000 seats stretch outward instead of upward, Abdullah recalls the words spoken by Wolverine supporters during the Huskers' 45-17 loss.
“Two years ago they killed us up there,” Abdullah said. “I was kind of shell-shocked. I didn't play much, but, just being there, Michigan fans are nasty, man. They're ruthless. I wouldn't have it any other way.”
What did Michigan fans say?
“I think you have an idea,” Abdullah said.
Since Abdullah expects that crowd again, he said it's important that Nebraska's young players — of which there are many — stay on “planet earth” and “focus on their techniques.”
If the Huskers do that and pull off an upset, it'd make Abdullah — no fan of Michigan — pleased.
“Nothing would make me happier than go up there and shut them up,” he said.
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Video: Nebraska coach Bo Pelini during Monday's press conference
Video: Nebraska wide receiver Jordan Westerkamp during Monday's press conference
Video: Nebraska running back Ameer Abdullah during Monday's press conference
Video: Nebraska quarterback Ron Kellogg during Monday's press conference