LINCOLN — Nebraska offensive line coach John Garrison has a quick smile, a good haircut and even better jokes, but he looked as if he'd aged a year during Nebraska's 44-7 win at Purdue.
Some of that weariness traced back to Spencer Long's knee injury, which, if as bad as feared, is as significant as Baker Steinkuhler's knee injury at Iowa last year, even if Nebraska has more time and depth to adjust for it. Long had become a vocal leader — a guy who'd keep the linemen behind for an extra pep talk after Garrison had left the meeting room — to pair with his steady play. Now, vocal leader may be Long's only role. Garrison's face wore the hurt of that potential reality.