Troy Walters is to blame for not playing more receivers in Nebraska's 34-31 loss at Colorado.
That's according to NU's offensive coordinator on Wednesday, Troy Walters, who also coaches the Husker receivers.
Nebraska primarily used three wideouts at CU — JD Spielman, Wan'Dale Robinson and Kanawai Noa, with a little bit of Mike Williams, too. Walters said he didn't use enough backups, and he needs to trust more receivers to run NU's offense.
"We've got to get more guys going, and that's on me," Walters said Wednesday. "I've got to get guys in early, get them in the flow of the game, because we're going to need the depth as we continue the season. I'll place all the blame on me. ... If JD, Wan'Dale and Kanawai, if they're the only ones playing, they're going to get worn down by the end of the season."
Walters mentioned Williams, Jaevon McQuitty, Jaron Woodyard — who didn't travel to CU because of an undisclosed injury — Darien Chase and Miles Jones as receivers who will play more often.
NU's receivers have 14 catches this season. Spielman and Robinson account for 13 of them.
Walters wants backup receivers to "play fast" and know what they're doing in games. Hesitancy breaks up the purpose of Nebraska's up-tempo, no huddle offense.
"If we play fast, then we'll get to where we need to be, and the quarterbacks will have confidence in us," Walters said.
More quick hits from Wednesday's availability after practice:
» Walters remains pleased with Noa, who doesn't have a catch yet this season.
"Sometimes the read doesn't go to him, or Adrian (Martinez) throws somewhere else," Walters said. "But we've got to get him more in the mix, we've got to get balls to him, we've got to get him touches. He's a great route runner."
» Northern Illinois' aggressive defense will create some negative plays, but also present opportunities for big plays on offense, too. Walters said NIU is a good opponent for Nebraska to play right now because the Huskies play hard and commit to their scheme. If NU does the same, it should play well.
"It's kind of feast or famine," Walters said.
» Offensive line coach Greg Austin said Nebraska's between-the-tackles runs are averaging five yards. NU just hasn't called many of them.
» Quarterbacks coach Mario Verduzco said he believes Martinez needs to get involved more quickly in the run game because it gets him more involved in the game."
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The Nebraska cheerleaders, band, and mascot welcome the team back to Memorial Stadium.
A visual overview of the University of Nebraska’s mascots over the years, originally published in 2003 by the Omaha World-Herald to celebrate a new and improved version of Herbie Husker.
Photos and information provided by World-Herald photographers and staff writers, NU Sports Information, and the Robert Ihrig Cornhusker Collection.
From 1900 to the 1940s, various corn images appeared on athletic publications, cheerleader outfits and fan material. By the late '30s and early '40s, the corn images started to take on a human appearance. A character with a head of corn dates back to the Corn Cobs men's spirit group mascot around 1942. This figure appeared throughout the next couple of decades, but apparently had no official name. Unofficial names for the cornhead figure included Corn Cob Man, Johnnie Husker and Old Man Cornhusker.
"Johnnie Husker" mascot on display at Bob's Gridiron Grille in Lincoln, Neb.
This character resembled the first cornhead guy, but this time looked more like a full ear of corn. Mr. Cornhead also sometimes sported a Bob Devaney-influenced cowboy hat. It was not uncommon to see multiple Mr. Cornheads roaming the sidelines during the games.
2011: Cornhead-wearing fans from Canadian, Texas continue tradition as they take in the scene at Memorial Stadium, before a football game against the Ohio State Buckeyes.
In 1962, the Corn Cobs introduced a new figure to replace the cornhead guy. The nine-foot straw-hatted giant was called Husky the Husker. The mascot's tenure, however, was short-lived, due in large part to the arrival of new coach Bob Devaney in 1962.
Coach Devaney is said to have been unimpressed with the Husky Husker character. A new image was needed. By 1963, as a nod to Devaney's previous job with the Wyoming Cowboys, red cowboy hats with the letter 'N' were made available for fans through free hat promotions. Likewise, a new generation of mascots would emerge also wearing cowboy hats.
Created by Bill Goggins, this character first appeared in the November 7, 1964 issue of Nebraska Farmer magazine. Initially called Mr. Big Red, the character later became known as Harry Husker. The character eventually became a sideline mascot in the early '70s, but after 1973, Harry vanished and Herbie Husker appeared.
"Harry Husker" mascot on display at Bob's Gridiron Grille in Lincoln, Neb.
1971: The Kansas Jayhawk and Baby Jay meet Mr. Cornhusker. Though Cornhusker was outnumbered two to one in mascots, Nebraska ran away with the game, 55-0.
2010: A Harry Husker mascot head from the 1950s and '60s continues to watch over fans at Barry's Bar & Grill in Lincoln.
A lady counterpart to Harry Husker appeared on a mug in 1965 that was given to parents by the Athletic Department. A Harry Husker mug was given to the fathers, and a Harriet Husker was given to the mothers.
"Harriet Husker" mascot on display at Bob's Gridiron Grille in Lincoln, Neb.
The most enduring of all Husker mascots first appeared in 1974. New coach Tom Osborne had taken over the year before, and it seemed time for another image change. Sports Information Director Don Bryant commissioned for the creation of a new mascot after seeing a cartoon by artist Dirk West of Lubbock, Texas, depicting a Nebraska farmer in overalls. Shortly thereafter, Herbie Husker was adopted as the official team symbol.
"Herbie Husker" mascot on display at Bob's Gridiron Grille in Lincoln, Neb.
1989: Herbie Husker underwent numerous manifestations over thirty years as mascot.
1996: Herbie Husker Keith Cunnings, a sophomore from Grand Island, gets suited up as Missouri's mascot zips up his tiger suit in the background.
2011: A Herbie Husker yard sign is garnished with a flotation device near the toll bridge connecting Decatur, Nebraska to Iowa - an area that had been heavily flooded earlier that year.
This character first appeared in the fall of 1993. Born of the vision of Associate Athletic Director Barbara Hibner, Lil' Red is known for his many antics. He dances, he stands on his head, and he can even make his head disappear. The mascot is an eight-foot tall figure inflated by a small battery-powered fan, worn by the human operator inside. Originally intended to appeal to children, Lil' Red has won national awards and rave reviews from across the country.
In early 2003, Athletic Director Steve Pederson announced that a new and improved Herbie Husker would be unveiled for the upcoming season. The new look trades in the overalls for jeans as well as leaner and more athletic body.
2009: A sharply-dressed Herbie Husker high-fives a fan as Nebraska took on Louisiana-Lafayette at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Neb.
2016: Herbie Husker takes off his hat during the Big Red Bash at the Devaney Center in Lincoln.
2019: Herbie Husker also makes appearances at Nebraska basketball games. Here, he celebrates during halftime as Nebraska broke its seven-game losing streak with a 62-61 win over Minnesota.