The Nebraska players spent Christmas morning on the practice field, conducting a pad-less, no-helmet walk-through for about an hour.

Santa was a no-show. A Christmas sweater did make an appearance, though.

The Huskers have one more practice planned for Friday before they take the field against USC in Saturday's Holiday Bowl. Interim coach Barney Cotton's been pleased with the preparation so far.

A few notes are below...

>> Still no official ruling on David Santos and Trevor Roach, two injured linebackers who're questionable for Saturday.

>> USC's offensive line is young — three freshmen, a sophomore and a junior are the first-teamers on the depth chart. A few were once Nebraska recruiting targets, so the coaches are somewhat familiar with the group, Cotton said. His bottom-line scouting report: They're physical.

>> The Trojans operate mostly out of a 3-4 look defensively, a formation that can often make it easier to disguise pass rush schemes. NU's spent eight practices working on handling that USC system, though. Said Cotton: "You've always got to be ready for something new, but we've got 12 games under our belt. We've seen about every defense you can probably play against." He hopes the offense is to the point where it can make adjustments between plays — and not necessarily between possessions. We'll see.

>> Cotton said he hasn't talked much about the future with tight end Sam Cotton, the youngest of his three sons. Sam's a sophomore. Barney's headed to UNLV after this week. All indications are that Sam is staying with NU. "He's grown up to be a strong young man and I'm sure that he can handle the transition," Barney said.

>> The Huskers will be spending the afternoon at SeaWorld. There's a team dinner Thursday night.

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