Friday, December 29th, 2006


IRVING, TEXAS – Through intermittent light rain at Texas Stadium, the No. 22 Nebraska Cornhuskers completed their third practice in Dallas preparing for the 71st AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic.  

The team worked out in shorts and shoulder pads for just over 90 minutes in what Nebraska head coach Bill Callahan called more a “situation-orientated” practice.

“We cut back quite a bit,” said Callahan. “We had heavy practices our first two days down here. Today, of course, was more situational – short-yard, goal line and red zone – so we just really focused on those facets of play. We’re trying to get our guys freshened up and ready to go.”

Nebraska is looking to break the Big 12 Conference’s three-game losing streak to SEC opponents in the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic. The two conferences have met in the Cotton Bowl every year since 1998 with each conference boasting four wins apiece.

The Huskers are poised to be the right Big 12 team to break the streak, owning a 12-3 record vs. SEC teams in bowl games. A 27-23 loss to Ole Miss in the 2002 Independence Bowl ended Nebraska’s 11-game winning streak over SEC foes in bowl games. The Huskers are also 3-0 all-time vs. Auburn. The last meeting was a 41-7 regular-season win at Auburn on October 2, 1982.

“I can’t speak for the past but this is a challenge for our football team,” Callahan said. “I know the SEC is a tremendous conference from an athletic standpoint. Great speed and athleticism, that really is the marquee footnote when you talk about the SEC. It’s no different when you discuss Auburn. You don’t see any drop off or fall off in terms of speed at any position. You see a real quick, explosive and athletic football team that we are challenged against.”

Following practice, the Huskers traveled to Coppell High School for a weight training session and then will enjoy the evening at the Lawry’s Beef Bowl.

Tomorrow the Huskers will hold its final practice at Texas Stadium from 2:30 to 4 p.m. PRACTICE IS CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC AND IS ONLY OPEN TO THE MEDIA ONLY DURING THE STRETCHING SESSION. The coaches and players will not be available for interviews after practice.

Nebraska takes on the No. 10 Auburn Tigers (10-2 overall, 6-2 in the Southeastern Conference) in the 71st AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic on New Year’s Day with FOX Sports televising the game nationally and Westwood One handling the national radio broadcast.