JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Because of the rain, Nebraska officials made the decision Saturday night to move the team’s final two Gator Bowl practices to an artificial turf field at Julington Creek Plantation Park off Racetrack Road.
The Cornhuskers had been practicing on a field next to Hodges Stadium on the University of Florida campus. But a persistent rain on Saturday had left the field soft with some noticeable divots.
“It was the right thing to do,” Nebraska coach Bo Pelini said Sunday after the team finished its workout in partially sunny skies and no rain. “With the rain, the (UNF) field got torn up over there. It was as much as anything else, a safety issue, to make sure that people weren’t stepping in holes and divots. The field kind of looked like I do after I play golf — which is some bad divots.”
Pelini liked the setup at the St. Johns County facility, located adjacent to Fruit Cove Middle School.
“This was perfect. I thought our work was good, our tempo was good, our enthusiasm was good. I liked our day. The footing was getting tough (at UNF). It was just hard to get any type of rhythm going when you have that type of rain and you have guys sloshing around. It was a much sharper day today.”
Nebraska moved its practice from late morning to early afternoon. The Cornhuskers will practice at the same facility again on Monday, with the forecast for cool but clear skies.