Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
Bo Pelini left little doubt Tuesday he expects more from his team than merely a strong finish at the end of the year.
The Cornhuskers went 9-4 last season, earning a share of the Big 12 North Division title in Pelini's first season. They posted an impressive victory over Clemson in the Gator Bowl, finishing the season with a four-game winning streak that is tied with Texas as the longest current streak in the conference.
Despite those accomplishments, Pelini said he wasn't nearly ready to become complacent -- particularly as the Cornhuskers are considered co-favorites in the North Division along with Kansas.
“I’m excited because I didn’t think we had a great season,” Pelini told reporters at his weekly news conference. “I didn’t come here to win nine games, and that’s why I’m excited for this season.”
Senior center Jacob Hickman told the Lincoln Journal-Star that he can tell Pelini is getting excited about the approaching opener Saturday night against Florida Atlantic.
“When Coach Pelini starts getting riled up, you know it’s about game time,” Hickman told the Journal-Star. “It’s a good feeling to have, and a long time coming.”
Pelini still is not ready to release a depth chart for Saturday's game, saying several positions need to be settled in the next several days.
And like most coaches, he says his team can use some more practice before its opener.
"Day by day, we have to keep getting better,’’ Pelini told reporters. "There were still a lot of mistakes yesterday. There were still some new aspects of the game plan that we've introduced that we’ve got to get cleaned up.
"It’s Tuesday at 11:40, or whatever it is, we’re not quite ready to play a football game yet, and that’s to be expected. Otherwise, we just pack it in and show up on Saturday, and I can go golfing this week.’’
Something tells me that Pelini won't be reaching for his clubs anytime soon.