staff, staff, September 1, 2014

Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports
Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

(AP) Nebraska defensive end Randy Gregory is doubtful for this week's game against McNeese State because of a knee injury, putting junior Jack Gangwish in line for his first start.

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Gregory, who led the Big Ten in sacks last season, left the Florida Atlantic game after the Cornhuskers' first defensive series Saturday. Coach Bo Pelini said Monday that Gregory had a basketball injury from several years ago "flare up," and it caused a clicking sensation in his knee.

Gregory underwent a procedure Sunday to remove scar tissue.

"It was a non-contact injury," Pelini said. "The doctors could tell from looking at the MRI that it was very old."

Pelini said Gregory probably could play against McNeese State, if needed. It's more likely he'll return for the Sept. 13 game at Fresno State.

"We're not looking to rush him back right now," Pelini said. "Make sure he's 100 percent, feels good, and when that time frame is, we'll see."

Gangwish had never played in a game until he took over for Gregory on Saturday. He was credited with one tackle and one quarterback hurry.

"Jack did some good things," Pelini said. "He did some things that he would want back and that we would want back. But he played hard. I think Jack is going to help us. He's getting better."

Gangwish said starting this week would be a dream come true for a kid who grew up in Wood River, Nebraska. He walked on in 2011 and found out last week that he would be put on scholarship this fall.

"Coming in, I was hoping to be a guy that could contribute on special teams and maybe back up a position, but I really didn't ever even think that I'd have an opportunity to start a game," Gangwish said. "So if I get the start on Saturday, for me that's pretty incredible. That's something that I didn't expect."