Tom Dienhart, BTN.com Senior Writer, September 16, 2014
It?s a big week for Nebraska. Miami (Fla.) is coming to town for a game that could go a long way toward defining the Cornhuskers? season.
So far, so good for Nebraska, which is off to a 3-0 start. The defense continues to improve, allowing only 16.7 points. But it?s a fast-paced offense that is fueling most of the enthusiasm and excitement in Lincoln. Nebraska ranks 11th in the nation in scoring, averaging 47 points.
Wideout Jordan Westerkamp is a key part of that attack. He arguably has the best set of hands in the league, already making highlight reel grabs in the first two weeks of the season. His behind-the-back snag in the opener was sensational and already may be the catch of the year.
The 6-1, 195-pound sophomore from Lombard, Ill., leads the team with 13 catches for 271 yards and three touchdowns. Westerkamp has become a reliable target and a go-to wideout for sophomore quarterback Tommy Armstrong.
Get our latest Jordan Westerkamp coverage:
[display-posts tag="jordan-westerkamp" posts_per_page="5"]
I caught up with Westerkamp to get his thoughts on the season and the game with the 2-1 Hurricanes.
Q: How big is this Miami (Fla.) game coming up?
A: It?s huge. A big game for us. We all are looking forward to it and are excited. We can?t wait until Saturday. It?s a nice opportunity for us.
Q: How many times have you been asked about that behind-the-back catch?
A: A couple here and there. (Laughing) People tend to bring that up. They?ll shout out to me, ?Hey, behind the back!? Or something like that. It was a crazy play and something I?ll never forget. It?s in the past and I?m trying to look forward and remain humble.
Q: Can you practice that?
A: No, I don?t think so. My position coach Rich Fisher joked that I made that catch because of all the drills we do. It was a crazy play and I was fortunate it happened.
Q: Then you had a great grab the next week vs. McNeese State. Talk about that.
A: Another crazy play. Tommy was scrambling and threw the ball across the field about 40 yards. I got turned around a little bit and was able to locate the ball and dive backwards to make the grab. Unfortunately, there was a penalty on the play. But it didn?t stop us. A crazy play.
Q: What is your best asset?
A: I hate talking about myself. But, I would say an ability to stay consistent and to be able to prepare well. Those would be my best assets. And to be able to catch the ball as well as I do. It?s uncomfortable saying that. With Tommy back there, there is no doubt in my mind we?ll be able to make plays the rest of the season.
Q: Have you been pleased with the way the season is unfolding?
A: It is a great start. We opened up well again FAU. We were a bit slower vs. McNeese State. And that was kind of a wake-up call. We took some positives from that and used it the following game vs. Fresno State. We came out and played well. We just need to keep it rolling.
Q: Is the offense any different this year compared to last season?
A: I think our tempo is better than last year?s. We keep it really fast the entire game. It really helps out with Ameer (Abdullah) running the ball and Tommy (Armstrong) throwing and running. It has been great for us so far. We just need to keep it up and stay focused.
Q: How is Tommy Armstrong different this year than in 2013?
A: Last year, he was getting his feet wet. Having a year under his belt and getting that experience, he?s a whole different player now. He?s so much more confident. He has developed so much. He also has been a great leader thus far for us. He?s very improved.
Q: Any guys on your defense stand out?
A: Randy (Gregory) is a crazy-good player. Byerson Cockrell is good, too. He plays nickel for us. I went against him in fall camp and he made me better. He has been a great player for us.
|About Tom Dienhart||BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart is a veteran sports journalist who covers Big Ten football and men's basketball for BTN.com and BTN TV. Find him on Twitter and Facebook, read all of his work at btn.com/tomdienhart, and subscribe to his posts via RSS. Also, send questions to his weekly mailbag using the form below and read all of his previous answers in his reader mailbag section.|
And if you want to leave a comment on this post, use the box below. All comments need to be approved by a moderator.