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 Post subject: EAGAN Minn. (AP) — For all the heads Mike Hughes has turne
PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:32 pm 

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in practice with Minnesota since the Vikings picked him in the first round of the draft , they certainly harbored no plan to play him on 79 percent of the snaps on defense in his first real Dalvin Cook Color Rush Jersey NFL game.That’s what happened in his debut, though, thanks to injuries to two fellow cornerbacks. Hughes had an interception return for a touchdown and a team-leading three pass breakups in Minnesota’s 24-16 victory over San Francisco .“You can kind of tell the way he carries himself that he’s not going to freeze up on the big stage,” free safety Harrison Smith said.Production like that provided affirmation of general manager Rick Spielman’s decision to ignore needs on the offensive line when Hughes became available with the 30th overall selection.“We expect him to go out there and do that,” coach Mike Zimmer said. “I mean, that’s why we drafted him. Everybody was complaining about taking that corner. I’m glad we had him.”Mackensie Alexander’s ankle injury kept him out of the season opener, so Hughes took over as the slot cornerback in the nickel package, a position used more often than the weak side linebacker these days and essentially a starting role. Then cornerback Trae Waynes hurt his knee in the second quarter. With Terence Newman now an assistant coach, Hughes was promoted again to the outside opposite Xavier Rhodes.“If a player tells you he doesn’t get butterflies before a game, he’s lying. I think it’s natural,” Hughes said. “After the first play, I was good. I settled in and went through my calls and played within the scheme.”Though all five 49ers kickoffs went for touchbacks, depriving Hughes of any return opportunities, he played the gunner spot on the coverage team and caught a punt to down the ball at the 4-yard line in the first quarter. His time covering kicks was reduced after his defensive responsibility increased, but special teams coordinator Mike Priefer has lauded his ability since he arrived.“There’s a drive in there that you can see. I’ve been around a lot of young people Pat Elflein Jersey , and I think he’s one of the guys that really understands what he needs to do to get better,” Priefer said. “He knows he hasn’t arrived yet, even though he was a first-round draft pick. I love his attitude, I love his effort, and he’s improving every day.”Hughes made some mistakes, of course, on a handful of long gains by the 49ers. He has a lot to learn yet about the game. His attention to detail, however, has stood out to Vikings coaches and players since organized practices began in the spring. So has his athleticism, confidence and instincts. That’s atypical for a rookie.“Honestly, he plays like he’s been in the league before,” Rhodes said, “and I think years down the road he’s going to be one of the best.”Hughes wasn’t the only inexperienced player thrust into unexpected action for the Vikings, who despite their status as Super Bowl contender have the NFC’s youngest squad with an average age of 25.47 years on the opening roster.Backup safety Jayron Kearse replaced Hughes at the nickel back spot. Though he’s been a valuable special teams players over his first two years, Kearse’s only career start as a rookie in 2016 at Chicago was best remembered for a 69-yard run by Bears running back Jordan Howard aided by an awkward overplay by Kearse as he approached in tackling position.“It was something you couldn’t look past,” Kearse said Harrison Smith Jersey Black Friday , “but now I had another opportunity and I just wanted to show I’m not the same player I was.”The Vikings play at Green Bay on Sunday, when the secondary will have to be as sharp as ever if Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers plays on his sprained knee . Hughes and Kearse, at least, will be one game better for it.“Showing that I can get in and cover a slot, showing that I can get in and cover a tight end,” Kearse said, “that was big for me to show the coaches that I can be more than just a special teams player.” LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — If Nebraska needs any extra incentive to pick up its elusive first win Saturday, players who were on the field against Minnesota last year need only remember what happened in that game.The Gophers (3-3, 0-3 Big Ten), who visit Memorial Stadium on Saturday, rushed for 410 yards overall and also scored two touchdowns in the last 8 minutes in a 54-21 win.“They kind of ran it up,” running back Devine Ozigbo said.To be fair, Nebraska (0-6, 0-4) didn’t put up much resistance in that game or, for that matter https://www.minnesotavikingsshop.com/Jaleel-Johnson-Jersey , the next two when Penn State and Iowa each hung 56 on the Huskers.Linebacker Mohamed Barry is among seven members of the 2018 defense who started on that crisp afternoon in Minneapolis when the Gophers gashed the Huskers for 9.1 yards per carry.“Oh, yeah. I’m motivated as heck,” Barry said. “I’m ready for this game and stopping the run, because that was a big factor. No. 24 had a good game against Ohio State. I think he had newcomer of the week for the Big Ten. So shutting him down, shutting that run down will be vital. Something that I will take pride in doing this week.”Barry was referring to redshirt freshman Mohamed Ibrahim, who ran for 157 yards in a 30-14 road loss to the then-No. 3 Buckeyes. He probably will get most of the work again. Shannon Brooks has been medically cleared to return from his knee injury, but his status was uncertain after his arrest on suspicion of misdemeanor domestic assault following a confrontation with a male roommate last weekend. Nebraska is coming off a painful 34-31 overtime loss at Northwestern. The Huskers blew a 10-point lead late in the fourth quarter in their program-record 10th straight loss. A loss Saturday would mark the first time since 1957 they’ve dropped seven in a row in the same season.“You cannot look at this team and look at a record,” Gophers coach P.J. Fleck said. “This team could easily be 5-1, 4-2, easily. They have lost on strange oddities. If I would tell you stories of how they lost watching these games, you’d be like, no way. This team is averaging close to 400, 500 yards of offense a game.”MOOS SEES IMPROVEMENTNebraska athletic director Bill Moos said in an interview he sees the Huskers getting better under first-year coach Scott Frost even though they haven’t won.“It’s not a panic situation,” Moos said. “We have the blueprint, we know what has to be fixed and it isn’t just on the roster or in the playbook. A lot of it has to do with addressing the infrastructure and building blocks needed to be perfected to be a champion. I’m talking about nutrition, strength and conditioning and recruiting Riley Reiff Color Rush Jersey , and it goes on and on and on. I’m very confident that in time this is going to be a fabulous program with great results.”HE’S A LOADMinnesota will start 6-foot-9, 400-pound freshman right tackle Daniel Faalele for the second straight week. Freedom Akinmoladun, at 6-4 and 295 pounds, will be the primary Nebraska defender matched against him. According to Associated Press research, Faalele is the biggest offensive lineman on an FBS depth chart.MINNESOTA MANJD Spielman, who grew up in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, was one of Nebraska’s few bright spots in last year’s game. The son of Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman caught nine passes for 141 yards, and his 291 all-purpose yards were most by an FBS freshman in 2017. Spielman is third in the Big Ten with 89.5 receiving yards per game.PENALTY WATCHNebraska’s 10.2 penalties for 96 yards per game are worst in the Big Ten. Minnesota’s 4.0 penalties for 43.2 yards rank second.IMPROVED RUN DEFENSEMinnesota allowed 315 rushing yards and 8.5 per carry at Maryland on Sept. 22. Since then, the Gophers have limited Iowa to 106 rushing yards and 2.7 per carry and Ohio State to 92 yards and 2.9 per carry.A YOUNG MAN’S GAMEEach team starts a true freshman quarterback. The Gophers’ Zack Annexstad has completed just 50 percent of his passes (44 of 88) with four touchdowns and seven interceptions over the last three games, all losses. Nebraska’s Adrian Martinez has flashed game-breaking abilities as a runner and passer but also has been inconsistent.

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