Pelini not yet interviewed for full-time job

Updated: December 18, 2003, 5:43 PM ET
Associated Press

LINCOLN, Neb. -- Interim Nebraska coach Bo Pelini still doesn't know if he'll be granted an interview for the full-time job.

"There's only one man who knows what's going on," Pelini said Thursday, referring to athletic director Steve Pederson.

Pelini is preparing the Cornhuskers' (No. 21 ESPN/USA Today, No. 20 AP) preparation for the Dec. 29 Alamo Bowl against Michigan State, not knowing if it will be his last game at Nebraska.

Pelini said he won't let his uncertain future distract him from his current task.

"I'm a professional, and this is what I was hired to do," Pelini said. "You have to fight through tough situations and have enough resolve to take care of business. If you can't, you're not going to be successful. Someone's going to pass you by."

Pelini, a nine-year NFL assistant before coming to Nebraska last December as defensive coordinator, said he hasn't called anyone for advice on how to operate as a head coach.

"I know what it takes to run a football team," Pelini said. "You're organized, you do things the right way, you have your philosophies, and you implement them as you see fit."

Pelini said he appreciates the support he's gotten from fans who have called for him to be hired as Frank Solich's successor.

He also has strong backing from the players.

Linebacker Demorrio Williams said Pelini has brought energy to a defensive unit that had languished last season.

"I like him and the whole defensive staff because they carry themselves with a swagger, and I like that," Williams said. "I think one day he will be a great head coach. He's a young guy and he knows the game."

Said linebacker Barrett Ruud: "He'd be a great head coach. He turned around a defense, I know that. He gets everything out of you."

Pelini said he and the players have bonded this season.

"We've been through a lot together," he said.

Pelini, a native of Youngstown, Ohio, is from Big Ten country. He played at Ohio State. His dog is named Buckeye.

But he said it is not a big deal that he is preparing the Huskers to play a Big Ten team in Michigan State.

"I'm a Nebraska Cornhusker right now, period," he said. "I'm not an Ohio State Buckeye. I'm here. I'm in the Big 12. I'm not in the Big Ten. That's all in the past."

Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press