1. Spruced-up digs: Memorial Stadium was already one of college football's top venues; with the East Stadium expansion, it looks more imposing than ever. Though Husker fans got a glimpse of the project in its construction phase last year, the project has a polish now that gives fans a scope of how the stadium's changed.
2. First line of defense: It's a natural tendency in the offseason to focus on a team's biggest weakness, and with NU, that has to be a defensive line pummeled by injuries and inefficiency at the end of 2012. Outside of defensive end Jason Ankrah, there are no spots locked down on the Huskers' four-man front. Freshmen Avery Moss, Greg McMullen and Vincent Valentine will get long looks, as will sophomores Aaron Curry and Kevin Williams. And then there's senior Alliance walk-on Brodrick Nickens trying to pull a Justin Jackson, switching sides of the ball in his final year in a bid to start.
3. Tommy Time: Taylor Martinez might want to play 50 snaps. He shouldn't; he's a known quantity in the program. Redshirt freshman Tommy Armstrong will have his most significant opportunity to date to show how he's progressed in grasping and directing offensive coordinator Tim Beck's no-huddle offense. Beck's attack requires a smooth-but-speedy operator who can get in and out of plays without chewing up the entire play clock. Beck also wants a QB who can make the quick, rhythm throws within 15 yards of the line of scrimmage. Does Armstrong hit receivers in stride? Does he make concrete decisions in the zone read? Does he drive that skinny post throw into a tight space?
4. Doing work: Nebraska's offensive line — both the first and second units — is seasoned, experienced and physical. Players are operating with salt and nastiness. At least on running plays, they should win against NU's defensive front seven more often than not. If coach Bo Pelini is entirely thrilled by his defensive line play by game's end, offensive line coach John Garrison probably won't be happy with his charges. Nor should he be. It's time for NU's line to turn the corner from good to Pipeline.
5. Huskers still have leg up?: For the last six years, two in-state walk-ons — Alex Henery and Brett Maher — made Nebraska's life pretty good when it came to field goals, kickoffs and punts. Now Florida import Mauro Bondi is trying to fill their shoes. Coaches say he's had a good camp. The spring game is a different kind of test because of the crowd and stage. In previous years, the Husker offense was in “scoring range” the minute it hit the opponent's 40-yard line. Bondi has the same kind of strong leg. Will it be as accurate?
6. Secondary unsettled: Lots of good playing time battles remain among Nebraska's corners and safeties. Right now, juniors Corey Cooper and Harvey Jackson remain the top safeties, holding off Charles Jackson and D.J. Singleton. Cooper, an athlete who searched for the right position since he arrived in 2010, may have found it. At corner, Ciante Evans has a spot on the field, but every other position is up for grabs. Stanley Jean-Baptiste, Jonathan Rose, Josh Mitchell, Mo Seisay and Daniel Davie have had their moments in spring practice. Who stands out Saturday? Mitchell and Davie have been making a move.