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NCAA FOOTBALL: SEP 21 South Dakota State at Nebraska

Armstrong to Start at QB Saturday

LINCOLN — For just the second time in Nebraska’s last 34 games, dating back to 2010, the Huskers will be without quarterback Taylor Martinez.

“We’ll start Tommy (Armstrong), Ron (Kellogg III) will be ready to go and Taylor (Martinez) will not play,” coach Bo Pelini said Thursday night following Nebraska’s final practice before Saturday’s game against Illinois.

Martinez’s absence will mark the first time in his four-year career that he will sit out back-to-back games for the Huskers. Armstrong, who split snaps equally with the senior Kellogg against South Dakota State, will make the second start of his career.

“(Both quarterbacks) had a good week,” Pelini said. “They are feeling good. I think their confidence just grows. They’ve been getting a lot of reps. No matter who the quarterback is, the key is playing good around them. I think our guys understand that and we’re ready to do that.”

Against the Jackrabbits two weeks ago, the redshirt freshman Armstrong completed 12-of-15 passes for 169 yards and a passing touchdown. Kellogg was even more accurate in the passing game, going 12-of-14 for 160 yards and a touchdown. Armstrong also added 61 yards on nine carries.

Illinois (3-1) and Nebraska (3-1) kickoff this Saturday in Lincoln at 11 a.m. CT. The game will be televised nation-wide on ESPNU.