After missing the Huskers' last game against Troy, a 24-19 loss, true freshman quarterback Adrian Martinez is back in the starting spot for Nebraska (0-2) in the team's first road game of the season.
Against No. 19 Michigan (2-1), Martinez will make his first road start of his career in The Big House.
On Sept. 8 against Colorado, Martinez was forced to leave the game in the fourth quarter after a questionable hit and tackle around his right knee. Martinez never returned and the Buffaloes won 33-28.
Nebraska sent footage of the hit to both the Big Ten and Pac-12 offices the next day. The Big Ten, asked for comment the same week, has yet to make a public statement.
But Nebraska moved forward with rehab for its quarterback. The Monday following the Colorado loss, head coach Scott Frost said the team received “as good of news as we could’ve gotten" following an MRI scan. Martinez was labeled day-to-day and Frost said he was sore.
Throughout the week leading up to the Troy game, Frost stressed that Martinez was getting better each day but the team wasn't going to rush him back. He went through pregame warmups with the team against the Trojans but backup Andrew Bunch eventually earned the start. Martinez never saw the field.
"Adrian wasn’t ready to go today," Frost said after the game. "He actually looked really good in warmups, but we were just worried about it. Look, he’s going to be here a long time, and our decision will be made based on his long-term health more than anything. [Putting him into the game] wasn’t an option.”
On Thursday, Frost said Martinez looked good, but the decision wouldn't be made based on whether he could throw the ball or not, it would be made based on whether he could protect himself from further injury or not.
"It isn’t just is he ready to go, it’s is he ready to go mentally and physically to the point he can protect himself in the game and make sure he stays healthy?" Frost said.
In three full quarters of work and part of a fourth, Martinez has thrown for 187 yards and run for another 117. He completed 15-of-20 passes for a touchdown and an interception and ran for another two scores.
We'll continue to provide updates throughout the game.
Derek is a newbie on the Hail Varsity staff covering Husker athletics. In college, he was best known as ‘that guy from Twitter.’ He has covered a Sugar Bowl, a tennis national championship and almost everything in between (except an NCAA men’s basketball tournament game… *tears*). In his spare time, he can be found arguing with literally anyone about sports.