Head coach Mike Riley once again broke the weekly tradition of waiting until Thursday to speak with the media to address quarterback Tommy Armstrong Jr.’s status a day early. While Armstrong dressed out for practice, he remains questionable for Saturday’s matchup with Maryland.
“He dressed out a little bit,” Riley said. “He didn’t put pads on. He did some light throwing and it is still probably too ambitious to say that he’s going to play but we’re still hopeful. We’re going to take a look at it the next couple days. You know how the drill went last week. He was able to do some things on Thursday but we’ll see if he can do that tomorrow.”
As for Nebraska’s game plan in Armstrong’s absence, it’s also remains similar to last week. Offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf said Ryker Fyfe is getting snaps in Armstrong’s place, with Zack Darlington backing him up.
“It is a little bit like last week where we have to plan with Ryker playing,” Langsdorf said. “The nice thing is that Ryker has had a lot of good work from last week and this week, so it is comforting that way. We will have to play it by ear.”
Armstrong’s status will likely not be clear until Saturday.
On to other news and notes from Wednesday’s practice:
>> Riley didn’t just update Armstrong’s injury after practice. He also commented on center Dylan Utter’s status for Saturday.
“Dylan has had the bad ankle,” Riley said. “I anticipate he will play. He will practice tomorrow and is feeling a lot better.”
Michael Decker and Cole Conrad have been taking first-team reps in Utter’s place while he’s sat out of practice.
>> Langsdorf spoke a bit about the Huskers’ ability to rally late in games. He said he’s also been impressed with the team’s ability to put together strong drives when needed toward the end.
“I just think that we have been a good fourth quarter team,” Langsdorf said. “It has really been a deal where we have been able to finish strong with some solid runs. We have handled those tight games in those fourth quarters where we have needed a drive or two and put one together.”
>> For wide receivers coach Keith Williams, Brandon Reilly, Jordan Westerkamp and Alonzo Moore have all been great to work with and coach.
“They’ve been great,” Williams said. “We talked about that not too long ago … at the beginning of this week. They’ve been excellent. Couldn’t ask more of those guys on and off the field. They’ve been excellent examples.”
>> While Armstrong is currently thinking ahead one day at a time, he did admit it’s surreal that his time at Nebraska is coming to an end.
“Looking back four years ago – four and a half years ago – the seniors told us to enjoy it because it was going to fly by quick, just like school,” Armstrong said. “I graduate in December and this is my last home game so I’m looking forward to it. I said, you just have to soak it all in and come out here and enjoy the moment.”
>> Westerkamp said he expects a lot of his family to be in Lincoln on Saturday. He’s had to ask around for additional tickets to accommodate everyone in town. As he spoke about Saturday, he also reflected on the support his family has shown not only him but also his teammates during his time at Nebraska.
“It’s awesome,” Westerkamp said. “They’re my world. They’re my support system. They’ve been there with me through everything, my entire career, through it all. There’s been hard times, there’s been good times, there’s been great times. I’m just blessed that I have the family that I do that’s able to support me and just love me and love my team like they do.”