Nebraska center Cam Jurgens might just be the most important player on the offense. He missed the second game of the season—a 21-13 loss to Northwestern—with an undisclosed foot injury. Matt Farniok did his best to fill in.
Jurgens returned for Nebraska’s 30-23 win over Penn State. He worked hard all week to prepare his body to go out and give it a go last Saturday. After the game though? He was feeling the effects.
“Pretty sore but I mean just going through the week is just seeing how much I can actually do and how effective I can be and made that decision to be able to go,” Jurgens said on Monday. “I mean, it’s just being a football player. You got to go through things and that’s what happened so just kind of work through things and do what you can.”
Jurgens expects this injury to get better as the year goes on. He plans to keep working in the training room as much as possible. He credits the trainers for doing a great job getting the players back out there.
Jurgens understands that football is a tough sport though. You’re going to have injuries. While he deals with the pain, the issues of errant snaps showed back up on Saturday.
“I think anytime there’s a bad snap it’s a terrible snapping day,” Jurgens said. “That’s something I should have down pat and I need to keep working on that. I think in the game I need to be a little more focused. Sometimes I’m not thinking about it getting a little hyped up and then sometimes they’re coming a little high and hot and that’s something that needs to be perfect every time.
“I mean you expect a field goal kicker to make every extra point. A center should make every snap perfect, so I’m going to keep working on that so Luke gets every snap right at his chest. ”
That last part is important. Timing and precision are two things the Nebraska offense is built on. Starting a play off without a perfect snap hurts the Huskers’ ability to run the offense the way it is designed. It especially hurts when it’s happening for a quarterback making his first start as a redshirt freshman.
There is no question that Nebraska is a better offensive line with Jurgens at center. He has a unique combination of speed and power from the position that we get glimpses of from time to time. The offense can be expanded by Coach Scott Frost with Jurgens manning the middle.
Nebraska’s offense has struggled to find its footing consistently so far this season. That is not all at the feet of Jurgens. He can control his part of those struggles though by locking back in on the snap issues. Doing so will only continue to benefit Nebraska’s offensive attack going forward.