Consistency. That's the key for Adrian Martinez here in 2019.
So said Scott Frost following the Huskers' practice on Wednesday in the middle of Nebraska's second bye week. After the loss to Purdue the Huskers' head coach said he'd need to review the film before assessing Martinez's play in his first game back since early October.
So what were the results of that review?
"We missed some thing on offense that we shouldn't have missed," Frost said. "Some of that was on the quarterback position, some of it wasn't. I think we did well enough there at times. There were times we were struggling a little bit and quarterback was part of that. And then we put a couple drives together and [Martinez] made some fantastic plays, too.
"It just needs to be a little more consistent."
Martinez was 22-for-39 passing against Purdue, his lowest completion percentage of the season minus Ohio State, with one interception. He scored twice on the ground, both in the fourth quarter, while rushing for 63 yards on 11 carries. But some of the missed opportunities in the game had people questioning if Nebraska should look to backup quarterback Noah Vedral.
"I don't want to talk about depth chart or anything like that," Frost said. "Adrian did some really good things. He needs to play better. We missed some wide open guys on Saturday and that can't happen. I don't know how much that has to do with his health, but the other [quarterbacks] are playing really well. I feel good about the depth there."
Martinez, sporting a new haircut, practiced on Wednesday. The sophomore quarterback took a helmet to the arm against Purdue, but was healthy enough to finish the game.
Running back Wan'Dale Robinson and defensive tackle Darrion Daniels were in street clothes and did not participate in practice. The Huskers will have two more practices this week.
On to some other notes from Wednesday's availability.
>>With Nebraska eliminated from division title contention, there are plenty of "big-picture" questions surrounding the program but Frost said he's holding off on addressing any of those until after the season.
"As coaches you always have to continue to adjust schematically [and] everything else. We'll take a hard look at anything that's causing issues or lack of progress in the offseason," he said. "We'll look at everything. Right now our focus is on being out on the practice field and getting better today."
>>One of Nebraska's primary struggles this season has been playing a complete game. The Huskers may have had their best special teams game of the season against Purdue, but the offense and defense continued to alternate between good play and bad at precisely the wrong times.
"That's kind of been the story all season," Frost said. "We can't seem to as a team play great all at the same time. Defense played well and special teams played well and put offense in position to have 20 or 30 points at halftime and offense didn't do it.
"Then the offense rallies and gets us two leads in the fourth quarter and the defense gave up four drives at the end of the first half and second half. We've got to put it all together. When this thing turns, it's really going to turn. We've got to play a more complete game as a team."
>>Frost said the Huskers' recent struggles aren't a hindrance when it comes to recruiting.
"People see where this is going and we're not going to lose sight of that," Frost said. "This group has done an unbelievable job getting the program turned. It's certainly not happening as fast as I want it to, but we're going to get it done. We knew this thing wasn't in great shape when we took over. We knew there were a lot of things to fix. We're in the process of doing that.
"The exciting thing is we've got a lot of really good young players on this team. I think there's tremendous opportunity for recruits to come in and try to make an impact early. That vision and opportunity is going to help us on the recruiting trail a lot."