Head coach Mike Riley met with the media Monday to discuss Nebraska’s preparations for Iowa on Black Friday. Kicking things off, Riley immediately shared that both quarterbacks Tommy Armstrong Jr. and Ryker Fyfe are questionable against the Hawkeyes.
The most telling part was when asked who would play if the game were right now, Riley didn’t have an answer.
“I don’t know,” Riley said.
That means Nebraska is already prepping for what could happen if both Armstrong and Fyfe are unavailable come Friday. Riley made it clear he does not wish to burn Patrick O’Brien’s redshirt.
“Twelve games in, that just doesn’t make much sense to me to burn his redshirt,” Riley said.
With that said, Zack Darlington will remain as the No. 3 guy, while the Huskers could look for additional help from players like Lamar Jackson. Regardless, Riley will know more after Monday’s practice.
As for the injuries specifically, it’s something wide receiver Jordan Westerkamp noted has plagued the Huskers this season but that it’s not out of the ordinary.
“It’s tough,” Westerkamp said. “It’s been a tough year for us with injuries but that’s kind of how football is. No matter who is back there, we’ll have a great game plan and we’ll be ready to go.”
If needed, does Westerkamp have the experience to play quarterback?
“I do not,” Westerkamp said. “I’m open to it though.”
On to other news and notes from Monday’s press conference:
>> Kicker Drew Brown left the game against Maryland after suffered a head injury during Nebraska’s opening kickoff. He has been going through the concussion protocol and is expected to practice Monday night.
“He should be able to kick tonight because he won’t have any contact, so he should be able to do that,” Riley said.
>> Another Husker dealing with concussion protocol is wide receiver Stanley Morgan Jr., after leaving Saturday’s game with a head injury of his own. Riley expects him to be ready to play if “all goes well.”
>> As for linebacker Dedrick Young II, Riley is hoping he’ll be able to play against Iowa.
“We are hoping he continues to improve,” Riley said. “He has improved. He feels better but I’m not sure how much he will be able to do tonight. Tonight’s practice will not be a normal day four practice for us. It will be more like a Thursday practice.”
>> Does defensive tackle Kevin Maurice like playing on Black Friday? Not in particular, as it limits how much he can eat on Thanksgiving.
“It’s tough for the fat boys,” Maurice said.
Erin is the Deputy Editor and Digital Marketing Strategist for Hail Varsity. She has covered Nebraska athletics since 2012, which has included stops at Bleacher Report, Cox Media Group’s Land of 10, and even Hail Varsity (previously from 2012-2017). She has also been featured on the Big Ten Network, NET’s Big Red Wrap-Up, and a varsity of radio shows nationwide. When not covering the Huskers, Erin is probably at Chipotle.