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Adrian Martinez runs with the ball at practice
Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

Nebraska Expects Both Quarterbacks to Play Against Purdue

December 01, 2020

Offensive coordinator Matt Lubick could tell you if Nebraska’s plan at quarterback against Purdue will be similar to the plan against Iowa, but . . .

“I could say but I don’t want to say, to be honest with you,” Lubick said on Tuesday. “I would expect both to play.”

Junior Adrian Martinez started against the Hawkeyes, just three weeks after being benched at Northwestern. Redshirt freshman Luke McCaffrey then started for Nebraska against Penn State and Illinois. The decision to start Martinez followed a week of practice where Coach Scott Frost said the evaluation was “dead even” between the two. Both Martinez and McCaffrey completed 81% of their passes and committed two turnovers each.

By game time Martinez was the guy, but Nebraska knew McCaffrey would see the field. In the end, Martinez completed 18 of 20 passes for a season-high 174 yards. McCaffrey added five carries for 42 yards.

If Nebraska expects to see both again this week, do the coaches know how it’ll work? Do they determine before the game even begins how they will split snaps between the two?

“It’s a combination of both,” Lubick said. “A lot of it’s going to be the flow of the game. We expect both guys to play and they both responded well.”

Expect to see them both again on Saturday. As for how it will work? Stay tuned.


More news and notes:

>> Linebacker Collin Miller suffered a spinal concussion against Illinois, requiring a trip to the hospital. Despite that, he was back in early morning meetings by Monday, had a practice script in hand for practice and has been in every special teams and position meeting since.

“He’s an awesome kid,” defensive coordinator Erik Chinander said.

Nick Henrich echoed that, saying he already thought the world of Miller but respects him even more now.

“Collin’s been the heart and soul of our defense, like I’m sure you’ve heard before,” Henrich said.

>> Speaking of another injury, tight end Austin Allen is “good to go” after a scary hit late against Iowa. Lubick said he practiced on Tuesday with no issues.

Lubick also added that Allen is showing up on game day because that’s how he’s practicing.

>> Chinander was pleased with the defense’s response after the Illinois loss.

“I don’t even know if I’d call that a setback,” Chinander said. “That was just a really poor performance by us. The guys knew it. We had to practice better, we had to prepare better. For them to come back and work the way they did, it’s not a moral victory but it shows the program is moving in the right direction. It’s a very positive thing.”

>> Any comment from Lubick on the departure of wide receiver Marcus Fleming?

“To be honest, it really doesn’t affect our room,” Lubick said. “We’re going to coach the guys that are here and push them to be the best they can be.”

>> Chinander had high praise for defensive lineman Damion Daniels after his performance against Iowa, which included five tackles and on tackles for loss.

“He’s played some really good football this year,” Chinander said. “He’s getting to where he can play more plays in a row.”

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