Nebraska’s quarterback Andrew Bunch has a quiet confidence about himself. It's prevalent in how he acts both on and off the field, and it was put to the test against Colorado last Saturday.
Starting quarterback Adrian Martinez suffered a knee injury during Saturday’s 33-28 loss to the Buffs. His status remains unclear for Nebraska's matchup with Troy. If Martinez can’t go on Saturday, confidence is high that Bunch can execute the game plan to help the team win.
That confidence was relayed by offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach Troy Walters after Wednesday's practice.
“The way we practice, he’s gotten a lot of reps," Walters said. "This fall, he was working with the ones at times so he knows what to do, he knows this offense, he knows what’s expected of him, he’s a sharp guy. He can beat you with his legs and he’s got a good enough arm as well. We’re excited.
"He’s one of those guys who’s going to prepare his butt off and if his number is called, he’ll be ready to go.”
If Bunch was overwhelmed against Colorado, he didn't show it. In fact, he said he had fun with the opportunity despite it not being the best moment to get his first bit of playing time.
Bunch also feels comfortable in the offense and doesn’t believe he has any problem with the tempo. He thinks that the tempo is the most fun part of the offense.
Plus, Bunch will take any opportunity he's given. He arrived at Nebraska as a walk-on and has fought for playing time in a crowding quarterback room. It's not a convention journey when he looks back at how it's all gone.
“I probably couldn’t have mapped it out the way that it ended up going," Bunch said. "You know I always just planned on coming in and giving my best effort and trusting that good things would happen”
Quarterbacks coach Mario Verduzco said Bunch has had a great week of practice so far. Verduzco was impressed with the sophomore's demeanor in Saturday’s game and thought he had some ice running through his veins.
Running back coach Ryan Held was also impressed by his performance.
“Andrew does a really good job," Held said. He’s got a strong arm. The thing is that, Andrew is fast. He really run. Adrian Martinez is fast but so is Andrew Bunch. The guys really like him. He’s a good team guy. You saw when he went in there, he did some really good things. He’s got the majority of the reps this week obviously ad whatever decision we make for Saturday, we’ll go with it. He’s had a good week.
"We have the utmost confidence that if he’s the guy, that he can go out there and play. It’s the next man up mentality. If I’m out there at quarterback, we better find a way to go out and win.”
If Bunch gets the nod on Saturday, don’t be surprised if he plays well. He won’t be.
“I’ve always known I could compete. I’m a competitor," Bunch said. "That’s why I decided to try to play at the highest level I could. Early on, I knew I could compete.
"I knew it would just take some work.”
Greg is the Recruiting Analyst for Hail Varsity and has covered Husker athletics since 2013. He has always had a passion for sports while growing up in the Chicago area. As he got older and had to hang up his cleats and sneakers, he realized his passion for sports went beyond just watching and attending games. He has covered many events from the Rose Bowl to championship boxing matches. If he’s not talking sports, he’s hovering over his grill. He is married to an amazing woman, Kim, and they have a dog that barks when Greg yells at the TV during games.