Less than a week until Nebraska kicks off its 2022 season in Dublin, Ireland, and the Huskers haven’t named their starting quarterback or running back. At least not publicly.
Offensive coordinator Mark Whipple was immediately asked following Thursday morning’s practice who the starting quarterback will be for the season opener. Whipple simply smiled and said it was the head coach’s decision. While reports have suggested it could be Texas transfer Casey Thompson—and coach Scott Frost has previously said its Thompson’s job to lose—it’s been unit’s progression as a whole for not naming a starter just days before the Huskers catch a plane over the Atlantic.
“They have all gotten better from top to bottom,” Whipple said. “We have a really good room. They are fun to be around. I feel good about all of the top three guys.”
Self-described “wideback” Rahmir Johnson said he’s excited about the quarterback group. “They’re playing great,” he told media after practice. “Coach Whipple has done a good job with them.”
Johnson is one of the players in the running back mix, Whipple said. The Huskers’ new offensive coordinator said there is no clear No. 1 option at running back now with five guys capable of stepping in, including Johnson.
The sophomore from New Jersey called this group of backs the most competitive “skill-to-skill” he’s seen during his time in Lincoln. Running backs coach Bryan Applewhite agreed the running backs race was too close to call.
“I told them it comes down to who’s having the best week of practice, who has that look in their eye, who is the one that is ready to go out there and when we kick that ball off in Ireland is ready to go win for Nebraska,” Applewhite described the situation.
From here, Applewhite said he’ll meet with Whipple and head coach Scott Frost, offer his thoughts, and a decision will be made as to who starts in Ireland.
Whipple said that, while adding new plays, the offense has ran redzone drills heavily recently.
>> Offensive lineman Turner Corcoran told media he was healthy and back in the mix. Whipple said he was happy with the offensive line depth and feels good where that unit is at now.
>> Following up on comments he made last week, Whipple said the offense was “better on paper” than he thought then. The offense has since progressed and taken care of the ball better, he said.
>> Whoever the QB may be, Whipple said they would be involved in the run game.
>> Don’t expect drastic shifts in Nebraska’s style on the ground. Offensive line coach Donovan Raiola said the team hasn’t changed much in the running game from 2021.”I think it’ll be a lot of similarities,” he said. “I think the stuff that you’ve seen from last year is gonna show up, a lot of those things.” Whipple mentioned on Tuesday that the QB, whoever that may be, would be involved in the run game.
>> Defensive back Noa Pola-Gates was named to the Polynesian College Football Player of the Year Award Watch List on Tuesday morning. He spoke about that after practice.