If you woke up this Halloween morning hoping for one treat above any other––an update on Nebraska quarterback Adrian Martinez––trick's on you.
When asked how the sophomore signal caller looked this week Scott Frost offered the following assessment.
"Adrian looks like he has dark hair and weighs about 225 pounds. That's how he looks."
Guess that makes Martinez's status for Saturday a "game-time decision." At least publicly. Martinez, who met with reporters this week, has missed the Huskers' past two games, losses to Minnesota and Indiana, after suffering a leg injury late in the win over Northwestern.
Backup quarterback Noah Vedral took the bulk of the snaps against the Gophers before getting dinged up himself and giving way to Andrew Bunch. Vedral got the start again against the Hoosiers, but left that game with a minor injury at which point Luke McCaffrey piloted the offense for much of the remaining three quarters. Until he got nicked up. Then Vedral returned.
McCaffrey did not practice on Thursday.
QB questions aside, Nebraska's offense had one of its best games of the season in terms of production against Indiana. This week that offense will face a Purdue defense that ranks 13th in the Big Ten against the run and 11th against the pass on a per-play basis. The Boilermakers have struggled on the other side of the ball too, ranking 14th in rush yards per play and ninth in passing yards per play.
But Nebraska is still going to have to do some things better than it has so far this season.
"Bottom line, we just need to show up on Saturday and play and execute," Frost said. "We've gotta be better on third down on defense and we gotta not make mistakes on offense.
"Aside form that there were a lot of things that were a lot better on Saturday, but you can't overcome those things."
A few other notes from Thursday's practice:
>>File this under the category "sometimes the answer is in what's not said"? Maybe?
When asked about his confidence in the offensive line's ability to open holes for the rushing attack, Frost said this: "We've got a lot of guys doing the best they can and continuing to improve."
In addition to ranking near the bottom of the conference in terms of yards, Purdue's rush defense ranks 121st nationally in efficiency and explosive plays allowed.
>>Junior safety Marquel Dismuke missed a scheduled court date on Wednesday for an offseason charge of driving with a suspended license. Frost said he just found out about it as he was leaving the practice field on Thursday and had yet to determine how it would affect Dismuke's availability for Saturday's game. He has started all eight games for Nebraska and ranks second on the team in tackles with 51.
While the Boilermakers have struggled on offense overall, passing is what it does best entering November. That's something to consider if the Huskers do end up being down a starter in the secondary.
"Purdue does a great job with their schemes," Frost said. "They're going to give some stuff we haven't seen and try to give us some tricks and gadgets that our guys can't fall for. Experience is going to matter, attention to detail, and whoever is out there has to do a good job."
Brandon is the Managing Editor for Hail Varsity and has covered Nebraska athletics for the magazine and web since 2012, Hail Varsity’s first season on the scene. His sports writing has also been featured by Fox Sports, The Guardian and CBS Sports.