Nebraska Football's quarterback Adrian Martinez Throws Ball Over Wisconsin Defense
Photo Credit: Eric Francis

Adrian Martinez Won’t Be Available Against Iowa, More from Frost as Huskers Prep for Hawkeyes

November 22, 2021

Adrian Martinez won’t play in Nebraska’s final game of the season against Iowa. The senior quarterback suffered a shoulder injury late in the first half against Wisconsin last Saturday, requiring Logan Smothers to come into the game in his place for one series.

Martinez, however, returned in the second half against the Badgers. Frost wasn’t expecting him to—he had some “clicking” in his shoulder after the hit—but Martinez said he wanted to go back in. A few days later, Frost said Martinez needs the shoulder injury to be addressed sooner rather than later.

Martinez hit a pretty significant milestone on Saturday despite the injury. He passed Tommy Armstrong Jr.’s total offense record, which had stood since Armstrong left Nebraska in 2016. Martinez completed 23-of-35 passes for 351 yards against Wisconsin, increasing his career total offense total to 10,792.

With Martinez out, Smothers is projected to get the start against Iowa. Frost said that there’s a scenario where fans may see Heinrich Haarberg too, but Smothers has ultimately earned the right to start.

“He had a great day of practice today, both of them did,” Frost said about Monday’s practice, adding that Smothers has been looking forward to the opportunity to start.

“He’s really sharp,” Frost said. “He’s not that fresh-faced kid that’s going to be surprised . . . He knows our offense and how to operate it. So we’ll get him the ball and let him do it.”

Either way, Frost said he has confidence in both Smothers and Haarberg to step up in Martinez’s absence.

Could Friday be Martinez’s last day as a Husker? Frost didn’t say, noting that he will encourage Martinez to walk for Senior Day. That doesn’t mean the senior won’t choose to return for one more year though.

“I certainly hope it’s not his last one,” Frost said.

More news and notes:

>> Speaking of Senior Day, defensive coordinator Erik Chinander said he doesn’t expect anyone to walk on Friday if there’s a chance they’ll return for another year. There could always be an exception—it sounds like some are still undecided, like tight end Austin Allen—but that was his take on it today.

Frost, on the other hand, said they may actually have a number of players walk for Senior Day that will then choose to return next year (similar to Martinez, who will have a decision to make post-season).

Defensive backs coach Travis Fisher added another layer to Friday’s ceremony by sharing that he will have four seniors walking: Deontai Williams, Marquel Dismuke, Lane McCallum and Cam Taylor-Britt.

Either way, Frost’s biggest point was that he wants to ensure the players receive a proper sendoff with the home crowd no matter the decision they end up making.

>> Could name, image and likeness play a part in some players choosing to return? Maybe, Frost said. He noted that it is “potentially big” in helping some make that decision.

>> Could Nebraska send the missed defensive pass interference at the conclusion of the Wisconsin matchup in to the Big Ten offices? Yes, as it is the “right protocol,” per Frost. However, he added that there isn’t anything the Big Ten office could say or do to change the outcome so he wanted to leave it at that for now.

>> Frost said for Iowa, “getting up isn’t going to be the issue” but “getting ready for a good team is the issue.”

He added that the Hawkeyes play a complete and clean game, which matters because they do not beat themselves. They create opportunities and turnovers.

“You’ve got to beat them,” Frost said.

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