There’s an interesting decision to make at kicker for the Huskers this week.
Scott Frost talked about a bevy of different topics when he met with the media Thursday for the final availability before Saturday’s growing feud with Colorado, but the most interesting thing he said was perhaps about the kicker spot.
Sophomore Barret Pickering did not practice once again as he’s dealing with an undisclosed injury that kept him out of the team’s opener against South Alabama. Pickering was steady last season, connecting on 14-of-18 as a true freshman and nailing every one of his 11 kicks in the final eight games, but the spot was shaky in Week 1 of 2019 with Pickering unable to go and Dylan Jorgensen serving as the replacement.
His only field goal went wide right from 31 yards out and only one of his six kickoffs made it deep enough for a touchback.
“We’ll see,” Frost said when asked if Jorgensen would be the guy if Pickering couldn’t go.
So who does that leave?
“Isaac Armstrong can kick and does a good job,” he said of the team’s starting punter. “Lane McCallum, he’s a walk-on DB for us, transferred in from Air Force and kicked at Air Force. Both those guys got some reps today.”
So call it an emergency situation for the Huskers at kicker. Last year’s game against Colorado was decided by five points and the line for this one is hovering around four points. If it’s close, Nebraska’s kicker will be under a microscope.
Other News and Notes
>> Frost says the Huskers will take 80 or 81 guys on the road with the team this weekend. Being a non-conference road game, there isn’t a restriction on the number of plays a team can bring, unlike in conference play when the Big Ten limits the roster to only 75. “We’re not under restriction but we also don’t want to take the whole roster,” Frost said. Just enough to ensure depth at a few spots.
>> Frost is all in with Cameron Jurgens as the team’s center. The redshirt freshman had a rocky debut (that’s premium) and only played one half (which ended up being three-quarters of the team’s offensive snaps anyway), but Frost kept him atop the depth chart this week.
“Cam actually played well, I thought he blocked pretty well,” Frost said. “[Snapping] has been a lot better this week, we’ve still got to see it in a game, but I’ve got a ton of faith in Cam Jurgens. He’s not only a great athlete, he’s got a little nasty in him. He’s a Nebraska kid that’s as tough as most of the guys on the team and he plays that way. I’m excited about him going forward.”
>> A lot of the talk this week has been around quarterback Adrian Martinez’s uncharacteristic performance in Week 1, but Frost reiterated again Thursday what he said on Monday: just translate the play from the Hawks practice field to the real one.
“Adrian’s been good,” he said. “He’s been practicing hard. Again, he just needs to play like he’s been practicing all week and I think we’ll see the same Adrian we all expect.”
>> The defense has talked about a “Vengeance Tour” of sorts this season. Frost does not appear to be on board with that.
“I’ve never heard “Revenge Tour,” so that’s not something we use,” he said when asked about it. “That’s not our way of thinking. Our way of thinking is play the best we can in practice today and in the game Saturday. Plus that’s already been used by somebody in our league and I’m not going to jump on board with anything that comes from up north.
“It’s not about that for us. It’s not about what happened last year. It’s not about a lot of the things fans are making it into. It’s about us going out, being focused and playing well and seeing if we can come out with a win.”
Blur Parties is Husker fans’ home away from home this weekend in Colorado. Events kick off Friday night with a sneak peek at the forthcoming Nebraska football documentary “Day By Day.” Saturday’s pregame tailgate and watch party in the heart of Boulder includes multiple TVs, a live DJ, on-site radio broadcasts, tailgating games, food, drink and more.
For more information or to purchase tickets visit blurparties.com.
Derek is a newbie on the Hail Varsity staff covering Husker athletics. In college, he was best known as ‘that guy from Twitter.’ He has covered a Sugar Bowl, a tennis national championship and almost everything in between (except an NCAA men’s basketball tournament game… *tears*). In his spare time, he can be found arguing with literally anyone about sports.