Nebraska Cornhuskers quarterback Logan Smothers runs with the ball
Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

Smothers’ Debut, Mauga-Clements’ Comfort Level and Other Notes Ahead of Buffalo

September 06, 2021

Logan Smothers was in Lincoln on his official visit for the Ohio State game on Sept. 28, 2019. He hadn’t seen Memorial Stadium at full capacity since. Until Fordham, that is.

It was a long time coming for the Alabama native to feel the roar of the stadium after a big play. His opportunity came on Saturday.

“It’s way different just getting on the field wearing the helmet and seeing those people just cheering for all of us,” Smothers said. “I’m just extremely blessed to get to experience that on the field.”

Nerves were a little bit of a factor for the young quarterback playing in front of 85,000 fans for the first time. Smothers tried to stay calm and cool despite the natural excitement. It had been two years since he last played in a live game. To adjust to that he’s been taking practice the same as a game. He has tried to stay locked in on practice so that he is ready for his opportunity.

“That was a big day. It’s always my dream for me just to go out there in front 85,000,” Smothers said. “It’s a pretty great feeling.”

Smothers didn’t need much to get him ready to go before he entered the game. He got his arm loose and ran out there for his first rep.

Starting quarterback Adrian Martinez has been a big supporter of Smothers and that was no different on Saturday. Martinez’ advice was to go out and play his game. Smothers felt like he had a good debut in total.

“I thought I played good,” Smothers said. “Two out of three drives I was in we scored and then one fumble of course that’s on me. That’s my fault. But the other two drives we went down and scored and that’s all I can ask for.”

It was a solid debut for the second-year freshman quarterback. Nebraska fans haven’t gotten to see him much in the time he has been on campus. Smothers hadn’t got a chance to really see the fans for himself either. Both sides were happy with what they saw on Saturday during the 52-7 win over Fordham.

More news and notes:

>> Linebacker Eteva Mauga-Clements was another player that got his first extended action Saturday. It was the first time Mauga-Clements met with media to detail what the last year has been like for him.

“It was kind of tough. Spring ball was going and we had a few practices in to get to know the defense,” Mauga-Clements said. “Especially since I was new. COVID kind of ruined that for me. I didn’t get to know the defense as well and then we had to come back again in the summer trying to learn that hopefully we have a season. That got canceled again so everyone’s all relaxed and shit, then all of a sudden called back and we’re going to have a season. Then we got locked back in.”

Mauga-Clements is more comfortable this season. He’s excited to continue contributing to the team on special teams. He hopes that leads to more opportunities on defense.

>> We observed wide receiver Alante Brown wearing a green non-contact jersey during practice. It was never fully disclosed what the wideout was dealing with that kept him limited during practice in camp. He filled everyone in on Monday.

“Before fall camp, I had shoulder surgery,” Brown said. “I was able to do team stuff but I was non-contact. I couldn’t scrimmage. I couldn’t do one-on-ones, the little things that really mattered and show I could block.”

Brown knew what it took to rehab that shoulder injury. When he came to Nebraska he needed the same surgery on his other shoulder. On the advice of the team he took his time to gather himself for the start of the season. Now that he is healthy, Brown is ready to push for more snaps this fall.

>> Offensive lineman Turner Corcoran isn’t a veteran player yet. He has been around longer than first-year freshman Teddy Prochazka though. The Elkhorn South graduate was able to get snaps this weekend and Corcoran gave his impressions on what he saw.

“Teddy is a long, athletic guy. He’s got a bright future ahead of him,” Corcoran said. “If he keeps doing what he’s doing, he’s going to play football for a long time. Being athletic and long you got to have a mean streak too. He’s got that mean streak so that’s really positive.”

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