Expect Adrian Martinez to travel to Minneapolis this weekend.
Don’t expect to know what that means until we get closer to that 6:30 p.m. kickoff time.
Head coach Scott Frost met with the media Thursday for the last time before his Huskers (4-2, 2-1 Big Ten) face unbeaten Minnesota (5-0, 2-0 Big Ten) on Saturday. At first, when asked if Martinez, the Huskers’ sophomore starting quarterback, and wideout JD Spielman would travel with the team, Frost simply said “We’ve got to go play well.”
But, when asked about whether Nebraska would alter the stable of quarterbacks it takes on the road, Frost offered a little more clarity.
“We’ve been traveling with a bunch of guys anyway,” he said. “Adrian will be there. We’ll take Bunchy [or, Andrew Bunch], too, along with [Luke] McCaffrey and Noah [Vedral].”
Nebraska has taken all four guys on the road for each of the team’s first two road games, Colorado and then Illinois.
Still, Frost didn’t offer any kind of update to Martinez’s playing status. His backup, sophomore Noah Vedral, has handled a good portion of the first-team reps this week even though Martinez has seemingly gone through practice. Frost stressed on Monday that both he and the rest of the offensive staff have confidence in Vedral’s ability to run the offense.
He reiterated that Thursday.
“We’re in a lot better place at the quarterback spot than we were a year ago at this time,” Frost said. “[I] feel like we’ve got several guys that know the offense and are talented enough to go and make things happen. We’ll see who’s up there playing but we feel good about several guys. The team will rally around whoever it is.”
Other News and Notes
>> Sophomore running back Maurice Washington — after a Northwestern week in which he entered banged up, drew a first-half suspension and ended the game with six total touches in which he lost a yard — had a strong week of practice. Now Frost just wants to see it on the field.
“We need him to be ready to go for a whole game,” he said of Washington. “He obviously makes us a better team when he’s out there, so we need him out there more often.”
>> Kicker Matt Waldoch, the former club soccer player at UNL who was added to the roster a few weeks ago, will travel with the team to Minnesota. Though Lane McCallum earned the top line on the depth chart at kicker after hitting the game-winner against Northwestern, it sounds like the actual starter is still up for grabs.
“We haven’t decided who’s kicking this week,” Frost said. “Seems like we have that conversation every week. It’s been interesting. He’s done a good job. Gabe Heins has done a good job. Obviously Lane did enough for us to win last week. We’re just trying to piece it together.
“There’s a lot of things making [the competition] reset each week. Injuries and competition and trying to figure out the best formula. Seems like we’ve had to do that math every week.”
>> No, Nebraska did not dump ice down players backs or submerge footballs in freezing cold water to prepare for potentially-snowy weather Saturday.
“We’re not doing any of that,” Frost said sharply.
Minnesota has. But Frost said football in 32-degree weather is “beautiful” as long as wind and rain doesn’t get involved. Offensive coordinator Troy Walters, who played in a few snow-filled AFC Championship games when he was with the Colts in the NFL, said Wednesday players don’t even feel the cold when they’re on the field.
It’s also hard to prepare for snow when you have no snow around you.
“We’ve just got to play well,” Frost said when asked about conditions and road mentalities and things of that ilk. “It’s less about all those other things than it is just making sure we execute and do the things we’re supposed to.”
Frost said the weather will be the biggest factor in the game, but the Huskers are “prepared for whatever the environment is.”
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.