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Martinez should stay as top QB PDF E-mail

Hit the road, Jack!

After five straight home games and after much scrutiny from the media and fans, it’s time for the Husker football team to go play their first road game of the season.

This weekend’s trip to West Lafayette, Ind., will mark just the second meeting ever between Nebraska and Purdue, the first one in 1958 when the Boilermakers posted a 28-0 shutout.

Why is it a good time to play away from Memorial Stadium? Because road trips can help unify a team, bring them closer  together. Team Chemistry 101.

Considering Nebraska’s youth on defense and tough November schedule, they’ll take all the bonding they can get.
***

With Taylor Martinez on the shelf nursing a sore turf toe and Tommy Armstrong Jr. and Ron Kellogg III filling in admirably, there hasn’t been a great deal of talk about what happens when the senior comes back healthy.

Until now.

Remember, I’ve been a Taylor fan since day one, when he erupted for a 46-yard touchdown run as a freshman less than four minutes into the game against Western Kentucky. In fact, I was standing just outside the north end zone when he was running right at me, so I remember him and the loud cheers from the crowd quite vividly.

Explosive. Smooth. Just what Husker Nation was looking for.

Four years later here comes Armstrong, who started and did very well against both South Dakota State and Illinois.

Tommy wasn’t under a great deal of pressure all day long against a below-average Illinois defensive front, and you can thank A-Rod and his teammates for much of that.

Nebraska’s offensive line is simply clicking on all cylinders and opened huge holes for junior running back Ameer Abdullah, who looked lightning quick from start to finish.

But I get the sense that Tommy is a good game manager. He’s not a great player (yet), but a very good one. He keeps the offense on track and his throws are very accurate, although he did have some growing pains due to the wind on Saturday.

So is there a quarterback controversy? Should Tommy keep starting even when Taylor comes back healthy? Should Pelini go with the youngster and think ahead to the future?

I think right now, the answer to that is no. After all the school records and exciting plays Martinez has shown he can do (when healthy), he deserves the chance to show that once again.

But here’s the rub: There’s gotta be a short leash. If the Husker offense flounders and sputters and doesn’t stay on schedule, then it’ll be time to go back to Armstrong.

I just wish we could have a “do over” against UCLA, a game in which Martinez was clearly not 100 percent healthy.
***
Wow! What about the catch by Kenny Bell?

For me, I wasn’t as impressed that he caught the ball with one hand but that he seemed to hardly break stride, catching three Illinois defenders flat-footed as he sprinted into the end zone.

Simply remarkable.
***

I’d be remiss not to mention how much fun it was to watch the Husker volleyball team in action this past weekend.

A sweep over Minnesota and a thrilling 3-2 win over Wisconsin capped off homecoming weekend.

I definitely got my money’s worth.

 
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