As the clock ticks down toward the Red-White Game, there's Taylor Martinez as the only known quantity. What can Husker fans expect from those behind him?
|No. 3 Taylor Martinez, (Sr.)
||195 carries for 1,019 yards, 10 TDs ; 228 completions on 368 attempts for 2,871 yards, 23 TDs and 12 INTs
No. 12 Ron Kellogg III (Sr.)
||Two carries for -3 yards; four completions on nine attempts for 22 yards, one TD and one INT
|No. 4 Tommy Armstrong Jr. (RFr.)
1. Taylor Martinez - It seems like No. 3's been under center forever, doesn't it? Over the last two off-seasons, he's shown a tremendous amount of work ethic as he's been tutored by California quarterback guru Steve Calhoun both in-state and by proxy via offensive coordinator Tim Beck.
Beck meshed Martinez's strengths with his offense's capabilities almost seamlessly allowing the then-junior to use safe, quick strikes to his athletic receivers or exploit defenses overcompensating for his speed on the ground. 2013's a critical season for Martinez both at Nebraska and for his future.
There's legitimate NFL talk as a No. 3 receiver (no pun intended) or return specialist. He needs to remain in one piece, though and that brings us to...
2. Depth - There isn't much of it. In terms of scholarship quarterbacks, that is. Give Ron Kellogg III his due. He's a team player and while nobody's going to mistake him for Martinez in terms of speed or overall ability, he's remained a humble backup.
That's likely to continue as all reports coming out of spring practice heavily praise Tommy Armstrong Jr., not only for his work this off-season, but ever since he stepped onto campus.
If Martinez goes down this fall, Armstrong Jr.'s the likely backup. The prospect of having a redshirt freshman running Beck's offense isn't ideal, but if the situation calls for it, he might surprise.
3. Walk-ons - While only three scholarship quarterbacks dot the roster, there are a handful of walk-ons that could be more beneficial than just as tackling dummies.
Sophomore Tyson Broekemeier
and redshirt freshman Ryker Fyfe are two names to look for come the Red-White Game.
4. Playing Time For Armstrong Jr.
- There's no reason No. 4 shouldn't see real FBS playing time this fall, especially early on. Nebraska has one of the easiest schedules you'll find in 2013
Even if the UCLA Bruins
bring their A-game to Lincoln and Martinez has to take the reins from beginning to end, Armstrong Jr. should be getting a fair number of snaps well into November.
It's not only necessary in case Martinez's body goes left while another part of him goes right, but the Huskers need to build toward the future.
As it stands, No. 4 and incoming freshman Johnny Stanton are the only two scholarship quarterbacks heading into 2014 spring camp.
Because of this, there needs to be immediate development happening behind Martinez starting when the Wyoming Cowboys
come to Lincoln.
5. No More Superman Moments -
No, this isn't an homage to the recently-departed Rex Burkhead
, but rather when Martinez finally sees that light on the metaphorical train tracks, he tries to turn nothing into everything (a.k.a. Superman Moments).
While his touchdown scramble during the 2012 Big Ten Championship Game was awesome, expecting that result every time a play breaks down is only going to lead to the fumbles, armpunts and interceptions that have made Husker fans smack their heads for three years now.
There was a major decline in the amount of these mind-numbing decisions in 2012, but the hiccups still remained.
If Martinez continues to sync with Beck's system and let those moments come to him rather than force what isn't there, Nebraska, and specifically its quarterback, can have a truly memorable season.