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2020 Nebraska Football Preview: Quarterbacks

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The Husker QB’s could have had their own wing in a MASH unit last season. Can they all stay in one piece this season?

Wisconsin v Nebraska
Well, of course I was going to use this one.
Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images

If anyone had doubts as to why Scott Frost always wants 4-5 scholarship QB’s on the roster, 2019 provided a stark example as to why that’s the case. Adrian Martinez, Noah Vedral, Luke McCaffrey and Andrew Bunch all saw action due to injuries to the top three. Martinez was never fully healthy after early October (and perhaps before). Vedral took his knocks at times. And McCaffrey looked both like the picture of huge potential and a kid who needed to add a few more pounds if he was going to be running the ball.

Not much is changing from last year but onto the preview:


RETURNING CONTRIBUTORS

Adrian Martinez- Jr – 149/251 - 1956 Yds - 59.4 comp% - 10 TD’s 9 INT’s – 144 Carries 626 yds – 7 TD’s

Noah Vedral – RS Jr- 34/52 – 418 Yds – 65.4 comp% - 0 TD’s 0 INT’s – 30 Carries 106 Yds – 3 TD’s

Luke McCaffrey – RS Fr – 9/12 – 142 Yds – 75 comp% - 2 TD’s 0 INT’s – 24 Carries 166 Yds – 1 TD

(In college, QB sacks are included in the rushing total)

Indiana v Nebraska
Please gain 20 lbs.
Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images

OTHER QB’S

Matt Masker

Brayden Miller

(Kearney, NE – REPRESENT!)


INCOMING QB’S

Logan Smothers – Muscle Shoals, AL – Rivals 4-star - #171 in Rivals250 - #4 Dual Threat QB nationally #6 player in Alabama


NOT RETURNING

Andrew Bunch – 1/6 – 13 Yds – 16.7 Comp% - 0 TD’s 0 INT’s – 2 Carries -1 Yd – 0 TD’s


POSITION OUTLOOK & POTENTIAL DEPTH CHART FOR 2020

The 4th quarter of the Indiana game probably best summed up the QB situation for the Huskers in 2019. With Nebraska on its own 7 and Luke McCaffrey just recently removed from the game with a leg injury, Scott Frost went into the training tent. There sat Noah Vedral who had come off injured earlier in the game and Adrian Martinez who hadn’t played at all that day due to injury. Frost looked at the trainer.

“Who’s less hurt?”

The answer was Vedral who got them near midfield before the drive stalled and they lost 38-31. Tack on another ”L” which could have been a win if not for injuries and a 2019 Nebraska knack for stepping on their own collective dicks at the wrong time.

In Husker fan fashion, the love for Adrian Martinez turned to insults and calls for his removal as he battled first the inability to get a decent snap and then injuries for most of the season which resulted in a December surgery. He will be back for spring ball and the job is still his to lose. If he can return to his freshman form and progress, the offense will be in good hands. If he is healthy and still exhibits troubles with decision-making and looks slower, then Frost will have a decision to make which he seemed reluctant to make at times last year.

Vedral and McCaffrey will battle for the backup spot and while many expect McCaffrey to immediately jump Vedral without the constraints of a redshirt, it might not be that easy since Vedral showed a decent command of the offense when called on and, while not as fast and shifty as McCaffrey, is a former state hurdles champion and isn’t exactly a sloth.

I would expect see McCaffrey used situationally a great deal more in things like wildcat formations, lined up as a wideout and generally thrown out anywhere just to make opposing defensive coordinators shit the Depends they’ll wear on game day after a week of wondering where Luke and Wan’Dale will line up.

Logan Smothers will be a bigger part of this column next year but appears to have the arm, skill and speed to try and force his way into the discussion along with a reputation for toughness and playing through pain. I’m not sure if he will get many snaps assuming the other three stay healthy which is far from a given. Stay tuned.

Depth Chart:

QB1 – Adrian Martinez

QB2 – Noah Vedral – OR – Luke McCaffrey (Yep, I’m a chicken!)

Redshirt: Logan Smothers