Breaking Down the Buzz: Nebraska
Each Monday, Wednesday and Friday, the Eye on College Football examines what current hot topic the fans of one BCS team are obsessing over -- rationally or not.
Each Monday, Wednesday and Friday, the Eye on College Football examines what current hot topic the fans of one BCS team are obsessing over -- rationally or not. Today's team: the Nebraska Cornhuskers.
What they're talking about is ... the quarterback competition this spring. Normally football is the main course of any Nebraska fan's diet year round, but with school's basketball team making the NCAA Tournament this season, fans have been a bit distracted. Well, the basketball season ended last week, and now Husker fans can get back to football.
Overall Nebraska fans are talking about every single area of the team, but as is often the case in this sport, a lot of the conversation centers around the quarterback position. More specifically, who is going to be manning the quarterback position when the Huskers take the field this fall.
What they're saying is ... they just want a starter. Nebraska found itself in a bit of quarterback limbo last season. Taylor Martinez was hurt early in the season, and would play in only four games. To replace Martinez the Huskers would basically alternate between Tommy Armstrong and Ron Kellogg, with Armstrong getting the majority of starts, but Kellogg taking a series here and there, and occasionally chucking a Hail Mary to beat Northwestern.
Well, both Kellogg and Martinez are now gone, so Armstrong enters the spring as the incumbent, though nothing is guaranteed. He'll be challenged by other quarterbacks like redshirt freshman Johnny Stanton and redshirt sophomore Ryker Fyfe. Which one will win the job remains to be seen, but just as long as there isn't a revolving door at the position this season, it seems like most Huskers fans will be happy.
-- "Tommy getting another offseason with the offense is big."
-- "Not sure how much of Nebraska's offense they could run with Fyfe in the game. Wouldn't have much QB run game."
-- "I love seeing Fyfe working so hard trying to secure the #2 spot behind TA. I love the drive Fyfe is showing and hope this kind of attitude sparks the entire NU football team onto greatness."
-- "Armstrong or Stanton? I did not realize Armstrong only completed 51.9% of his passes. In Martinez’s worst year (Soph yr), he completed 56.3%. Boy we missed Taylor this year."
-- "My money is on Stanton to be the starter. Better thrower than Armstrong while also being a good runner. Armstrong has the experience yes, but Stanton has more potential in my opinion."
What we're saying is ... we don't know who it's going to be either, though we don't think having more than one option is necessarily a bad thing. It's easy to understand why having multiple quarterbacks playing last season would leave a bad taste in the mouths of Nebraska fans. They weren't expecting it. It was supposed to be Taylor Martinez finally putting it all together during his senior season and leading the Huskers to the Rose Bowl as Big Ten champs.
Instead it felt like more of a lost season, even if it did end with a win over Georgia in the Gator Bowl. So I get why Nebraska fans are looking for a clearer direction this year, but sometimes having two quarterbacks can be beneficial, particularly if they have different skill sets.
Is that the case with the options on Nebraska's roster? That remains to be seen this spring, but an open competition is the best course of action because, even if he gained plenty of experience last season, Tommy Armstrong didn't exactly light the world on fire. He completed only 52 percent of his passes, threw nearly as many interceptions as touchdowns, and averaged only three yards per carry while running. So there's certainly room for improvement there.
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