Nebraska QB Taylor Martinez to miss third game with turf toe

By Chip Patterson | College Football/Basketball Writer

Tommy Armstrong will start for Nebraska with Taylor Martinez sidelined by turf toe. (USATSI)
Tommy Armstrong will start for Nebraska with Taylor Martinez sidelined by turf toe. (USATSI)

Tommy Armstrong will be the starting quarterback for Nebraska on Saturday against Purdue, a result of Taylor Martinez's lingering battle with turf toe.

Martinez has not played since suffering the injury during the Cornhuskers home loss to UCLA on Sept. 14. On Thursday, coach Bo Pelini told the Journal Star that Armstrong will start, and senior Ron Kellogg, the No. 3 quarterback, could see action as well.

"It's just like we have been at the quarterback position," Pelini said.

The Cornhuskers coach said Martinez is "a lot better than he has been," and will even be on the travel roster.

With the three-year starter sidelined, the offense has leaned heavily on running back Ameer Abdullah. Abdullah is averaging 7.34 yards per carry on the season and 10.4 yards per carry in the last two games with Martinez out. His 138 yards per game average ranks No. 8 nationally, but his production will become crucial in the coming weeks as Nebraska faces the toughest part of its schedule.

Nebraska fell from the Top 25 after giving up an 18-point lead to UCLA at home, but the Cornhuskers are still in a position to challenge for the Big Ten title. The Legends Division is up for grabs at this point; Michigan, Michigan State, Northwestern, Iowa and Nebraska have all looked both dominant and beatable at different times this season. If Martinez can't get fully healthy soon, Abdullah will become the most important player to Nebraska's Big Ten title hopes.

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