Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Nebraska quarterbacks: Get used to the wait
By David Ubben
Nebraska offensive coordinator Shawn Watson offered on Tuesday the 117th non-update on Nebraska's quarterback situation this preseason, saying his three candidates are "still competing."
“The good thing is, the reason that it isn’t [announced], is because they’ve all three played so well,” Watson said. “They’ve played at a high level and complimented in a lot of respects. They’ve had to, to stay in the hunt. It’s been a great competition and it’s really, really close.”
Last week, Watson complimented each candidate for improving, coincidentally, of course, in the area they most needed improvement.
"Zac has become a better runner," Watson said. "Cody has become a better manager. Taylor's become a better passer. They've enhanced themselves because they've had to compete.
Add both to Nebraska's greatest hits this preseason, which also included Pelini remarking that he "may play 10 guys" at the position this season.
Clearly, both Pelini and Watson are tired of the daily barrage of quarterback questions and have started having a little fun at the expense of the local media.
Pelini said at Big 12 media days in July that Zac Lee's offseason surgery allowed the less-experienced Cody Green and Taylor Martinez to close the gap and make a run at the job this fall. I subscribe to the opinion that Lee's experience will allow him to hold both off, though I do think both of the other candidates will play significant snaps this season. Pelini remarked on Tuesday that he didn't want the competition to become a "circus," but it's reaching that point, through no fault of Pelini, who has kept his answers short and direct when asked about his quarterbacks.
He and his staff have made it clear they have an idea or "plan" of what they want to do, and for whatever reason, have made -- and stuck to -- a decision to keep that idea to themselves, even away from their own quarterbacks. Presumably to keep the competition at the position inspired.
On Tuesday, I joked on Twitter that "it's time for jersey switches before the game and in between series." Really keep the opponent (who, by the way, is riding high on a 20-game losing streak) guessing and embrace his status as The Ultimate Gamesman.
But allow me to ease the minds of those concerned about the quarterback: Pelini will stick to his plan and few will know the starter until he trots out against Western Kentucky. Then Nebraska will win convincingly and everyone will dissect the performances of all three, who will all get their chances in what should be a blowout.
I'm up for dropping the topic until Saturday if you are. I know Bo's in.