Freshman QB Armstrong in position to start

September, 19, 2013
9/19/13
8:42
PM ET
Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez is doubtful to play on Saturday against South Dakota State, putting redshirt freshman Tommy Armstrong likely in line for his first career start.

Martinez, a fifth-year senior who has started every game since late in his freshman year, is battling a turf toe injury that limited him last week in the Huskers’ 41-21 loss to UCLA. Martinez has not practiced this week. If he plays on Saturday, Martinez would not be used in a limited role on Saturday, coach Bo Pelini said.

“He’s either going to play or he’s not,” Pelini said. “We want him to be 100 percent. I have full confidence in those other two quarterbacks.”

Armstrong played behind Martinez and senior Ron Kellogg III on Sept. 7 in Nebraska’s win over Southern Miss. In his collegiate debut, Armstrong did not attempt a pass. The former top recruit out of Cibolo, Texas, rushed four times for 23 yards. Kellogg, a former walk-on from Omaha, Neb., completed 4 of 5 passes in his lone appearance of the season.

Pelini said the Nebraska staff would evaluate film of Thursday’s practice before making a final call between Armstrong and Kellogg.

“Tommy’s made a big jump in the last two weeks,” Pelini said. “He’s had a tremendous week of practice. I have confidence in both guys.”

Armstrong is likely to compete with Johnny Stanton, redshirting this year as a true freshman, for the starting job next year.

Pelini said his team has practiced well during a week ripe for distractions.

“I thought the guys had great focus, great energy,” Pelini said. “I like the week of preparation we had. Time to let it go on Saturday.”

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