Huskers' Martinez out, Armstrong to start

Nebraska's matchup with Illinois could turn into a shootout Saturday, and the Huskers will be without their top gunslinger.

As expected, Nebraska senior quarterback Taylor Martinez will miss his second straight game with turf toe. Head coach Bo Pelini said Thursday that redshirt freshman Tommy Armstrong will make his second consecutive start Saturday against the Illinois, and senior Ron Kellogg III also is available to play. Both Armstrong and Kellogg performed well in Nebraska's 59-20 win against South Dakota State on Sept. 21.

"[Both quarterbacks] had a good week," Pelini said after Thursday's practice. "They are feeling good. I think their confidence just grows. They've been getting a lot of reps. No matter who the quarterback is, the key is playing good around them. I think our guys understand that and we’re ready to do that."

Pelini won't play Martinez until the quarterback is back to 100 percent. Armstrong certainly can help his cause to be the starter next season when both Martinez and Kellogg depart. The 6-foot-1, 220-pound Armstrong completed 12 of 15 passes for 169 yards and a touchdown, and added 38 rush yards, against South Dakota State.

Pelini also said Thursday that David Santos likely will start at middle linebacker against the Illini after two strong weeks of practice. Santos had been benched earlier in the season.