A lingering foot issue will bleed into another week for Taylor Martinez (no relation).
Nebraska announced Thursday that, as somewhat expected, its longtime starting quarterback will be unavailable for Saturday’s game against Purdue. Martinez has been struggling with turf toe, an injury he incurred in the Sept. 14 loss to UCLA and has kept him out for wins against South Dakota State and Illinois the past two games.
“It’s just like we have been at the quarterback position,” head coach Bo Pelini said, confirming that Tommy Armstrong will once again get the start in the conference game against the Boilermakers.
The Saturday game will mark the redshirt freshman’s first career start on the road.
In his first two starts in the friendly confines of Memorial Stadium, Armstrong completed just over 71 percent of his 28 passes for 304 yards and three touchdowns. Most importantly, he’s thrown zero interceptions in the first 28 attempts of his collegiate career.
The quarterbacking duties, though, won’t be solely placed on Armstrong’s shoulders as senior Ron Kellogg will, as has been the case since Martinez was sidelined, see the field as well.
Navy has seen one of its most productive players on the defensive side of the ball play for perhaps the final time this season.
Kwazel Bertrand sustained a broken ankle in the win over Air Force last Saturday, head coach Ken Niumatalolo confirmed earlier this week. As a result, the defensive back will very likely miss the remainder of the 2015 season.
And, because he is a senior and has no other eligibility avenues to pursue, it would effectively end his collegiate career as well.
“I feel terrible for Kwazel. It’s really unfortunate any time a senior goes down with a season-ending injury,” Niumatalolo said. “Kwazel has been a really good player for us and we’re going to miss his presence out on the field.”
Bertrand started 27 games over the past three-plus seasons, including all four in 2015.
You know how I know we’re gradually creeping up on the end of another regular season? Watch lists are being whittled.
The first major honor to do so is the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, which is given out annually to the best quarterback who is a college senior or fourth-year junior. The preseason watch list was 30 quarterbacks strong; the newest list has been cut in half to 15.
The most recent list includes one of the top Heisman contenders (TCU’s Trevone Boykin) and the top two nationally in passing yards (Bowling Green’s Matt Johnson, Western Kentucky’s Brandon Doughty), as well as a quarterback who’s closing in on the all-time FBS record for rushing touchdowns (Navy’s Keenan Reynolds).
The Pac-12 leads all conferences with three watch listers, followed by two each from the AAC, ACC and Big Ten. The SEC has as many players (one, Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott) as the FCS (North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz).
Last year’s winner was Marcus Mariota of Oregon.
Trevone Boykin, TCU
Jacoby Brissett, NC State
Connor Cook, Michigan State
Brandon Doughty, WKU
Everett Golson, Florida State
Kevin Hogan, Stanford
Matt Johnson, Bowling Green
Cody Kessler, USC
Paxton Lynch, Memphis
Dak Prescott, Mississippi State
Keenan Reynolds, Navy
Nate Sudfeld, Indiana
Carson Wentz, N. Dakota State
Marquise Williams, North Carolina
Travis Wilson, Utah