With Taylor Martinez still out due to turf toe, Nebraska will once again send redshirt freshman Tommy Armstrong out on the field to lead the offense this weekend.
Head coach Bo Pelini announced the decision Thursday to reporters. The coach also said fifth-year senior Ron Kellogg III will see playing time as well.
“We’ll start Tommy, Ronnie will be ready to go and Taylor will not play,” Pelini said, according to Omaha World Herald.
Martinez is reportedly getting closer to returning but the Huskers will wait until he is 100 percent, or as close to it as possible, so he is comfortable moving around the way he has become accustomed to doing. If Martinez is limited in his mobility, his impact on the offense is greatly reduced.
“I’m not telling him he can’t play,” Pelini said. “Like I said, to be able to play and function in our offense — do what you have to do — he’s got to able to put his foot in the ground and feel comfortable doing that.”
Armstrong completed 12 of 15 passes for 169 yards and a touchdown in Nebraska’s win against South Dakota State two weeks ago. Nebraska had a bye week last week. Kellogg complete eight of nine attempts for 139 yards and a touchdown in the same game, so Pelini probably feels equally confident in his two options this week as the Huskers host Illinois. It will help that Illinois has the Big Ten’s 10th ranked passing defense, allowing 271.5 yards per game through the air and a conference-worst one interception.