Nebraska Season Rests on Taylor Martinez
The position of quarterback at Nebraska is the most scrutinized area of all, and Taylor Martinez cannot hide from this limelight. Husker fans may not fully understand the pressure the attention brings from both media analysis, editorial opinions, and fan criticism. Even after the locals decide to provide their input (either positive or negative), Martinez often draws positive comments on a national scale for his athletic ability.
Athlon Sports has him as the #18 QB entering into 2012. If he has really put in the work this offseason, it could make a huge difference in the outcome of the year. Based on these efforts, Bo Pelini thinks his best football is ahead of him. Footwork, delivery, film study: this extra work is likely to pay off in some ways this year through better reads and decision making. If these improvements bear fruit, it would be the main reason the Huskers could lead the conference in offensive numbers.
What should be expected of Martinez and potential improvements this year? Whatever improvements occur in the passing game need to be accentuated by his running skills. Without the continued threat that he takes those unhindered three or four steps up to his full straight line speed, his passing game will not see improvements as teams will key in on coverage rather than contain. Making defenses decide how they should deal with a quarterback is what makes dual threat QB's so dangerous in college football.
Behind Martinez, http://bigrednetwork.com/story/buzz_who_backs_up_martinez/" target="_blank">there is a battle for who plays in mop-up duty. While Tommy Armstrong, Jr. has had a number of positive comments coming out of fall practices, Brion Carnes and Ron Kellogg III have the seniority. Burning a redshirt on a potential multi year player like Armstrong could be a waste. It remains to be seen if any backup would be able to lead the team to a divisional title if Martinez is unable to play for any reason. Backup play experience will really only be valuable if there are plenty of snaps in the fourth quarter of a runaway victory. At this point, only Martinez is capable of delivering the wins needed for a title.