Here are some quick takes and reactions following Tuesday’s post-practice Nebraska football media session.
Finding the right feels at quarterback each week
One of the challenges now going forward is figuring the right feel at quarterback with Adrian Martinez and Luke McCaffrey.
I think early on for the first rotation things are probably predetermined, but after that, it is strictly a game feel.
I thought last week at Iowa they managed it about as well as they could for a game where the Huskers barely had 60 snaps of offense.
The hard thing is you have to know when the time is to make the changeup and when the time is to stick with a guy.
Purdue’s defense has struggled with mobile quarterbacks, so I think this is a week where both Martinez and McCaffrey could have strong games.
Huskers catch a break with the Austin Allen injury
When the injury happened to tight end Austin Allen on Friday, it sure didn’t look good.
A group of Iowa players picked Allen up in the air and slammed him to the ground from mid-air. The play was not penalized but easily could have.
With that said, Allen has returned to practice this week. That is very good news for the Big Red. Allen has been one of the most consistent players for the Huskers on offense this season. They are going to need him down the stretch.
The Diaco storyline going into West Lafayette
Bob Diaco’s 11 months in at Nebraska were some of the more interesting times I can remember. From the Italian custom suits and clothing he wore, to the bizarre press conferences and the inconsistent play of his defense.
It was an odd time for Nebraska football. Mike Riley was forced to fire his long-time friend and DC Mark Banker over the phone by NU administration a day before the Diaco interview took place in Lincoln. Banker was coming off a year where they went 9-3 in the regular season but were extremely undermanned in a loss to Tennessee in the Music City Bowl.
There was even talk about a Diaco succession plan to Riley after a couple of 8-4 type seasons in 2017 and 2018. I’m told that played a factor in getting him to accept the job.
He was an acquired taste for sure, one very few Husker fans and players picked up in his time at NU. Now he’s at Purdue, and things aren’t going well in his first season.
There is even talk about this being his final season in West Lafayette, as his unit has forced just one turnover and one sack over the last three games.
There’s even some history with Scott Frost and Diaco from UCF. While at Connecticut, Diaco tried to create a trophy game with Frost. UConn brought the trophy to the game. UCF won and Frost and his team left it on the sideline failing to acknowledge the trophy series.
If anything, the Diaco storyline gives this game some extra juice. I’ll be curious how his defense matches up this week after three straight poor performances.
‘Coach Collin Miller’
Sometimes you just have to make the most of a rough situation.
For senior linebacker Collin Miller, that’s exactly what he’s done. After suffering a spinal concussion against Illinois where he was taken off the field in a stretcher, the Indiana native still remains completely dialed into the program.
Miller has served as a “player-coach” the last couple of weeks and traveled with the Big Red to Iowa City.
Miller was voted a captain in 2020, and it’s good to see he’s still taking on leadership responsibilities, even though he can’t be on the field. Several players and coaches have commended Miller for the approach he has taken.