‘Final decision’ awaits on Martinez’s playing status

September 23, 2018

LINCOLN — Adrian Martinez will be among the 74 Nebraska players traveling to Michigan, Scott Frost said Thursday. But that’s all the Huskers are willing to reveal at this point about their second straight week of quarterback uncertainty.

“He’s further along,” Frost said. “Again, it isn’t just ‘Is he ready to go?’ It’s ‘Is he ready to go mentally and physically to the point that he can protect himself in the game and make sure he stays healthy?’

“He’s really close. We gotta make a final decision.”

Martinez, a true freshman, started the season opener against Colorado but suffered a right-knee injury late in the game. Sophomore walk-on Andrew Bunch played against Troy while Martinez watched from the sidelines despite warming up. Unlike the workouts leading up to Troy, Martinez practiced every day this week.

Frost offered a few curt responses during his five-minute media availability Thursday.

“Improved play,” he said after being asked what he wants to see from special teams this weekend. “No,” he replied to a question about whether Thursday’s workout was disappointing. Asked specifically about Bunch and punt returner/receiver Tyjon Lindsey improving, he widened the scope to the entire team and said everyone needs to get better.

His longest answer dove into Nebraska’s ongoing cultural transition. The first away game under Frost will offer plenty more teaching moments.

“I remember when I first got here, (NU Athletic Director) Bill Moos talked to me about being on a road trip at the end of last year and getting off the plane and not ever in his life seeing a plane with so much trash left on the plane,” Frost said. “Sounds like it shouldn’t matter. In the game, those things matter because those are little things.

“When guys are attentive to do things right, little things are done right all the time, including in games. So we have a lot of lessons to continue to teach them. I’m sure there are things that’ll come up on the road trip that we’ll have to continue to teach them. But those things take a while and it’s a process. We’ll fix those as they come up. I’m more worried about getting the team as ready as they can be to play this game.”

Other quick hits from Frost on Thursday:

» There are no season-ending injuries to report.

» The 74-man travel roster offers “no challenge” beyond a home game, Frost said, because the team also limits the number of players it takes to the hotel for contests in Lincoln.

» Senior safety Aaron Williams earned his Blackshirt, Frost said. But keeping one is a week-to-week task. “They’re not bought, they’re rented,” he said.

» Frost said there aren’t any easy games looming for Nebraska.

“We’re going to be underdog in quite a few games this year,” Frost said. “I’m not going to tell the guys they’re not as good as the other team. I’m not going to embrace that at all. I just want to go out and play as hard as we can and fight and be better than we were last week regardless of who we’re playing.”​

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