Obvious things: Quarterbacks to play key role in Gophers-Huskers


Breaking news isn't exactly our thing, it's not what we've been founded upon.

But hey, we've come this far, why stop now?

The non-breaking news out of the Gophers-Cornhuskers game this Saturday at The Bank? Quarterbacks are important and are likely to decide the game between No. 24 Nebraska and the U of M.

You're smart, you knew that.

We'll cut the malarkey, why would we report on it if it were that obvious?

On the Nebraska side, QB Taylor Martinez hasn't played since suffering a turf toe injury Sept. 14, an injury Minnesota football fans have become increasingly aware of the last few weeks.

Martinez, while he has been a four-year starter for Nebraska, has never been a massive threat throwing the ball, but brings a dual threat to the table, having gone over 800 yards rushing each of the previous three years seasons.

That may play into Minnesota's hands, as they rank 26th in the nation against the run, but 84th in the country in passing efficiency defense.

Martinez is reportedly a game-time decision after returning to practice this week, and the Gophers say they're preparing as if Martinez will play. If he does not, Ron Kellogg III and Tommy Armstrong will split time under center, as they have since Martinez' absence.

For the Gophers, once again they have not named a starter, releasing their final depth chart today, with Philip Nelson OR Mitch Leidner under center for Minnesota.

Acting head coach Tracy Claeys said Sunday he was planning on naming a starter by Tuesday, but withheld a decision when Leidner became ill.

Perhaps Claeys is considering starting Leidner, despite just three yards passing last week, or maybe he feels as if not naming a starter benefits the Gophers because Nebraska will not know who to game plan for.

Or not, since Leidner and Nelson are essentially the same player, and Leidner was pulled for Nelson last week.

It seems strange, but nothing about this Gopher football season has been normal so far, so why start now?

An upset over Nebraska Saturday would be the least normal thing Minnesota will have done under head coach Jerry Kill and his regime, they're 0-6 against ranked teams since Kill took over.

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