Bo Pelini hates questions about the quarterback position. So does every other person living in the state of Nebraska.
For the past eight months, Husker Coach Bo Pelini has been bombarded with starting quarterback questions, and he always gives a diplomatic, though sometimes testy response.
What he should say when asked who the starting quarterback will be on September 4 vs. Western Kentucky is this:"IT DOESN'T FRICKIN' MATTER."
Let's be blunt: Western Kentucky is not a good football team.
The Hilltoppers are a tough and resilient team, as shown by their streak of 95 consecutive games without being held scoreless, and thus deserve not to be overlooked, despite their 0-20 record coming into the game.
The team has heart. But saying that Western Kentucky is on the same level as Nebraska is like saying Megan Fox is a good actress.
For all intents and purposes, Western Kentucky is a practice game. And that is why it doesn't matter who the starting quarterback is.
Zac Lee, Cody Green, and Taylor Martinez will all get their chance to showcase their talent and make their case for the starting quarterback position.
All three quarterbacks are going to look good against a Western Kentucky defense that ranked 119th in scoring defense in 2009.
At the end of the day, I expect that there will be a case to be made for each quarterback earning the starting spot. And that is where it gets tricky. It's not about who looks the best against Western Kentucky or even Idaho.
The key to the first two games for the Nebraska coaching staff is figuring out which quarterback gives you the best chance of winning games when the bullets are real and the opponent has the same size guns.
Here is my prediction for how the quarterback race plays out.
Zac Lee deserves to, and will be under center on the opening series September 4. Lee was a workable quarterback in 2009.
Although it was rarely pretty, Lee won nine games last year and deserves a chance to show that he can take the Husker football team to the heights that the coaches and fans expect.
I believe that although all three quarterbacks play well in the first two games, Zac Lee will be the starter at Washington.
Here is where it gets interesting and whether you agree with me or not, here is what I know.
Taylor Martinez is an athletic specimen.
Is he the most skilled passer? No.
Is he the most comfortable quarterback with the system? Probably not.
But does he provide one of the most challenging offensive packages to defend when he is on the field? I'm betting the answer is going to be yes.
And that is why even though Taylor Martinez won't be the starter, the coaching staff will design packages that will get him on the field, and that is where he will make his move.
At some point, either at Washington or at a Bill Snyder coached Kansas State, I am guessing Nebraska's offense stalls, Taylor Martinez comes in for a "change of pace" series, creates some magic, gives Nebraska the best chance to win and is the starter from that point forth.
Zac Lee will not lose the starting job because he performs poorly. Taylor Martinez will win the starting job because he performs outstanding when the bullets are real. If you look back in history, Nebraska has had some pretty good luck with athletic freshman quarterbacks.
Could I be wrong about Martinez?
Absolutely, but if Nebraska is to live up to the high expectations of the 2010 season, a little "T-Magic" couldn't hurt.
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