Player to Watch: Nebraska Quarterback Adrian Martinez

By John Morgan on November 13, 2020 at 2:32 pm
Oct 24, 2020; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Nebraska Cornhuskers quarterback Adrian Martinez (2) throws during the third quarter against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Ohio Stadium.
Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

It has been a frustrating start to the season for Penn State and its fans. Saturday, Penn State travels to Lincoln, Nebraska to take on a team dealing with frustrations of its own. Much like the Nittany Lions, Nebraska is looking to get on track after starting the 2020 campaign 0-2.

The Cornhuskers have been playing a pair of quarterbacks so far this year with Adrian Martinez and Luke McCaffrey sharing duties. Martinez has seen the majority of the action, but Penn State has to prepare for both dual-threat options. Martinez is a junior and so far this season has only completed 57.1% of his passes and hasn't thrown a touchdown. On the ground, he has been effective with 187 yards on 26 carries and his lone touchdown was a 10-yard run to start the scoring in Nebraska's opening loss to Ohio State 52-17.

Martinez has been an enigma for the Nebraska faithful by showing flashes of brilliance, but that is too often followed up by a dumbfounding mistake. He has thrown 27 career touchdowns, but his 18 interceptions have limited the Huskers over the past two seasons. As mentioned, freshman Luke McCaffrey has also seen playing time this year and will certainly see time on Saturday.

For the Nittany Lions defense, it will start upfront with a defensive line that has struggled to get pressure on the quarterback through three games. Forcing Martinez into uncomfortable situations will be key as he has shown to be mistake-prone. The linebackers will also be tasked with preventing him from extending plays and drives with his feet. In a game where two teams are desperate for a win, it's no secret it starts with stopping the opposing quarterback is essential. For the Nittany Lions, if they are going to salvage anything this season, that must start at noon on Saturday.