Freshman QB Armstrong in position to start

Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez is doubtful to play on Saturday against South Dakota State, putting redshirt freshman Tommy Armstrong likely in line for his first career start.

Martinez, a fifth-year senior who has started every game since late in his freshman year, is battling a turf toe injury that limited him last week in the Huskers’ 41-21 loss to UCLA. Martinez has not practiced this week. If he plays on Saturday, Martinez would not be used in a limited role on Saturday, coach Bo Pelini said.

“He’s either going to play or he’s not,” Pelini said. “We want him to be 100 percent. I have full confidence in those other two quarterbacks.”

Armstrong played behind Martinez and senior Ron Kellogg III on Sept. 7 in Nebraska’s win over Southern Miss. In his collegiate debut, Armstrong did not attempt a pass. The former top recruit out of Cibolo, Texas, rushed four times for 23 yards. Kellogg, a former walk-on from Omaha, Neb., completed 4 of 5 passes in his lone appearance of the season.

Pelini said the Nebraska staff would evaluate film of Thursday’s practice before making a final call between Armstrong and Kellogg.

“Tommy’s made a big jump in the last two weeks,” Pelini said. “He’s had a tremendous week of practice. I have confidence in both guys.”

Armstrong is likely to compete with Johnny Stanton, redshirting this year as a true freshman, for the starting job next year.

Pelini said his team has practiced well during a week ripe for distractions.

“I thought the guys had great focus, great energy,” Pelini said. “I like the week of preparation we had. Time to let it go on Saturday.”