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Cornhuskers set to face another backup QB

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

Most thought that playing backup quarterbacks early in the conference race would be a ticket for Nebraska to cruise to an early lead in the North Division.

The Cornhuskers haven't fulfilled their end of the bargain as they've lost in back-to-back weeks to Texas Tech backup Steven Sheffield (starting in place of Taylor Potts) and Iowa State's Jerome Tiller (starting in place of Austen Arnaud).

Nebraska figures to have at least two more weeks in starting against backups. Robert Griffin is out for Saturday's game against Baylor. The Cornhuskers will likely face freshman Nick Florence in that game as Blake Szymanski recovers from a bruised shoulder.

And they'll get Oklahoma's Landry Jones, who is starting in place of 2008 Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford.

The Cornhuskers' stunning back-to-back home losses have pushed their season to the brink.

Bo Pelini has to be kicking himself that his team didn't prepare and play better against the two backup quarterbacks in home games. If Nebraska had won one of those two games, the Cornhuskers would have been in the driver's seat with a showdown game against Kansas State looming on Nov. 21.

Instead, the Cornhuskers need to win at least three of their five remaining games -- and maybe four -- to claim the North title.

They will have the opportunity to play backup quarterbacks the next two weeks.

Pelini can only hope these two games go better for Nebraska than the Cornhuskers' first two conference games against backups.