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September 1, 2014

Close bond paying off for Armstrong, Westerkamp


There's a hope within Nebraska's program, and probably the entire Husker fan base for that matter, that the connection quarterback Tommy Armstrong and receiver Jordan Westerkamp showed in Saturday's win over Florida Atlantic was a glimpse of things to come.

Armstrong connected with Westerkamp seven times for 125 yards against the Owls, including one highlight-reel behind-the-back catch and another 36-yard touchdown pass. It was a career day for both players, but given their already close bond off the field, it shouldn't be that much of a surprise to see them click so well on game day.

Not only are Armstrong and Westerkamp roommates, they instantly became best friends when they first arrived in Lincoln and redshirted together as freshmen in 2012.

"The kid is my best friend, so we have that chemistry," Westerkamp said. "As the receiver I've obviously got a lot of passes from him. I take a lot of pride because he is my best friend and I never want to let that guy down, so I go out there and play hard for him. He's our leader, our quarterback, and he played well today."

Along with teaming up for seven completions and a touchdown, Armstrong connected on all but two of his nine targets to Westerkamp in Saturday's win. A big part of the duo's chemistry has to do with the work that they put in during their redshirt season, as they were able to establish a report mentally before ever taking a snap together with the first-team offense.

"It translates to the field a lot," Armstrong said. "Our freshman year when we didn't play, we went to the field and we threw a lot together. This year just being able to have both of us being able to go out there and study film together.

"I get to understand what he sees in defenses and he gets to see what I see. Just getting that chemistry down and just being able to know what he is going to run."

What might be the best news of all for the Huskers is that Armstrong said he's steadily starting to build similar connections with the rest of his receiving corps, and that certainly showed with his career-best 271 passing yards against the Owls.

"We were all just on the same page," Armstrong said. "We all knew exactly what we needed to do. We wanted to move the chains. We knew (FAU) was going to come out with something different. We just had to be ready for anything. We just had to respond the right way. In that first series we went down and we all understood, they pressed and loaded the box and we just had to make plays to move the chains and I think we did a good job of that."



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