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Despite struggles, Jurgens eager to build on first start

There was plenty of criticism surrounding Nebraska’s uninspiring offensive performance against South Alabama, and few Huskers faced as much of it as Cameron Jurgens.


Cam Jurgens had a rough debut as Nebraska's starting center on Saturday, but he's confident that his best is yet to come.
Cam Jurgens had a rough debut as Nebraska's starting center on Saturday, but he's confident that his best is yet to come. (Nate Clouse)

Making his first career start at center, Jurgens definitely had his share of issues between numerous high snaps – including one that sailed for a 20-yard loss – and a total lack of push in the interior running game.

The redshirt freshman was eventually replaced in the third quarter after going a bit over his preset play “pitch count” going into in the game (about 50 or so snaps). While he’s well aware that his performance left a lot to be desired, Jurgens also viewed Saturday as a valuable learning experience.

“I think everybody that goes to play football here is going to have a pretty big microscope on them,” Jurgens said. “That’s just something I’ve got to get used to. I’ve kind of had to deal with that throughout high school, so I’m not really worried about outside noise. It’s just everything going on within the team and listening to what my coaches and trainers tell me. That’s all I’m going to be worried about.”

Jurgens said the snapping issues were mostly a result of the nerves that came from playing in his just his second college football game at a position he only picked less than a year ago.

With a game under his belt, Jurgens was confident that his composure and execution would be much better his next time out at Colorado.

“I think it’s just getting more (practice) reps and getting more game reps,” Jurgens said. “Everything’s correctable, it’s just rushing myself. I’ll be ready for it next week.”

Jurgens still had the full support of his coaches and teammates in the days following his debut. Head coach Scott Frost agreed that the Beatrice native just needed more experience, while quarterback Adrian Martinez was still as high as anyone on Jurgens’ long-term potential.

“I think he was really excited to get out there,” Martinez said. “I am proud of his efforts. I don’t think anywhere on the offensive side it was because of a lack of effort. I think it was more that all of us need to focus in, hammer in those details, and Cam is included in that, and myself.

“He is a force out there, and I think he did a good job.

The South Alabama game was also the most extensive playing time Jurgens had seen since the early portion of his senior high school season, before a broken leg began a string of injury setbacks over the next two years.

“It’s been a while since I played a football game, so I was pretty sore,” Jurgens said. “But it was awesome. I love being a little sore, because that at means you worked hard. It was fun getting back out there and getting back into the groove of things.”