Fall Camp Preview: Will we see a battle at quarterback?
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Fall Camp Preview: Will we see a battle at quarterback?

As we approach the start of Fall Camp for Nebraska, we take an inside look at each position group for the Huskers.

Today we take a deep dive into the quarterback position, as NU will be led by Adrian Martinez, who has been the Huskers starter the last two seasons.

What we know right now: Martinez will have true competition 

A year ago this time, we were talking about Adrian Martinez being listed on the preseason Heisman Trophy odds list, and a candidate to be the Big Ten Conference offensive player of the year.

As Martinez heads into his junior season, the discussion now is will redshirt freshman Luke McCaffrey push him for the starting job at any point this season? I think most expect Martinez to be the guy to start this season, but the real debate is if he struggles in 2020, how long will the leash be?

The other question is how good is McCaffrey? We've got a small taste of the Colorado native last season. He flashes great speed, athletic ability and decision making. Can he carry that over to an entire game?

Also, when it comes to Martinez, if his offensive line, receivers, tight ends and running game is better around him, how big of a jump will he make in 2020?

Martinez not only battled injuries in 2019, but he also lost that day-to-day drive we saw as a freshman that helped him beat out Tristan Gebbia in Fall Camp. He didn't have anyone pushing him last season, and the lack of competition hurt him at times. On top of that, he battled a knee and shoulder injury over the last half of 2019.

Key stats and numbers from 2019

2019 total snaps
Player Total snaps

Adrian Martinez - Jr.

683

Luke McCaffrey - RFr.

69

2019 key numbers
Player Passing yards Completion percentage Rushing yards TD's INT's/ Fumbles

Adrian Martinez

1,956

59.4%

626

10 - passing


7 - rushing

9 - INT's

9 - Fumbles

Luke McCaffrey

142

75.0%

166

2 - passing


1 - rushing

0 - INT's

0 - Fumbles

Biggest question: Is there a way to use both Martinez and McCaffrey? 

I think most people would agree, if there's a way to utilize both Martinez and McCaffrey in 2020, it makes sense to make it happen.

We know what Martinez can do when he's operating at his highest level. We got a taste of the natural playmaking ability McCaffrey brings to the table.

The question is if McCaffrey is the No. 2 quarterback, can you risk having him involved in the offense with Martinez at the same time? Or do you need to protect the No. 2 quarterback just in case an injury happens?

History tells us a quarterback or two has gotten hurt every year under Scott Frost at Nebraska. With a schedule that potentially features 10 league games, you know the stakes will be higher, as will the overall physicality week-to-week.

Can you afford to take that risk and play both quarterbacks in different situations at the same time?

Another factor in that decision is how ready would true freshman Logan Smothers be if he was forced into action? Smothers has been here since January, but he never got a spring to show what he could do under center.

Projected Fall Camp QB Depth Chart 

1 - Adrian Martinez, Jr.

2 - Luke McCaffrey, RFr.

3 - Logan Smother, Fr.