Scott Frost had some good news for Nebraska fans on Monday.
The Huskers dropped Frost’s debut as head coach to Colorado on Saturday and lost freshman quarterback Adrian Martinez in the process. After going 15-of-20 for 187 yards with 117 rushing yards and three total touchdowns in his debut, Martinez injured his knee in the fourth quarter.
In the hours since, Nebraska fans have been holding their collective breath ahead of a prognosis, and Frost presented a positive one on Monday.
“We got about as good of news as we could have gotten on Adrian,” Frost said. “He’s going to be day-to-day. He’s a little sore but doing a lot better than I expected. I don’t think it will be very long. There’s no real ligament damage at all.”
Nebraska submits Colorado hit on Martinez to Big Ten, Pac-12
Martinez was injured with just under 3:30 left in the fourth quarter. The freshman kept on an option play and was brought down by Colorado linebacker Jacob Callier. Callier had a hold of Martinez’s leg and then Nate Landman, another Buffs linebacker, pushed Martinez down to the ground, causing the leg to bend awkwardly.
Frost told reporters Saturday that one angle of the play caused the Huskers to wonder if a Colorado player intentionally tried to injure Martinez.
Here’s one angle that has caught the attention of Nebraska fans. It appears to show Callier twisting Martinez’s leg under the pile:
“You never want to think anybody on a football field would intentionally try to hurt someone else,” Frost said. “And nobody except someone who does that knows what the intentions were. I will tell you that we have an angle that doesn’t look very good. So we turned the play into the Big Ten and the Pac-12, and we’ll see where it goes from there.
“I don’t know what the intentions were. I just know the angle I’ve seen doesn’t look good at all. Everybody’s going to have to make their own determination.”
Adrian Martinez hurt his leg in @HuskerFBNation's first game.
Updates: He's day-to-day, and the team has turned the play into the Big Ten and Pac-12 offices, for possible foul play.
— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) September 10, 2018
Later Monday, Colorado coach Mike MacIntyre released the following statement: “I was made aware that Scott Frost and Nebraska submitted a play for review with the Pac-12 Conference office. Our athletic department officials have had discussions with the conference office; no one has been suspended and we are moving forward.”
Martinez could return on Saturday
Frost indicated it’s possible that Martinez could be on the field Saturday when the Huskers host Troy. But while Martinez is on the mend, Frost said he will get backups Andrew Bunch and Matt Masker as many reps in practice as possible in order to be ready this weekend.
Following Martinez’s injury, Bunch entered the game and completed 4-of-9 passes for 49 yards. He had a chance to lead the Huskers to a win after Colorado took a 33-28 lead with 1:06 left in the ballgame, but the Huskers’ drive stalled just outside the red zone.
Bunch, a redshirt sophomore walk-on, was bumped to No. 2 on the depth chart after Tristan Gebbia transferred. Gebbia competed with Martinez for the starting role, but decided to transfer to Oregon State after Martinez won the job.