Martinez day-to-day; Frost says play might have been dirty
Martinez was hurt on a short run with about 4 minutes left in the 33-28 loss to Colorado. Coach Scott Frost wouldn’t disclose details about the injury Monday other than saying Martinez didn’t sustain ligament damage.
“We got about as good a news off the examination as we could have gotten,” Frost said. “He’s a little sore but doing a lot better today than I expected, and I don’t think it will be very long.”
Sophomore walk-on Andrew Bunch will have his practice repetitions increased this week in case he’s needed to start against the Trojans (1-1). True freshman walk-on Matt Masker would be Bunch’s backup.
The Huskers took a major hit in quarterback depth the last week of August when Tristan Gebbia, who lost the QB competition to Martinez, transferred to Oregon State. Frost said a player from another position might be called on to take snaps in practice so a third quarterback is available if Martinez is out.
Nebraska has sent video of the play on which Martinez was injured to conference officials for review. Frost said his view of the play from the sideline, plus video not available to the public, made him suspect the injury occurred in the tackle pile.
Outside linebacker Jacob Callier made the initial hit. Frost wouldn’t say who he thought injured Martinez.
“You never want to think anybody on a football field would intentionally try to hurt someone else,” he said. “And nobody except someone that does that knows what the intentions were. I will tell you we have an angle that doesn’t look very good. So we’ve turned the play in to the Big Ten and the Pac-12, and we’ll see where it goes from there.”
In a statement, the Pac-12 said, “We have received additional video of the play in question from Nebraska and have been in discussion with the Big Ten Conference. The play is being assessed as part of our internal review process.”
Colorado coach Mike MacIntyre said he was aware of Frost submitting the play for review.
“Our athletic department officials have had discussions with the conference office; no one has been suspended and we are moving forward,” he said in a statement.
Bunch, who redshirted last year after transferring from Scottsdale (Arizona) Community College, played the Huskers’ last series-and-a-half against Colorado. He moved the Huskers to the CU 20 before overthrowing JD Spielman in the corner of the end zone on the final play.
“Bunchy, when he’s gotten his opportunity, has done a great job,” Frost said. “I was pleased with how he performed when he came in. We’re not going to change because of who he is. We’ll try to alter it a little to make sure he’s comfortable with what we have in, but there’s not going to be wholesale changes. He knows our stuff and does a good job running it.”
Running back Devine Ozigbo said Bunch has the full backing of the team.
“I think Andrew is a playmaker,” Ozigbo said. “We have a lot of confidence in all of them. I really think Andrew can get the job done if it’s on him this week. We’re going to let him ride, and I feel he’s going to impress a lot of people.”