Nebraska football: Huskers preparing for Patrick O’Brien to start

Quarterback Patrick O'Brien
Quarterback Patrick O'Brien /

The Nebraska football team could see Patrick O’Brien start if Tanner Lee is out with a concussion.

Patrick O’Brien could be making his first ever start for the Nebraska football team on Saturday. It’s a safe bet that Huskers head coach Mike Riley would have liked that first start to come against someone other than Penn State.

At his Monday morning press conference, Riley announced that regular starting quarterback Tanner Lee is going through the concussion protocol. At the moment, the head coach has said he doesn’t know if Lee will be ready to be back by Saturday.

The good news is that O’Brien got significant action last Saturday against the Minnesota Golden Gophers. It was only the second game he’s played in at the college level. O’Brien also got in some mop-up duty at the end of the blowout loss to Ohio State.

O’Brien started the second half of the game this weekend after Lee was apparently hit in the head near the end of the first half. Riley said after that game that he did not realize that Lee was hurt until about midway through halftime when someone told him Tanner was talking to the team doctors.

Lee exited a game he was excelling in before he had to leave. Despite a poor defensive performance, the quarterback completed 13 of 18 passes for 174 yards ane one touchdown. Coming off a three-interception game, Lee did not turn it over and appeared to be protecting the ball better.

After O’Brien came into the game, he completed 12 of 18 passes for 137 yards. He also had a 14-yard scramble. If there was one big negative to the backup’s play, it was the fact that he got sacked six times. There were plays where it appeared a more seasoned quarterback could have seen the pass rush coming, but he was also in a situation where he was throwing on every down.

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The Nebraska football team, most likely led by Patrick O’Brien will square off against the Penn State Nittany Lions at 3:00 pm on Saturday. The game will be televised on FS1.