When Nebraska football takes on the Northwestern Wildcats, there’s a real chance that the Purple and White will be without their starting quarterback.
While Matt Rhule is busy talking about this game against Northwestern being just another game for Nebraska football, there are plenty of people who believe the Huskers badly need a win on Saturday.
They need a win not just because the Wildcats have been a consistent thorn in the side of the Nebraska football team since they joined the Big Ten. They also need a win because it would put NU at 4-3 on the season with five to play.
Now it appears that a game that is incredibly important might get a bit easier, at least on paper, for the Nebraska Cornhuskers. As of Tuesday morning, Northwestern still isn’t entirely sure who will be under center for the Wildcats on Saturday afternoon.
At first glance, it might not seem like a healthy Ben Bryant should be all that important. His stats are far from spectacular but they are solid. They were in fact, spectacular when Northwestern went up against Big Ten West rival Minnesota.
As of now, head coach David Braun can’t say whether Bryant will play against the Nebraska football team. He did address the injured quarterback in his press conference but didn’t offer anything close to a definitive answer.
"“Ben continues to progress. Not sure exactly what his status will be come game time. But he is progressing and we anticipate that will be something we continue to evaluate as the week goes along.”"
Nebraska football may not face Northwestern’s QB1
Should Bryant not be able to go, the starting job will go to Brendan Sullivan. Sullivan did start for the Wildcats and did a serviceable job, throwing for 131 yards and two touchdowns against Howard. Of course, that was Howard.
Even Northwestern beat writer Matthew Shelton wasn’t all that impressed with Sullivan in their last game.
"“Backup Brendan Sullivan got the win against Howard, but inspired little confidence that he could get it done against a Big Ten defense.”"
Against Nebraska football, the desire to see Ben Bryant under center seems to be based on that performance against Minnesota. That was a game where Northwestern rallied from a 31-10 deficit to beat the Golden Gophers in overtime. The same Golden Gophers that toppled the Huskers in their season opener.
In that game, Bryant completed 33-of-49 for 396 yards and 4 touchdowns. It should be pointed out that in the very next game, he completed just 14-of-25 for only 122 yards against Penn State.
Whoever is taking snaps for Northwestern, Nebraska football will need to be ready. Another upset loss to an inferior Wildcats squad would be totally unacceptable.