Martinez has not practiced since the Huskers game against UCLA almost three weeks ago. Pelini has said multiple times the record-setting quarterback will not be back on the field until he's entirely 100 percent. At the moment, Martinez's mobility, which has always been a huge strength for the California product, is hindered.
"Until he feels comfortable putting his foot in the ground and doing what he needs to do, you won't see him," said Pelini. "He's getting close."
Nebraska will go with redshirt freshman Tommy Armstrong, who will see his second start of the season. Against South Dakota State, the former four-star high school product went 12-of-15 passing, for 169 yards and a touchdown. While he's not as explosive as a healthy Martinez, Armstrong is a threat to run and had 39 yards on five carries against the Jackrabbits. Armstrong could split some of the reps with former walk-on senior quarterback Ron Kellogg III, who also was effective against SDSU.
"(Both quarterbacks) had a good week," Pelini said. "They are feeling good. I think their confidence just grows. They've been getting a lot of reps. No matter who the quarterback is, the key is playing good around them. I think our guys understand that and we're ready to do that."
Nebraska (3-1) is 9 ½ point favorites against the Illinois (3-1) on Saturday.