LINCOLN, Neb. - Last year’s matchup with Purdue was a game Nebraska quarterback Tommy Armstrong likely grew a lot from. A redshirt freshman at the time, Armstrong completed just 6-of-18 passes for 43 yards. His quarterback rating was in the 20s.
A year later, it can be argued Armstrong is one of the best quarterbacks in the conference and has his team in line for a Big Ten West Division title.
“They threw a lot at me,” said Armstrong. “There were a lot of things that I anticipated seeing, but I didn’t see them at all. I know now that I need to be ready for anything. Last year I was young, so they threw a lot at me and I wasn’t ready. But I have seen a lot of defenses so I am prepared for it.
“Let’s put it this way, it’s like studying for a test and you thought it was a unit one test but it was unit two. So all the stuff you studied was totally different. So that’s pretty much how it was. I studied a bunch of film that they had ran in previous weeks. But they came out with a whole different game plan for our offense. But now that I have seen a bunch of defenses I can prepare.”
Armstrong has completed 32-of-51 passes the last two weeks – which is about 63 percent. It appears the former Texas prep might be hitting his stride just in time for the Huskers division game stretch.
WILLIAMS GETS MEANINGFUL WORK:
Monday the junior was asked by reporters to describe his soreness level.
“It’s been a while. I haven’t felt like this since high school. It’s been about four, four and a half years. I’m a little sore, but it’s something I’ve been longing for for a while,” said Williams. “It’s a good sore, a good hurt. You never want to come out of a game and feel like you really didn’t really do anything or you didn’t leave it all out there, or you didn’t use every ounce of energy you had in you. It’s a good feeling.”
Williams has been part of a defensive line that has given opposing quarterbacks fits this season. The Huskers have only allowed one signal-caller to complete over 50 percent of their passes.
“We take a tremendous amount of pride in that. We work on a string. It’s a direct correlation between us and the guys behind us,” said Williams. “We get pressure on them and we force them to throw incomplete balls, force them to throw bad balls, picks, interceptions and things like that, and just force big plays. I think that’s something that is often overlooked by spectators when they watch the game. They see, 'oh yeah that guy made a nice interception.' They don’t see that the defensive line and rushing them to force a bad throw.”
Williams has 2.5 sacks and six tackles for loss this season in just five contests.
HARVEY’S EXTRA DONUTS:
* The College Football Playoff Committee’s first top 25 comes out today. It will be very interesting to see how it lines up with the AP, Coaches, and Scout.com poll. Nebraska players for the most part yesterday said they won’t be paying attention to it, but it’s likely many Husker fans will be tuning in. Scout.com had a great Q&A yesterday with three members of the committee regarding the process and criteria. I would suggest you give it a read.
* Offensive tackle Givens Price is expected back this week and practiced on Sunday according to head coach Bo Pelini. Also, kicker Mauro Bondi might be available against Purdue this weekend, but the better odds say he comes back against Wisconsin after the bye. Pelini said if the junior returns to the same level he was before his motorcycle accident, he would be the Huskers kickoff specialist.
* Ameer Abdullah’s Heisman odds improved on Monday. The senior running back is now 14 to 1 – up from 20 to 1 last week. He started the season around 33 to 1.