Armstrong struggles mightily in 59-24 loss

Nebraska quarterback Tommy Armstrong couldn't get it done on Saturday afternoon. To get back to winning way, Nebraska needs more production from the spot.

MADISON, Wis. - Nebraska quarterback Tommy Armstrong saw pressure coming from everywhere. The problem was…even when the pressure wasn’t coming, Armstrong still wasn’t playing well.

The sophomore quarterback went just 6-of-18 for 62 yards in the Huskers 59-24 loss to Wisconsin on Saturday. On the ground, where he’s been very consistent, Armstrong managed just 17 yards on 20 carries.

The Texas native, who was battling cold conditions and snow, declined to speak to reporters after the game. Head coach Bo Pelini couldn’t.

“Tommy didn’t play well today,” said Pelini. “I thought we had some opportunities to throw the football, especially early on. We missed some receivers and I thought we got worse up front as the game went on. I thought we started off well. Like I said, I thought we got worse as the game went on. Why? I don’t know. It wasn’t like we were doing something out of the ordinary from what we’ve done before.”

Armstrong’s biggest head scratcher came in the third quarter. Down just a touchdown, offensive coordinator Tim Beck called a beautiful screen pass on third down and 13. Running back Ameer Abdullah took it for 26 yards and it appeared the offense had a little momentum with the ball around midfield.

The very next play, Armstrong threw an interception. Not just an interception, a bad interception. The quarterback left the pocket and threw a bomb to Kenny Bell downfield. Armstrong overthrew it. He also didn’t see the defensive back basically playing center field.

“I think he said he didn’t see the free safety,” said Pelini. “He wasn’t pressured, he just made a horrible decision, a bad decision.”

After completing just 14-of-39 passes in the last two games combined, a lot of Husker fans would like to see Armstrong challenged by walk-on Ryker Fyfe or redshirt freshman Johnny Stanton this week. While a quarterback change is very doubtful, the starting quarterback is going to have to play better. Quarterback ratings in the 60s won’t get a W against Minnesota or Iowa.

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