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A starting QB decision coming 'very soon,' Husker OC Lubick says Martinez, McCaffrey 'both can win for us'

A starting QB decision coming 'very soon,' Husker OC Lubick says Martinez, McCaffrey 'both can win for us'

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Nebraska football opens spring season, 3.9

Nebraska's new offensive coordinator Matt Lubick speaks to the press on March 9 at Memorial Stadium. 

Nebraska offensive coordinator Matt Lubick didn't exactly pour cold water on the notion that the Huskers have two quarterbacks in a close competition for the starting job.

During a Zoom session with reporters Thursday, Lubick said junior Adrian Martinez and redshirt freshman Luke McCaffrey are both playing at a "very, very high level."

"They both can win for us," Lubick said. "They're both moving the ball. That's going to be a decision between coach (Scott) Frost, Mario (Verduzco) and myself. It's going to come up very soon."

He said the evaluation is ongoing as Nebraska's opener Oct. 24 at Ohio State approaches. 

His comments come on the heels of Frost telling reporters Tuesday that there's no clear pecking order atop the quarterback depth chart.

"The fact it's a hard decision is a good situation," Lubick said. 

Martinez has a 9-12 record as the starter the past two seasons, while McCaffrey played in three games last season. 

Junior wide receiver Kade Warner said he has continued to see both make plays outside the pocket — they’re both very good athletes — but that maybe the biggest strides have come elsewhere.

“The biggest thing this year they’ve progressed on is being able to stay in the pocket and make those throws that are difficult throws, but they’re making them now,” Warner said. “I think that leap forward has been great to see, especially as a guy catching those footballs it’s been great to see. … Adrian has done a great job increasing his deep ball accuracy as well as being able to play all three levels of the passing game. Luke’s done a great job coming in here and competing, pushing Adrian every single day and saying, ‘Hey, I’m coming. I’m coming and you better keep working.’

“That 1-2 punch that they both have is a great dynamic for our football team. It gives defenses a ton of different good looks, and that’s awesome to see. They can both bring something to the table.”

Sophomore receiver Wan'Dale Robinson, who arrived on campus at the same time as McCaffrey in January 2019, said he's seen significant growth in his classmate's game. 

"It's just a testament to how much work Luke's put in," Robinson said. "During the offseason, I'm sure he was with his brothers, working. I know he was watching film, doing everything he can just to become a complete quarterback. 

"That was something he felt like he needed to probably step up in was the passing game, which, in our scrimmages and just in practice, you can tell he's taken 10 steps in that phase of the game. He's looked really, really good all throughout practices." 

10 Huskers to watch this season

Reach the writer at 402-473-7440 or ssipple@journalstar.com. On Twitter @HuskerExtraSip.

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