|Winning becomes norm at Nebraska|
|November 18, 2016 Frank Marquez|
I donít often use the word, mainly because it has been used to describe just about anything nowadays, but what Tommy Armstrong Jr. (my mistake for not including the Jr. part of his full name all season long) pulled off this past week against the Minnesota Golden Gophers, was nothing less than amazing in a come-from-behind 24-17 victory. Beyond amazing, in fact, because the Big Ten named him Player of the Week.
Armstrong scored three TDs to the tune of 19-of-27 for 217 passing yards. He also carried the ball for 61 yards rushing, providing the bulk of the Huskersí offense, all of this, playing nearly half the game on a fragile ankle.
What was hands down amazing? The 91-yard tiebreaking touchdown drive after being helped off the field in the previous series. No. 19 Nebraska rebounded nicely after the beat down it took from the Ohio State Buckeyes in the previous week, which stopped the Huskersí two-game losing skid against AP top 10 opponents, the Wisconsin Badgers being the other winner over Nebraska (8-2, 5-2 conference).
Take into account this Minnesota team was no patsy. The competition this year in the Big Ten probably ranks as one of the best in recent memory, considering the Iowa Hawkeyes, who had their sights set on at least being in the playoff conversation, bounced back at Kinnick Stadium to take down the remaining undefeated team in the conference, the Michigan Wolverines, 9-1 overall.
The West Division, as it turns out, has been just as competitive as its East counterpart with Minnesota, Iowa, and Northwestern sitting comfortably with 4-3 conference records. Fans may likely see Penn State, which is on a six-game win streak, represent the East, and Wisconsin represent the West, if it doesnít falter against either the Purdue Boilermakers or the Gophers in the final two games of the regular season. And what if they do lose, and Nebraska takes care of business against Maryland and Iowa? Considering this past weekend of major upsets, we might see the Huskers creep into the playoff picture, but that depends on the X Factor, whoís in as quarterback, and possible repeat amazing performances by Armstrong.
Whatís left for the team that has relied on Tommy to get them to the promised land? As of a report by Chris Kwiecinksi, Land of 10 Staff Writer, Tommy has a hamstring injury, making him day-to-day, and his playing status unknown versus the Maryland Terps this Saturday.
Senior QB and backup to Tommy, Ryker Fyfe would get the nod. Fyfe has reportedly been taking most of the snaps this past week in practice. Tommyís participation is critical if Nebraska has plans to win out. Two parts of Nebraskaís offensive approach would need to change. A retooled O line needs to provide Ryker enough