Nebraska coach Bo Pelini is second-guessing his decision to pull quarterback Taylor Martinez in the third quarter of Saturday’s 20-13 loss to Texas. Pelini said on the Big 12 coaches’ teleconference with reporters Monday that he doesn’t know if it was the right decision because Nebraska’s problems went beyond quarterback play.
The Cornhuskers had three receivers drop touchdown passes, and the offensive line was outplayed. Pelini said he and offensive coordinator Shawn Watson discussed whether to change quarterbacks but that Pelini made the call. Zac Lee came in and led the Huskers to a field goal. Martinez will start this week at Oklahoma State.
The other thing Pelini needs to figure out is how this team can play better at home. It’s been something that has been bothering Pelini who says that while the crowd has been awesome, he thinks there are less distractions with road games.
Since Pelini took over in 2008, some of his team’s worst performances have come at Memorial Stadium. In his first year, NU lost 52-17 to Missouri. Last season, a 31-10 letdown against Texas Tech, followed a week later by a 9-7 loss to Iowa State in which the Huskers turned the ball over eight times. This year, of course last week’s loss, but ever the 17-3 win over South Dakota State was ugly. Up to this point, in Pelini’s two plus seasons, NU is 14-5 at home, but when you throw out the easy non-conference opponents and look at opponents like Virginia Tech and Big 12 teams, NU is just 5-5, meanwhile they are 8-3 against formidable opponents on the road.
This season in two road games, NU has scored 104 points. In four home games which included South Dakota State, Idaho, Western Kentucky, NU has scored just 13 more points and two more games. So, something is there.
After this week’s road game, NU is home against Missouri, that game airs on national TV with a 2:30 kick.