adidas sir bag catching up to the speed of the college game
“You’re talking about a guy who got a raw deal,” Bell said earlier this week at Big Ten Conference Media Day in Chicago. “Any idea what it takes to play quarterback at the University of Nebraska? I mean the starter had been the starter for four years and was arguably one of the best quarterbacks ever to play the position at our university.
“He gets hurt, and (Armstrong) comes in and wins (seven) games and beats Georgia. I don’t care who you are, that’s impressive. To come in and fill those kinds of shoes was unbelievable.”
Now Armstrong is back. He’s different than a year ago. His teammates can see the difference. He’s no longer the wide eyed freshman.
Every player goes through that. Bell did as a redshirt freshman back in 2011. When receivers coach Rich Fisher told him to go in for the first time against Fresno State, Bell nearly had a panic attack.
” I couldn’t even breath for like the first six plays,” Bell said. “It was unreal. So hats off to Tommy. That’s the biggest thing. You’re going to see a guy who explodes.”
Armstrong split time with senior Ron Kellogg III. last year. He finished the season with 68 completions in 131 attempts with nine touchdowns and eight interceptions.
Armstrong missed the final regular season game against Iowa with with an ankle injury. That was tough at the time, but he said that injury may have helped him turn the corner. The game wasn’t as fast for him after that.
“I think it slowed down for me a lot after getting hurt and being able to sit and watch a little bit and see it all starts off with me,” Armstrong said Friday morning before Fan Day at Memorial Stadium. “As much as I want to panic sometimes, you don’t have to do that. Have trust in your teammates and everything will fall in place. You can’t just go out there and just play. You actually have to put in the work. I think last year I struggled in areas I could have fixed, but I felt like it was going to happen. I think this year I did a better job actually going out there and trying to fix them.”
Nebraska coach Bo Pelini said Armstrong will take the first snap when the Huskers open practice on Monday, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll be the starter on Aug. 30 against Florida Atlantic.
Redshirt freshman Johnny Stanton and walk on sophomore Ryker Fyfe are also said to be in the mix.
“We’re going to have a very talented quarterback, whoever that ends up being,” Pelini said. “And the pieces around him are going to be pretty good. I think that’s going to be a big piece of the puzzle is the quarterback understanding that because you don’t have to go out and win a game by yourself. Let the offense work for you, let the talent around you do their job.”
Armstrong said he understands that now.
“When you do your job and everybody else does their job, that’s how you win games,” Armstrong said. “You can’t do it by yourself. That’s why there’s 10 other guys out there with you. It’s a trust issue, me having trust in my teammates and them having trust in me.”
Armstrong admits to being a bit of a perfectionist. That’s something offensive coordinator Tim Beck has talked to him about.
“Coach Beck always tells me, ‘Don’t be your biggest critic and don’t go out there and be hard on yourself all the time. That’s our job,” Armstrong said. “I try not to do it but sometimes I do it anyway.”
Pelini said Armstrong has done the things he needed to do to have a good season.
“Tommie has had a tremendous offseason,” Pelini said. “He’s really done well. I thought he had a good spring. But I think physically he continues to make strides. He’s big, physical. He’s really done a nice job in the weight room and off season workouts. He’s put a lot of time in understanding the mental side of things. When we start practice on Monday, that will be his first chance to take all that and put it all together.”
Armstrong has been working with the No. 1 unit now for quite some time. He said that does nothing but help him.
“It changes a lot,” Armstrong said. “It helps me to run with the ones. That helps me get that chemistry down. Now I feel since I ran with the ones throughout the off season, it’s just that mental aspect of the game, being able to be that leader on and off the field and make the team stronger.”
Nebraska to wear all red uniforms against Illinois
LINCOLN (AP) Nebraska and Adidas have announced that the Cornhuskers will wear all red uniforms for their game against Illinois on Sept. 27.
The “Red Rising” uniforms unveiled Friday feature black metallic stripes on the jersey and pants, black and silver metallic numbers and a large “N” on the chest.
The uniform uses what’s called “Techfit Shockweb” technology, which makes it fit tighter and, according to Adidas, makes players more difficult to tackle.