NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Nebraska coach Mike Riley said Thursday afternoon that there is still no official decision on whether senior quarterback Tommy Armstrong will suit up for the Music City Bowl on Friday.
Armstrong has been working out with the team but hasn’t been taking snaps at quarterback, Riley said. The only situation in which Riley could see Armstrong playing would be as a third-string quarterback and handing the ball off.
Senior quarterback Ryker Fyfe will start in Armstrong’s place.
Both Riley and Tennessee head coach Butch Jones met with the media on Thursday afternoon.
Here’s what else the two coaches had to say:
Riley on Ryker Fyfe, who will start in place of Armstrong:
He’s got a nice, quick release. I think through this time we’ve built up some confidence with as much as he’s been able to practice. I think he’s also kind of a ballplayer. My thought about him is he can make some plays, and I think that it’s always been kind of talked about that he’s the opposite of Tommy (Armstrong), with Tommy being a running, run-option plays. But I think (Fyfe) is a better athlete than people know.
Butch Jones on facing a Big Ten team:
We have followed the same format but we’ve also deviated a little bit for what our team needs. I think it’s a balancing act of development and excitement and making sure our teams are fresh. The bowl experience is typical of a first game. It’s a game of mysteries and unknowns and a lot of the time a bowl game is the same way. That’s a challenging thing in and of itself.
Jones on Fyfe:
He’s versatile. In their offense it looks like the QB doesn’t have to win the game, he has to manage it. They have a versatility to do what they do well and will also afford themselves to do it.
Riley on Tennessee wearing an SF27 decal on its helmet in honor of Sam Foltz:
We’re two programs with a great opportunity for representing the whole state. We appreciate Tennessee wearing the SF27 sticker on the helmet. It means a lot to everyone in Nebraska
That’s the least that we can do. It’s all about life and the respect that we have, so again I think it’s what college football is all about. I don’t know if there are any two teams respecting what’s going on like Tennessee and Nebraska have done.
Nebraska defensive coordinator Mark Banker and offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf also spoke briefly. Here’s what they had to say:
Mark Banker on Tennessee’s offense:
Any time you look at an opponent you look at personnel. I think the only thing that’s held them back is consistency. We understand that between that offensive line and the running backs they have, it’ll be a long day if we don’t handle their run game.
Langsdorf on Fyfe starting:
I think he’s excited about it. I think he’s been dialed in, preparing and getting himself in the best position to play his best football. The advantage (he has) is just the practice time. He needed that. He hasn’t had a ton of starts, he needed some more work. It was helpful that we had this much prep time for the game.
Below is the full press conference: