LINCOLN, Neb. — There’s not been a lot of quarterback controversy in Ryker Fyfe’s career.
The Nebraska senior has either been the backup to Tommy Armstrong or the starting quarterback by default because of injury.
This week, it’s a mix of both.
Nebraska coach Mike Riley announced on Monday that Fyfe would start this week if Armstrong was ruled out of Saturday’s home game against Minnesota. Armstrong was taken to the hospital with concussion-like symptoms during the Ohio State game last Saturday.
After practice on Wednesday, Riley announced that Armstrong has recovered “normally” during the concussion protocol so far and will practice without contact on Thursday. If things go well over the next few days, Armstrong feels good and the doctors clear him, Riley said Armstrong will likely play Saturday.
Riley emphasized that Armstrong has not been cleared and is still day to day.
All the while, Fyfe continues to prepare like a starter.
“I approach every week the same, maybe a little more this week, just get ready for the game and get ready to start,” Fyfe said after practice.
Fyfe has started one game in his career, which was around this time last season. On Oct. 31 last year, Fyfe started while Armstrong was out with an ankle injury. He threw for 407 yards, 4 touchdowns and 4 interceptions in Nebraska’s 55-45 loss at Purdue.
Since then, Fyfe said, he feels like he’s grown as a quarterback.
“I’ve learned a lot, just knowing what (Nebraska offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf) wants to call in certain situations,” Fyfe said. “Being in the system for two years definitely helped.”
Armstrong has been by Langsdorf’s side all week at practice and going though what Langsdorf calls mental reps. He said there are two game plans, essentially, for Minnesota, one with Armstrong as the quarterback and one with Fyfe.
Langsdorf said he likes a lot of what Fyfe brings to the table, including how fast he plays and the accuracy of his throws.
“He’s had a really good week,” Langsdorf said. “… He’s looked good all year, he just hasn’t had a lot of the game reps. So we’re getting him a lot of the work the last couple days and he’s taken a majority of the snaps and I think it’s been good for him. He’s looked good.”
Behind Fyfe is holder and WR Zack Darlington, who was recruited to Nebraska to be a quarterback. Darlington was a 3-star quarterback from Florida and the No. 12 dual-threat quarterback in the 2014 class.
“He’s good with what we’ve been doing; he’s a smart kid,” Langsdorf said.
Nebraska has a package of plays for Darlington if Fyfe has to come out.
“He’s played the position, he was a really good player in high school so just having him there, there’s definitely a comfort level,” Langsdorf said.
For Fyfe, he said he doesn’t care who the starter is on Saturday.
“If I start, cool. If not, that’s the coaches’ decision,” Fyfe said. “Not mine.”