Published Sunday, September 22, 2013 AT 10:43 PM / Updated at 10:50 PM
Last Call: Next great Husker QB, volleyball
Tom Shatel Omaha World-Herald

1. The more I think about Tommy Armstrong, the more I think we saw the next great Nebraska quarterback on Saturday. Yes, it was South Dakota State. But just looking at the kid’s mechanics, his footwork, delivery, the touch on the deep passes, the decisive pitch on the option. This is a quarterback. He’s got the tools. He’ll need experience. He’s not ready for what Big Ten defenses would throw at him. But next season does not look nearly the rebuilding project now. I say get him in some meaningful games the next eight games. Draw up a package or two for him. Let him run some option. What a curve ball that would be. More like a nasty slider.

2. As long as I’m making suggestions to Tim Beck, turn Taylor Martinez loose in the run game again. Bring back his strength. With the running backs this team has, along with two running quarterbacks, I see an identity shaping up in Big Ten play. It would also help that defense. Oh, that defense.

3. So will this college student-athlete protest get legs this week? I wonder if schools will allow their players to participate? The last time I remember anything like this was Brian Bosworth wearing a National Communists Against Athletes shirt in the 1987 Orange Bowl.

4. We all need a bye week, right?

5. I like my Chicago Bears pick this year. I had no idea the New York Giants swapped rosters with the Jets.

6. I received several positive comments on my Saturday column about Husker fans, including assistant athletic director Paul Meyers. A couple of readers weren’t happy that I “encouraged fans to boo” on Saturday. That’s not true. But I went back and re-read the column and I can see where you could make that leap, though I think it’s a leap. I could have stressed this a little stronger: I don’t approve of booing college kids. They aren’t getting paid (yet). But I will forgive any fan that does. I don’t know what the perfect fan is and I don’t expect Nebraska fans to be perfect. Like I said, they’re human. The best fans don’t abandon their team. That was my point.

7. That was some weekend of volleyball. Creighton pushed Hawaii to the limit before losing, and that had to feel a bit like a win for Coach Booth’s team. If it didn’t, they’re growing up fast. I wonder what the Shocker crowd thought of those Big East patches on the Jays’ uniforms? Meanwhile, Nebraska lost a tough one at Texas, but I love John Cook’s scheduling philosophy. No trip to Penn State, so push the envelope down to Sixth Street. Cook’s team will have to grow up in a hurry in the Big Ten, and it looks like they already are. Could be a different team in late November.

8. No press conference tomorrow, but I never miss a lunch. Or a chat. See you at 12:30, right here at And see you back here at Sweep Write later this week, for more Last Call.

About Tom Shatel

Tom Shatel is a columnist for The Omaha World-Herald. You can get in touch with Tom on Twitter (@tomshatelOWH), or send him an email at