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Huskers hope to have Omar Manning, Luke Reimer available against Wisconsin

Huskers hope to have Omar Manning, Luke Reimer available against Wisconsin

Nebraska offensive coordinator Matt Lubick has never been around two quarterbacks on same roster as skilled as Adrian Martinez and Luke McCaffrey.

Nebraska may get a boost from the return of at least two key players for Saturday’s divisional tilt against Wisconsin.

Junior college transfer Omar Manning didn’t make the trip to Ohio State last weekend for personal and physical reasons, but the 6-foot-4, 225-pound wideout could debut on Halloween. Nebraska offensive coordinator Matt Lubick said Tuesday he hopes Manning can help against Wisconsin.

“He has a lot of good skill sets that we want to utilize,” Lubick said. “The key is getting him healthy and confident.”

Confidence, Lubick said, is repping the scheme over and over. In that regard, the receiver is getting close.​

Defensive coordinator Erik Chinander said he expects sophomore inside linebacker Luke Reimer to return after he was “a little banged up” ahead of the opener. Starting senior inside ‘backers Collin Miller and Will Honas played the vast majority of the snaps but should get more in-game relief with the North Star grad and former walk-on back in the mix.

Other notables from Tuesday’s post-practice interviews:

» Lubick called it “really rare” for a team to have two quarterbacks as athletic as Nebraska’s Adrian Martinez and Luke McCaffrey. He said both could play receiver or running back as McCaffrey did against Ohio State. Even better is that both QBs are willing to do whatever is necessary to win.

» Nebraska would like to take upwards of 10 shots downfield each week, Lubick said, though it depends on what the defense is giving. He also wants to see more touches for sophomore receiver Wan’Dale Robinson than the six he got last week.

» Defensive tackle Jordon Riley is “continuing to progress” and will play when he is ready to go, D-line coach Tony Tuioti said. The juco transfer traveled but didn’t dress last week.

» With the news that Wisconsin quarterback Graham Mertz will miss Saturday’s game with a positive COVID-19 test, Chinander said he anticipates the Badgers might use senior running back Garrett Groshek in a Wildcat attack. But the key for beating Wisconsin remains stopping the run and setting up pass-rush situations.

» Miller played his best game as a Husker on Saturday, Chinander said. ​

» McCaffrey said he's embracing his do-it-all role that saw him taking handoffs and even catching a pass. He said he's fine with moving around because it's for the team.

“It’s a blessing to be on the field at all, especially in that circumstance," McCaffrey said. "… Just to be a part of the game plan in general, I’m thankful.”​

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