Husker notes: Cam Jurgens makes strides in loss; Kicker carousel

BOULDER, Colo. — Cam Jurgens' voice was hoarse. He cleared his throat, then tried to answer the question again.

How did this one get away?

"We just wanted to go out and step on them," Jurgens said. "And we stalled out a little bit."

The redshirt freshman center from Beatrice and the offense took major strides from last week. His snaps were much better overall — the third-and-9 one in overtime that led to an Adrian Martinez sack was noticeably low — and Nebraska found an offensive rhythm in the first half.

But instead of talking about his individual performance in a win, he was left wondering how an O-line that allowed six sacks and paved the way for just 93 rushing yards after halftime can recover from a come-from-ahead loss.

"We need to keep working," Jurgens said. "We need to get a better run game than that, a lot better run game."

Kicker carousel

Nebraska kicker Barret Pickering (injury) didn't travel, leaving senior punter Isaac Armstrong to handle many of the sophomore's duties Saturday. The walk-on from Lincoln Southwest connected on a 26-yard field goal before halftime and went 4 for 4 in extra points in his first action as a college kicker.

But he pulled the potential game-tying 48-yarder wide left in overtime. Backup quarterback Noah Vedral was the holder all day for Armstrong, who usually fills that role.

"I trust Isaac as a football player," NU coach Scott Frost said. "He punted well today; this isn't on him."

Armstrong averaged 46.2 yards across five punts, including two inside the CU 20-yard line.

True freshman walk-on Dylan Jorgensen, who served as kicker last week, handled the first two kickoffs before giving way to Michigan State punter transfer William Przystup for the final four.

'Got to be sharper'

Nebraska had seven scholarship receivers on the trip to Colorado. Three more walk-ons made the trip, too.

Just two — JD Spielman and Wan’Dale Robinson — caught passes for the Huskers in Saturday’s 34-31 loss to Colorado. And NU’s receivers accounted for just 147 of quarterback Adrian Martinez’s 290 passing yards on Saturday, too.

When Martinez needed to find a receiver on three late drives — two in the fourth quarter and one in overtime — he struggled to find open guys. Twice he targeted senior California transfer Kanawai Noa, who was blanketed in coverage. Noa doesn’t have a catch this season.

NU’s receivers aren’t getting open often enough, coach Scott Frost said afterward.

“I’ve got a lot of faith in Kanawai, and the ball doesn’t seem to be finding him, so we’ve got to make it happen,” Frost said. “Didn’t get it to JD enough. Wan’Dale did some good things when we got it to him. We’ve got to get it too him more … as coaches, we can’t scheme these guys open all the time.”

Frost noted that CU receiver Laviska Shenault, who only had five grabs for 31 yards, still finds a way to get open.

“We’re doing the best we can to put these guys in situations,” Frost said. “We’ve got good enough players. I’d go to battle with JD, Kanawai and Wan’Dale and the rest of the guys any time, but we’ve got to be sharper.”

Quick hits

» True freshmen Quinton Newsome, Garrett Nelson, Robinson and Jorgensen all played in their second straight games Saturday. Freshman walk-on Luke Reimer traveled and made his collegiate debut. Players can appear in up to four games while maintaining redshirt eligibility.

» Without a restriction on its travel roster in a nonconference game, Nebraska brought 81 players to Colorado. Big Ten games allow for 74. Among notable players not to travel included safety Deontai Williams and receiver Jaron Woodyard. Williams was injured last week while the reason for Woodyard's absence is unknown. Receiver Kade Warner, who didn't play against South Alabama, traveled but didn't appear in the participation report.

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