Nebraska to be without injured QB Adrian Martinez vs. No. 17 Iowa

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

LINCOLN, Neb. — Nebraska quarterback Adrian Martinez will miss the Cornhuskers’ season finale against Iowa because of a shoulder injury, coach Scott Frost announced.

Frost said redshirt freshman Logan Smothers would start against the 17th-ranked Hawkeyes (9-2, 6-2 Big Ten).

Martinez’s right (throwing) shoulder was hurt in the first half against Wisconsin when he was hit by a defender as he threw a pass in the first half. He was able to finish the game.

Frost said the extent of the injury wasn’t known until Martinez had a more thorough examination once the team returned to Lincoln. Martinez reported hearing clicking in the shoulder and told the staff he didn’t think he would be able to throw with enough velocity to be effective, Frost said.

Martinez has played through numerous injuries in his four years as the starter for the Cornhuskers (3-8, 1-7), including a broken jaw he sustained in September.

“He’s such a tough kid,” Frost said. “I didn’t expect him to play in the second half and he came up to me right before the second half kickoff and said he wanted to go. He played well, played tough. I feel terrible for him, but appreciate him, and we’re going to have to be without him Friday.”

Martinez would be eligible to return for a fifth season because the NCAA is allowing an extra year of eligibility due to the pandemic. Martinez has not announced if he’ll return, enter the transfer portal or pursue other opportunities outside football.

Martinez has been prolific statistically, but his big numbers haven’t translated into many wins. Martinez set the Nebraska record for career total offense in the 35-28 loss at Wisconsin, and he averaged 308 yards per game this season, well ahead of the school record he set in 2018.

Martinez went into 2019 getting mention as a Heisman Trophy candidate, but he never built on his impressive freshman season. Throughout his career he’s been prone to fumbling and throwing interceptions and is just 15-23 as the starter.

Frost said he hopes Martinez returns in 2022.

“He’s done a ton of really good things at the University of Nebraska,” Frost said. “Sometimes it’s been great, sometimes it hasn’t. But I admire and respect him, and he and I’ve been battling through a lot together, and I just appreciate who he is.”

WVU RB Donaldson in concussion protocol, out for Baylor game

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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) West Virginia running back CJ Donaldson is in concussion protocol and will miss next week’s home game with Baylor after he was injured in a loss to Texas, coach Neal Brown said Tuesday.

Donaldson remained on the ground after he was tackled on a short gain in the third quarter of Saturday’s 38-20 loss to the Longhorns. His helmet and shoulder pads were removed and he was carted off the field on a stretcher. After the game he was cleared to travel home with the team.

“He’s recovering,” Brown said. “There is a strict return-to-play (policy) that we have to follow here and I’m zero involved in it. All I do is ask the question. They don’t even start the return-to-play until they’re symptom free.”

Donaldson, a 240-pound freshman, leads the Mountaineers with 389 rushing yards and six touchdowns, with an average of 6.9 yards per carry.

West Virginia (2-3, 0-2 Big 12 Conference) is idle this week and hosts Baylor (3-2, 1-1) next Thursday, Oct. 13.

Taulia Tagovailoa says he visited brother, Tua, over weekend

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Maryland quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa was able to visit his brother, Tua, last weekend after the Terrapins’ game against Michigan State, he said Tuesday in his first comments to reporters since Tua left the Miami Dolphins’ game against Cincinnati last Thursday with a frightening head injury.

Taulia played in Maryland’s win over Michigan State on Saturday but was not made available to the media afterward. He said Tuesday he was able to go to Florida and spend some time with his brother, who suffered a concussion four days after taking a hit in another game but was cleared to return.

“He’s doing good, everything’s fine,” he said. “My biggest thing was just seeing him and spending as much time as I can with him. I came back Sunday night.”

Tagovailoa said he appreciates the support for his brother.

“My brother’s my heart. He’s someone I look up to, someone I talk to every day,” he said. “It was just a hard scene for me to see that.”

Tagovailoa said he was in constant contact with his mother about his brother’s situation, and he was finally able to talk to Tua on Friday night.

“I really just wanted to go there and just spend time with my family, hug them and stuff like that,” Taulia Tagovailoa said. “But he told me he’s a big fan of us, and he’d rather watch me play on Saturday. … After that phone call, I was happy and getting back to my normal routine.”

Tagovailoa indicated that his brother’s injury didn’t make him too nervous about his own health when he took the field again.

“I guess when that happens to someone like my brother, or when anything happens to one of my family members, I don’t really think of how it will be able to affect me,” he said. “I just think of: `Is he OK? How’s he doing?”‘

Although it was a short visit to Florida, he said he and Tua made the most of their chance to be together.

“I just wanted to make sure he’s healthy and stuff, which he is,” Taulia Tagovailoa said.