‘Ball of power’ McCaffrey out to rev up Nebraska offense


LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Upon assembly Luke McCaffrey for the primary time, Nebraska defensive lineman Ty Robinson most likely hoped his new roommate would in the reduction of on the caffeine.

”That man,” Robinson stated, ”is a ball of power.”

Robinson lived with McCaffrey once they first arrived at Nebraska final yr, and he rapidly found the Cornhuskers’ new beginning quarterback would not know the way to dial it down. There’s at all times pep in his step, a slap on the again for everybody on the sideline, a can-do angle whatever the state of affairs.

”I really feel like he has that fireplace in him to get different guys going and I feel that is going to be key for our offense,” Robinson stated. ”He is bought that fireplace, that aggressive edge the place we’ll begin seeing good issues occur.”

The Huskers (1-2, 1-2 Huge Ten) beat Penn State 30-23 final Saturday for his or her first win since Nov. 23, 2019. McCaffrey’s beginning debut was overshadowed by the protection, which made two large stops late within the sport after the offense spent a lot of the second half sputtering.

The transfer from Adrian Martinez to McCaffrey wasn’t an enormous shock, although. The little brother of NFL star Christian McCaffrey had flashed playmaking skill in a number of roles final yr and coach Scott Frost knew his offense was higher with Luke McCaffrey on the sphere.

Frost stated within the offseason the plan was for McCaffrey to deal with being a quarterback reasonably than a receiver this season. The preseason competitors between Martinez and McCaffrey was neck-and-neck, and Frost stated he would have been comfy with both one because the starter, however Martinez separated himself due to his incumbency.

Martinez confirmed little spark in losses to Ohio State and Northwestern, making change imminent.

Frost stated McCaffrey was ”actually strong” in opposition to Penn State. The redshirt freshman from Highlands Ranch, Colorado, threw for 152 yards and ran for 67 and, true to his persona, popped up rapidly every time he was tackled. He additionally had a hand in two touchdowns.

That does not imply McCaffrey has the job locked up.

”It’s going to at all times be the identical: whoever provides us the perfect likelihood to win goes to be on the market,” Frost stated, ”and whoever practices the perfect.”

McCaffrey accounted for 135 yards taking part in three positions in opposition to Ohio State. He stood prepared on the sideline in opposition to Northwestern, helmet at all times on, however did not get into the sport till late within the third quarter aside from being a decoy for one play within the first half.

Although followers have clamored to see extra of McCaffrey because the center of final season, he stated it wasn’t laborious ready for his likelihood to start out.

”I feel persistence is a really useful ability for anyone, particularly for an athlete,” he stated. ”In relation to analysis, I take into account myself my hardest critic, and shifting ahead there are issues that may be cleaned up, and effectivity will proceed to develop.”

McCaffrey’s signature play in opposition to Penn State got here late within the first half. With a move rusher closing in, he switched the ball from his proper to left hand and dumped it off to Marvin Scott III. The third-and-9 play netted 14 yards, and the Huskers kicked a area aim to steer 27-6 at halftime.

Frost had no drawback with the play as a result of it labored.

”I advised him this morning I by no means need to curtail their artistic skill as soccer payers,” Frost stated. ”You need to be disciplined once you do these issues and ensure they do not flip into detrimental performs.”

McCaffrey stated Martinez has been supportive. Martinez, who did not play in opposition to Penn State, had began all 23 of his profession video games and is in his second yr as a staff captain.

”He is been proper there by my facet,” McCaffrey stated, ”and he is been the most effective function fashions, greatest folks and greatest leaders that I have been in a position to meet.”

Nebraska middle Cam Jurgens stated the offense runs easily with both quarterback. McCaffrey does deliver an intangible, although.

”Luke has at all times bought an insane quantity of power,” Jurgens stated. ”He is at all times bouncing round. I feel a few of the folks feed off his power.”

McCaffrey stated he will get his zest for all times from his mother, Lisa McCaffrey. She was a three-year starter in soccer at Stanford and, he stated, is captivated with all the pieces she does. Luke’s dad is three-time Tremendous Bowl champion Ed McCaffrey.

Requested if Luke’s power is on on a regular basis or if it ever wanes, his previous roomie Robinson stated, ”On a regular basis, and I adore it.”

Extra AP school soccer: https://apnews.com/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25


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