Nebraska football lost its fifth game of the season on Saturday. It did so thanks, in large part, to an offense that never really found a rhythm.

A year ago, that would have been a surprise considering that Adrian Martinez was back. The sophomore quarterback had missed the last few games with an injury. In his place, Noah Vedral has been getting the call. Luke McCaffrey got some playing time in as well.

Now that Adrian is back, and the Huskers are still losing, it might be time to start looking inward at just why this team can't get over the hump.

Adrian has been taking his share of the blame, for this season, since day one. When he strode to the podium after the latest loss, he stepped up and took the blame. He was also not wrong.

Martinez has been up and down all season, even when he's been healthy.

His accuracy has been rough, his decision making has been rougher, and both were problems again on Saturday.

In his absence, first Vedral and then McCaffrey showed they can handle the job, at least in short bursts. They weren't the reason Nebraska lost to Indiana last week. In fact, they both played very well as you can see by their stats on ESPN, until they both got hurt. With Adrian's continued struggles, it's time to see if they can handle it for longer periods of time.

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Building Nebraska football for the future

Sitting at 4-5 on the season, it appears the Cornhuskers are going to miss a bowl game for the third straight year. In order to win six games, at this point, they would need to beat either Iowa or Wisconsin, along with Maryland. That's extremely unlikely.

That means, for all intents and purposes, the team is playing for 2020. One of the things Nebraska football needs to figure out is who is going to start under center next season.

There was a time when the obvious answer was Adrian Martinez but that really shouldn't be obvious anymore.

McCaffrey gave Martinez a run for the starting job during the fall camp. He played well enough that the coaching staff pointed to wanting to redshirt him as the main reason the competition ended.

Noah Vedral has outplayed Adrian this season. Both have a claim as the starting quarterback for the Nebraska football team. Add in Logan Smothers coming into town next week and things could be wide open. Why not start the competition now?

Vedral's edge

it's clear that Adrian is a better raw talent than Noah Vedral. It's also true that Noah Vedral has spent more time in Frost's offense than anyone on the roster. He's taken that knowledge and completed 33 of 49 passes for 400 yards while rushing for 106 yards and three touchdowns.

Coming into today, Martinez had completed just 60 percent of his passes and had five interceptions to seven touchdowns.

More importantly, his completion percentage has been lower and interceptions higher because of high throws and bad reads. No, Vedral hasn't outright won the starting job from Martinez but with three games to go in the season, a week of the quarterback competition, combined with splitting time for Nebraska football can't hurt and it just might help.

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