Nebraska embarrassed themselves on Saturday. Northern Illinois is historically one of the better football teams in their conference, but the MAC squad still shouldn't be able to beat a team from the Big Ten as mighty as the Cornhuskers. One of Nebraska's big problems rested with the quarterback position, where Tanner Lee spent more time throwing to defenders than receivers in the first quarter. It begs the question as to whether or not Lee can be the team's starter going forward.

Lee struggles in loss

It was a bad day, at home no less. In the first quarter alone, Lee threw for 96 passing yards, a decent total.

The only issue is that he threw more balls to the other team. He allowed 112 interception yards in the first. Before the day was out, he would throw a third interception. Nevertheless, Mike Riley kept putting the ball in his hands, with an end result of 47 pass attempts. He wound up completing 25 for 299 yards, but didn't throw a single touchdown pass in Nebraska's 21-17 loss.

The loss continued a season of early struggles for Nebraska's starting quarterback. He has now thrown for seven interceptions, which solely leads the entire FBS after three weeks. Meanwhile, he's thrown just five touchdowns. This is his third season in college, but first with the Cornhuskers after transferring from the Tulane Green Wave.

During his sophomore season at Tulane, he threw seven picks for the entire season. No wonder chatter has begun about benching Lee.

Nebraska's other options

The days of Taylor Martinez are long gone. Lee may be struggling, but turning to a backup could be an even tougher proposition. There are technically four other quarterbacks on the roster, but all of them are underclassmen.

Freshman Ethan Cox is a walk-on. Tristan Gebbia is seen as the future at Nebraska, but the four-star freshman couldn't beat out Lee for the starting job back in the spring. Patrick O'Brien is another four-star recruit. Andrew Bunch is a sophomore...and yet another walk-on.

The commonality between all four: none has thrown a pass at the FBS level.

The struggle is set to continue soon. The Cornhuskers face hapless Rutgers at home next weekend, so that should inspire some confidence. Then, they travel to Illinois, a very winnable game. But then they face two top-ten teams - Wisconsin and Ohio State - in consecutive weeks. If Lee doesn't have his act together by then, Nebraska may be forced to go in a different direction.