LINCOLN — Nebraska knows Tanner Lee is its starting quarterback.
Offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf hedged Thursday on which backup — between Patrick O’Brien and Tristan Gebbia — is No. 2.
“Not totally clear,” Langsdorf said. “Those guys, being as young as they are, they make rookie mistakes. They’ve really gotten a lot of similar reps. It’s very close that way. It’s not clear-cut. They’ve both had their days. They’ve had their good days and they’ve had some freshman blunders. We just gotta keep giving them work. I like where they’re at, but they have to be more consistent day-to-day.”
O’Brien was the clear No. 2 in spring and was battling Lee for the starting job. As a redshirt freshman, O’Brien is expected to be Lee’s backup this season as Gebbia is a true freshman. O’Brien didn’t look like the better of the two Thursday.
During a two-minute drill, O’Brien’s unit was stopped after four plays. Playing against a similar set of defenders, if not exactly the same, Gebbia led his bunch quickly into field-goal range before coach Mike Riley opted for some running plays. Gebbia’s third unit settled for a field goal.
In a red-zone drill, Gebbia found Gabe Rahn on a tricky back-of-the-end zone pattern for a touchdown. He later threw a perfect fade pass to Stanley Morgan, who caught the ball but wasn’t quite inbounds. One mistake Gebbia made, Langsdorf said, was more on the receiver than it was Gebbia.
“He got snakebit a little bit on a route that was too deep,” Langsdorf said. “It was not timed, and it’s a timed play, so it looked bad, but that was on the depth of the receiver. I thought he did some good things in the red zone. They both have had their moments. He and Patrick have been really good at times and they’ve made some freshman errors at times.”