Nebraska football: Why Casey Thompson is key to a Huskers rebound

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All eyes in 2022 will be on Nebraska football quarterback Casey Thompson, who transferred to the Huskers after three seasons as Texas’ quarterback.

Nebraska quarterback Casey Thompson will have his hands full as the Huskers start the 2022 season against Northwestern.

First, his new team will begin the season with a Big Ten league contest. It’s against a Northwestern squad that finished 3-9 last year, but the Wildcats have somehow played in two Big Ten title games and have two other 10-win campaigns since 2015. Head coach Pat Fitzgerald’s squad can’t be underestimated.

Second, Nebraska will play this 2022 opening game far from the comforts of home. No, they won’t be playing Northwestern off the windy shores of Lake Michigan — they will face the Wildcats across the pond in Dublin, Ireland.

Third, Thompson faces an undue amount of pressure as head coach Scott Frost begins his fifth season at his alma mater. In four seasons as Nebraska’s boss, the former national title-winning NU quarterback has merely compiled a 15-29 record, he is pinning his hopes on his newest starting signal-caller.

Yes, the Huskers managed to become the first team in FBS history to lose nine games all by a single-digit margin last year, but that hardly takes away the sting of a 3-9 season. Losing close games to Oklahoma, Michigan, and Michigan State means exactly that — the Huskers were competitive, but couldn’t come away with the W in too many contests in 2021.

As the presumptive Nebraska starter under center for 2022, Thompson brings hope after the departure of former quarterback Adrian Martinez from the program. Martinez is now playing about two-and-a-half hours south in Manhattan, Kan. with the Kansas State Wildcats in the Big 12 after four seasons with the Huskers.

Fair or not, the Fresno, Calif. native had become emblematic of Nebraska’s on-field failures — he crumbled under pressure, he threw interceptions in key moments of games, or he failed to deliver when Frost and the Huskers needed him most. In Martinez’s last three games, he threw four touchdowns and seven interceptions overall as the Huskers dropped decisions to Ohio State, Wisconsin, and Iowa.

Nebraska will hand the reins to Thompson this season in what has to be a make-or-break season for the program. The former Newcastle (Okla.) High School standout had mixed results as Texas’ starting quarterback in 2021, but his talent is undeniable.

What indicates that this new transfer quarterback holds the key for the Huskers to record their first winning season since 2016?

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