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78,312 people filled Memorial Stadium to watch the Nebraska football team battle itself in a game so vanilla, both Ben and Jerry would turn up their noses if they saw the highlights.

That said, there was still plenty to take away from a day perfect for scrimmaging and recruitment.

Patrick O’Brien looked good. Tanner Lee simply looked better.

While O’Brien has all the potential in the world to be effective, if not fantastic in this offense, Lee can make throws that the sophomore cannot.

There is no way to put it more succinctly than No. 13 is a step ahead of No. 12 right now and that is not a knock on O’Brien.

I anticipate Lee gets the nod when the depth chart is revealed, but I can also say that I feel O’Brien would be efficient in leading this offense.

That’s something I haven’t been able to say about a backup Husker quarterback in a while.

Tristan Gebbia didn’t look like someone who should be getting ready for prom. He looked like someone who might have a dog in the fight at quarterback if he wasn’t new to the college scene.

Nebraska football head coach Mike Riley said after the game that Gebbia will play a role similar to O’Brien’s in 2016.

He will be available to play for a certain period of time before a point in the season comes when burning a redshirt simply isn’t worth it.

nebraska football tristan gebbia


Yes, the Spring Game is a scrimmage, but it’s hard not to come away from a stat line like Gebbia’s (28-of-40 for 268 and a touchdown) and not be impressed.

Gebbia won’t be satisfied, though. Especially considering that interception he threw.

When taking into account that Tre Bryant and Mikale Wilbon had all of three carries apiece for the day, it’s safe to say we’re probably looking at the two guys battling for the starting running back gig (if not a rotation).

Wilbon found himself at home in the screen game, too, which was no surprise. It wouldn’t be a shock to see this battle go into fall camp and perhaps beyond.

We know Stanley Morgan and De’Mornay Pierson-El can ball, so who can Nebraska count on besides them?

Riley said that is yet to be determined, but Keyan Williams made an excellent argument for a slot position with six catches for 69 yards.

JD Spielman also piped up with four catches for 70 yards and a touchdown.

There will be plenty of tape for wide receivers coach Keith Williams to evaluate, but he may have gotten some more definitive evidence today.

The offensive line had what I would classify as an above average day.

Bryant and Wilbon may have made the unit look a bit better than it is on the ground, but a good back will do that for you.

The groups should also be praised for excellent pass protection.

All of the quarterbacks appeared to have plenty of time to go through their reads before making a proper decision more often than not.

If you were hoping to see some rousing 3-4 defense, boy howdy were you disappointed.

One thing you may not have known about defensive coordinator Bob Diaco is that while he is bringing that scheme to Nebraska, he is well-versed in the 4-2-5.

That’s what you and any potential opponents that were watching the Spring Game saw.

Riley was all for the decision. To be honest, I can keep my excitement at bay for a few more months.

Overall, a good day for football and especially for recruiting.

A member of the Football Writers Association of America, Brandon has spent over a decade reporting on and researching college football, both the sport itself and recruiting.

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