Nebraska Football Names Casey Thompson Starting QB Against Northwestern Wildcats

Nebraska has named Casey Thompson, a transfer from Texas, as starting quarterback for next week’s season opener against Northwestern in Dublin, Ireland.

Coach Scott Frost, speaking on his radio show Thursday night, said Thompson will “take the first rep” against Northwestern. Thompson, who switched to Nebraska in January, started 10 games for Texas last season and led the Big 12 with 24 touchdown passes, passed 2113 yards and completed 63.2% of his attempts.

He had competed with Florida State transfer Chubba Purdy and Logan Smothers for the top job. Frost said he “wouldn’t be surprised” if more than one quarterback played for Nebraska this season. Thompson underwent surgery on his throwing thumb this summer after playing much of last season with ligament damage.

“There’s no substitute for having a lot of college football and fewer mistakes made by him,” Frost said of Thompson. “It was also a really big jump, from jump ball to fall. That thumb probably bothered him more than he showed. He throws it much better now.”

Thompson will lead a charge under new coordinator Mark Whipple, who worked at Pitt last year with Heisman Trophy finalist Kenny Pickett, the only quarterback selected in the first round of the 2022 NFL drawing.

“He has a really good feel for the wallet, throws well, he does really well with our running stuff, and that was kind of new to him,” Frost said. “He’s a footballing kid.”

Frost also discussed the impact of new offensive line coach Donovan Raiola, a former NFL lineman who spent the past four seasons on staff with the Chicago Bears.

“He’s been coaching them hard,” Frost said. “I laugh with the guys because there’s about 15-20 vomit from attacking linemen every day, and it’s not because they’re out of shape. He just works them hard. I think they love it. I’m aggressive, and I love how they come off the ball.”

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