MINNEAPOLIS — Nebraska offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf said he thought quarterback Tanner Lee played some of his best football in the first half Saturday against Minnesota.
The redshirt junior never got a chance to try to lead a second-half comeback.
Lee developed an "impact migraine," according to head coach Mike Riley, and did not play in the second half.
Lee did not appear to even come out of the locker room and, when the Huskers took the field to open the third quarter, redshirt freshman Patrick O’Brien saw his first extended time under center.
“There is no final medical thing that I have heard, except that the doctor used the term 'impact migraine,'" said Riley, who added that his understanding is that the migraine resulted from some contact Lee suffered in the first half, but that he never heard any of the medical staff refer to Lee’s condition as a concussion. "I do not know the specific play that it occurred. Partway through halftime someone came up to me and said, 'Tanner is talking to the doctors and he does not feel well.' … I know he doesn’t feel good right now."
Lee completed 13-of-18 for 174 yards and a touchdown in the opening half, but NU still trailed the Gophers 30-14. His final play of the half was a 14-yard touchdown throw to Tyler Hoppes with 2 minutes, 50 seconds left in the second quarter.
“Very disappointed for him,” Langsdorf said. “I thought he was playing great. We had a couple of plays in that game that he had to get through to the backside of a couple throws, and he did it great, put the ball on the money. I was just really, really bummed for him.
“I thought it was one of his best first halves, spreading the ball around and leading us to a lot of good stuff.”
NU officials told reporters early in the third quarter that Lee’s return was questionable. He did not ever make it back to the visiting sideline, however, nor did he talk to reporters after the game.
“He was just physically sick,” said Langsdorf, who has lauded Lee on his physical and mental toughness throughout the season. "He couldn’t do it."