So much about the circumstances surrounding Cameron Jurgens' collegiate debut at center on Saturday against South Alabama was noteworthy.
He became the first freshman to start a game at the position for Nebraska since the NCAA reinstituted freshman eligibility in 1972. He became just the sixth freshman to start a season opener on the offensive line for the Huskers.
Just two weeks before the opener, Jurgens wasn't even practicing regularly because of foot injuries that have dogged him for the better part of a year.
A series of high snaps — at least eight by the Journal Star's count, including one that sailed over quarterback Adrian Martinez's head for a 20-yard loss — changed the tenor of the conversation around Jurgens' debut, as did NU's general inability to run the ball effectively against a Sun Belt opponent.
Still, Jurgens was upbeat when he met with reporters on Tuesday.
"It was just awesome. I just love going out and playing football, so being able to get back out there after awhile, it was just fun," he said. "I’m a football player, and it’s just awesome being out there with my guys."
That's not to suggest he didn't take the high snaps seriously. He said plainly that he thinks it's an issue that will be rectified quickly.
"It’s all correctable. Everything’s correctable," the Beatrice native said. "I’ve been working on it and I’ll be ready for it next week. … I think it’s just getting more reps and getting more game reps. Having a guy there and so many fans, I mean, everything's correctable.
"It’s just rushing myself, and I’ll be ready for it next week."
Jurgens played the first half, logging 49 snaps, before fellow redshirt freshman Will Farniok took over for 17 second-half snaps. That was by design and not because of the snapping issues, coach Scott Frost said, as the NU staff tries to get Jurgens reacclimated without putting him at elevated risk of re-injury.
"It’s been awhile since I played a football game, so I was pretty sore, but it was awesome," Jurgens said. "I love being a little sore after a football game. That means you worked hard, and it was fun just getting back out there and getting in the groove of things."
Offensive line coach Greg Austin last week complimented the 6-foot-3, 285-pound Jurgens' ability to put repeated injuries out of his mind as he got back on the field. Jurgens said he tries to never think about it.
"You can’t worry about that. You just have to strap up and go out there and play," he said. "It’s just a mindset. You can’t be worried about what’s going to happen. If you’re worried about that, you’re not going to do what you have to do."