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Nebraska vs. Purdue, 11.02.2019

Nebraska quarterback Adrian Martinez (2) warms up alongside Noah Vedral (16) before the game against Purdue on Saturday at Ross-Ade Stadium in West Lafayette, Ind.

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- The momentarily peaked though the clouds at Ross-Ade Stadium, but it's shaping up to be a cold, overcast -- but dry -- day for football between Nebraska (4-4, 2-3) and Purdue (2-6, 1-4). 

Nebraska has its starting quarterback back in the fold. Sophomore Adrian Martinez is expected to start and play Saturday, per a source, after missing the past two games with a left knee injury. Just before kickoff, Husker Sports confirmed that Martinez is expected to start .

The 6-foot-2, 225-pound sophomore said he was ready to go on Tuesday, making his return seem imminent, though head coach Scott Frost did not confirm Martinez's status on Thursday during his final talk of the week with reporters.

Fellow sophomore Noah Vedral is also available, though freshman Luke McCaffrey missed the week of practice after suffering an apparent left knee injury against Indiana last week.

The news on the defensive side of the ball is not so good. Sophomore safety Cam Taylor-Britt was not on the field with NU's defensive backs before the game. He is not expected to play due to illness, per a source. 

Taylor-Britt is not on the travel roster. 

It remains to be seen how the Huskers will cover that absence, though one possibility is that junior cornerback Dicaprio Bootle could see some time at safety. 

According to the Husker Sports radio pregame show, Purdue star sophomore WR Rondale Moore will not play. 

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McCaffrey was not in uniform when the NU quarterbacks took the field about an hour before kickoff. The Huskers have four quarterbacks dressed: Martinez, Vedral, junior walk-on Andrew Bunch and redshirt freshman walk-on Matt Masker. 

Senior walk-on running back Wyatt Mazour, who sported a boot on his left foot during the practice week, is not on the trip. 

Nebraska had more travel roster turnover than between most weeks, and it appears to be for a variety of reasons. Since the trip three weeks ago to Minnesota, Maurice Washington and Miles Jones have both left the program. On top of that, McCaffrey, Taylor-Britt and Mazour are unavailable this week for injury/illness reasons. 

There is also an uptick of freshmen on the trip, which likely is because NU is now into the final four games of a season, meaning if some of them were to get into a game -- and you can't bring a player on the road if you're unwilling to put him in the game should a situation present itself -- a redshirt can still be retained. 

That group includes Noa Pola-Gates (two games so far this season), ILB Garrett Snodgrass (zero), DL Ty Robinson (zero), OL Brant Banks (zero) and Weinmaster (zero). 

That is in addition to the group of freshmen that has traveled all year. Overall, 14 true freshmen are on the trip for the Huskers, a season high.  

This story will be updated. 

Contact the writer at pgabriel@journalstar.com or 402-473-7439. On Twitter @HuskerExtraPG.

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Sports writer

Parker joined the Journal Star as the University of Nebraska football beat writer in August 2017. He previously covered Montana State athletics for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle and graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 2012.

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