Sep 9, 2023; Boulder, Colorado, USA; Nebraska Cornhuskers quarterback Jeff Sims (7) fumbles a snap against the Colorado Buffaloes in the first quarter at Folsom Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Nebraska to stick with turnover-prone QB Jeff Sims

Jeff Sims is Nebraska’s starting quarterback if his left ankle injury allows him to play in Saturday’s home game against Northern Illinois.

Cornhuskers coach Matt Rhule said Sims is the program’s starting quarterback. The Monday declaration came despite Sims throwing four interceptions and losing two fumbles in two losses to open the 2023 season.

“Jeff is our starting quarterback,” Rhule said of Sims, who missed Sunday’s practice. “So if this hadn’t happened, he’d still be out there. That being said, we can’t keep turning the ball over. So there’s that fine line.”

Sims threw three interceptions in a 13-10 road loss at Minnesota on Aug. 31. He threw another pick and lost two fumbles during Saturday’s 36-14 loss at then-No. 22 Colorado.

The Cornhuskers committed eight turnovers in two games and are at minus-6 in the takeaway column.

“When you’re the quarterback, not everything is your fault,” Rhule said. “You snap the ball and hits a guy in motion — sometimes it’s the quarterback’s fault, sometimes it is someone else’s fault.
“This is from the top down, starting with me, we have to be better. We can’t be minus-8. That goes without saying.”

Sims has completed 20 of 34 passes for 220 yards and one touchdown in the two games. He has been solid on the ground, rushing for 158 yards, including a 57-yard score against Colorado.

But the Georgia Tech transfer has always had turnover issues. He committed 31 in three seasons with the Yellow Jackets (23 interceptions, eight fumbles) and his troubles have continued with the Cornhuskers.

Nebraska’s backup options are Heinrich Haarberg and Chubba Purdy. Haarberg went 2-for-6 passing with 13 yards and a touchdown against Colorado while Purdy came in for one play and threw an incompletion after Haarberg’s helmet came off and had to miss a play.

Purdy is the younger brother of Brock Purdy, the former Iowa State star who is making a name for himself as quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers.

Rhule said Purdy has been bothered by a groin injury.

Haarberg would likely start if Sims can’t play against Northern Illinois (1-1).

“I thought the moment wasn’t too big for him,” Rhule said of Haarberg’s cameo against Colorado. “What I loved about Heinrich is that three times they had a guy blitzing, hitting in him in the face and he stood in there and threw it — that’s the courage that we need. I thought he looked excellent running the ball, which we knew.”

–Field Level Media

Oct 1, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets quarterback Jeff Sims (10) warms up before the game against the Pittsburgh Panthers at Acrisure Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Georgia Tech QB Jeff Sims to enter transfer portal

Georgia Tech quarterback Jeff Sims announced Sunday that he plans to enter the transfer portal, which opens Dec. 5.

“It was not an easy decision, however, I believe it is the right decision for me at this point in my career,” Sims wrote on Twitter.

Sims has been a three-year starter for the Yellow Jackets, but he missed the final five games following a sprained foot suffered against Duke and then re-injured against Virginia.

Sims has thrown for 4,464 yards with 30 touchdowns and 23 interceptions in 25 career games for Georgia Tech. That includes completing 58.5 percent of his passes for 1,115 yards, five touchdowns and three picks before being shut down this season, although Sims averaged a career-low 5.9 yards per attempt.

Interim head coach Brent Key announced Nov. 15 that Sims was being shut down from playing other games “indefinitely.”

“Jeff won’t be with the football team, really kind of indefinitely now,” Key said at the time. “We had meetings with Jeff and meetings with the doctors and the medical professionals and came to the determination that it would be best for Jeff to not be in meetings or not be in practice, but to be in treatment and in rehab right now moving forward.

“Decisions that are made are like we have said since day one, made in the best interest of the team and Georgia Tech and for the health and safety of our players.”

Sims came to Georgia Tech as a four-star recruit who flipped his commitment from Florida State.

–Field Level Media

Nov 12, 2022; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets quarterback Zach Pyron (14) throws a pass against the Miami Hurricanes in the first quarter at Bobby Dodd Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Georgia Tech QB Zach Pyron (clavicle) out for season

Georgia Tech quarterback Zach Pyron will miss the rest of the season after sustaining a broken clavicle during last weekend’s 35-14 loss to Miami.

Pyron fell hard on his left shoulder after running for 19 yards late in the third quarter. He was intercepted on the following play and didn’t return to the contest.

Pyron completed 12 of 22 passes for 114 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions and also rushed for 66 yards against Miami in his second career start. He completed 59.8 percent of his passes for 565 yards, three touchdowns and three interceptions in three games.

The Yellow Jackets previously lost starter Jeff Sims to a foot injury against Virginia on Oct. 20. The party line was that Sims was available in an emergency, but now with Georgia Tech in dire need, coach Brent Key says Sims is unavailable.

“In regards to Jeff, Jeff won’t be with the football team, really kind of indefinitely now,” Key said in Tuesday’s press conference. “We had meetings with Jeff and meetings with the doctors and the medical professionals and came to the determination that it would be best for Jeff to not be in meetings or not be in practice, but to be in treatment and in rehab right now moving forward.

“Decisions that are made are, like we have said since Day One, made in the best interest of the team and Georgia Tech and for the health and safety of our players.”

Sims passed for 1,115 yards, five touchdowns and three interceptions in seven games this season.

Zach Gibson finished up against the Hurricanes and is 25-for-51 passing for 224 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions this season. Gibson started a 41-16 loss to Florida State on Oct. 29 and was 2-of-3 passing for 0 yards before being replaced by Pyron.

Georgia Tech (4-6, 3-4 ACC) visits No. 13 North Carolina on Saturday.

–Field Level Media