Shows what I know. I thought for sure Bo Pelini would name Zac Lee as the starting quarterback. Good thing I was wrong. Taylor Martinez, became the first freshman to start at QB for a season opener at NU and what a debut he had. “T-Magic” ran for 127 yards and three touchdowns and threw for 136 as the 8th Huskers rolled over Western Kentucky 49-10.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m happy for Martinez and for a freshman to do what he did was pretty remarkable, but let’s remember, this was Western Kentucky. They are in their fourth season in the FBS, they have a new coaching staff and went winless last season. In fact, this loss made it the Hilltopper’s 21 defeat.
I guess when you schedule teams like this, it will allow Nebraska to have the longest streak of season opening wins in the nation. The Huskers won their 25th in a row.
Let’s get back to Martinez and the night he had. He is the first QB since 2003 to run for more than 100 yards in a game. He led NU to scores on the first two drives of the game and four of the eight for the game. Then he turned the game over to Cody Green who worked a couple of series and drove the Huskers down for scores. Zac Lee, last year’s starter, now third on the depth chart, handed off twice and ran out the clock in the last four minutes.
Martinez averaged just over 18 yards in his seven runs with scores of 46, 19 and 15 yards. Again, while this was Western Kentucky, the thing about Martinez that makes him good is how explosive he is in his first steps. He’ll be the type of quarterback who could make up for busted plays or eliminate throwing mistake by running out of trouble.
Just as impressed as I was with the offense (even though it was Western Kentucky), I’m scratching my head how the NU defense gave up ten points, and let the Hilltoppers’ Bobby Rainey rush for 155 yards on 30 carries. Last year, NU was ninth against the run. Pelini called the defense an “embarrassment.” The Black Shirts were “red” faced after the game.
However, Pelini offered this assessment after game one of the season. “I’ve never been around a football team that played its best football in game one. You play that first one and move on. We have to make a big jump between game one and game two.”
Let’s hope there’s more to come from the “T-Magic” show.