Saturday’s 20-3 win over Kansas was all about Nebraska’s defense doing the job in shutting down the Jayhawks’ offense, but it was also another test that Taylor Martinez and his sore ankle passed as he wasn’t outstanding, but steady in leading NU to within one win of clinching the Big 12 North.
Key stats from the game that tell the story? It is simple. Nebraska had 230 rushing yards, with three different players running for at least 70 yards. The Huskers outgained KU 397-87 total yards. In fact, the Jayhawks passed for just 15 yards. Kansas got into Nebraska territory on only two of 13 drives, and the one that started in Husker territory led to their only points.
Martinez, came in averaging almost 100 yards rushing, and while the offense certainly eased him into the game, he was still flashy at times and finished with 71 yards on 11 carries. Offensive coordinator Shawn Watson left the load to Roy Helu Jr. and Rex Burkhead who combined for for 162 yards and two touchdowns on 37 carries.
As far as Turner Gill’s return, once a Husker always a Husker. A classy showing by the NU Athletic Department. Or, perhaps a ploy to soften Gill? Gill also was a Nebraska assistant for 14 years, all but one under Tom Osborne or Frank Solich. A video tribute 20 minutes before kickoff showed highlights from Gill’s playing days and included comments from Osborne.