Tuesday links: Is Huskers QB career over?

Well, this makes it official: The career of Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez apparently is over—according to his father. What a way to start Tuesday links. Martinez’s father, Casey Martinez, wrote in an email to the Associated Press on Monday night that said Taylor has a “debilitating injury” near the ball of his left foot that could take until February or March to heal fully. This is too bad. This was supposed to be Martinez’s senior season of glory, when it all came together as he led the Cornhuskers to the program’s first league title since 1999 and was a Heisman contender.

On the bright side, Tommy Armstrong continues to develop nicely—and Nebraska’s season of promise lives on. The kid is 5-0 as a starter this season. Funny how storylines twist and turn.

Nebraska isn’t the only school to get some bad news on the injury front: Northwestern running back Venric Mark is done for the season.

“Venric will not be returning to participation this season,” NU coach Pat Fitzgerald said. “He’s continuing to recover from an ankle fracture that he had against Wisconsin. We’re disappointed for him first and foremost and obviously for the team. It’s not that the injury has gotten worse. It’s just that it hasn’t gotten any better. We’ll look at the hardship and all that stuff at the end of the year. That’s the way those things work.”

Mark hardly has played in 2013. He suffered an injury in the season-opener at Cal. After missing the remainder of the non-conference schedule, Mark returned to play vs. Ohio State and at Wisconsin. During the first quarter in Madison, Mark suffered the ankle fracture that sidelined him indefinitely … and now for the season. Like Martinez’s injury at Nebraska, Northwestern has nicely absorbed Mark’s absence. Still, the Wildcats would be better with him in the lineup, but NU’s struggles go beyond Mark’s absence.

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Have to slip in some hoops today, with No. 1 Kentucky taking on No. 2 Michigan State tonight. It’s like March in November. Here is a video of Tom Izzo breaking down this huge early, early, early season game.

Izzo says the big game is good for college hoops. No doubt, it draws attention to the sport during a busy time on the sporting calendar.

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After Michigan lost to Nebraska, a Cornhusker defensive end Randy Gregory said the Wolverine attack was predictable. Brady Hoke doesn’t agree.

Gregory said the NU defense knew which plays Michigan was going to run based on the formation. The Wolverines finished with just 175 yards of total offense, and a negative rushing total (minus-21) for the second game in a row.

“He’s wrong,” Hoke said of Gregory. “We know what other guys are going to do, too. Everybody has that. When you win a football game, sometimes it’s easy to say that.”

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The great Bob Flounders of Pennlive.com takes a look at some issues facing Penn State after its loss at Minnesota.

Right at the top: poor third-down production in the red zone. Oh, and big plays on defense also are an issue. Against Minnesota, Penn State’s defense allowed touchdown drives of 96, 75 and 70 yards and the Gophers also ate up the final 6:40 of play with a 12-play, 57-yard march. What’s missing for the PSU defense? The unit has just 12 turnovers and 17 sacks. Yep. Yep.

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It’s time to start getting stoked about the titanic Michigan State-Nebraska game. Mike Griffith of Mlive.com has some numbers to digest in anticipation of the big game, which is a Legends Division title game.

With its Legends Division title hopes—and Big Ten championship hopes—dashed, Michigan has set a new goal: 10 wins.

Angelique Chengelis of the Detroit News points out that to reach 10 victories, Michigan must win its final three regular-season games —at Iowa, a home game vs. Ohio State, and a bowl.

“We’re going to try as hard as we can we finish this season the right way,” right tackle Michael Schofield said. “We’re not going to let this team quit. There’s no way we’re going to allow that to happen. We’re going to push these guys and get them motivated.”

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I guess confidence isn’t an issue for Ohio State receiver Evan Spencer. Did you see this quote when asked how the Buckeyes would do vs. Alabama and Florida State?

“I guess I’m a little biased but I think we’d wipe the field with both of them,” said Spencer. “That’s just my bias speaking.”

I love it. Oh, and Urban Meyer has been voting Ohio State No. 2 behind Alabama all season on his USAToday coaches ballot.

Why not? But, is OSU really better than Florida State? Has OSU really done more than FSU?

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Melvin Gordon’s numbers have slowed down the last two games. No worries, says Wisconsin coach Gary Andersen.

The last two games, Gordon has 62 and 86 yards rushing after rushing for over 100 in six of the first seven games. While Gordon has taken a back seat, James White has emerged from the background, rushing 19 times for 132 yards and two touchdowns against Iowa, then having 23 carries for 147 yards and two rushing touchdowns against BYU. White also caught six passes for 47 yards, with a 5-yard touchdown catch, against BYU. Nice to see the senior get a chance to shine down the stretch. He has been a great teammate.

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TWEETS THAT MATTER

Youth is being served in Ann Arbor … and it’s showing.

Gonna be a great game.

I never thought I’d see the day a Michigan offense struggled this much. But, here we are … -69 yards rushing the last two games.

They are.

Silly, isn’t it?

Like the honesty.

I think the Ohio State defense doesn’t get enough credit.

This isn’t good. Coleman has been on a roll.

Didn’t Izzo get the memo?

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About Tom Dienhart BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart is a veteran sports journalist who covers Big Ten football and men’s basketball for BTN.com and BTN TV. Find him on Twitter and Facebook, read all of his work at btn.com/tomdienhart, and subscribe to his posts via RSS. Also, send questions to his weekly mailbag using the form below and read all of his previous answers in his reader mailbag section.

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