Taylor Martinez threw for a career-high 354 yards and matched his high with five touchdown passes to lead No. 17 Nebraska to a 49-20 victory over Southern Mississippi on Saturday. The Huskers won their nation-leading 27th straight opener. Nebraska played the last three quarters without Rex Burkhead. The 1,300-yard rusher last season went out with a sprained ligament in his left knee after opening the scoring with a career-long 57-yard run. Backup Ameer Abdullah ran 15 times for 81 yards and made an acrobatic catch for an 11-yard TD.
Nebraska is set to cruise control as it leads by a score of 42-17 at the end of the third quarter. The Huskers held Southern Miss to 15 yards through the air during the quarter. Nebraska, which is currently on a 21-point run, opened up the lead, 35-17, after Taylor Martinez and Kyler Reed combined for an 18-yard touchdown to end a seven-play, 77-yard drive.
Nebraska’s aerial assault is on point, as the Cornhuskers now lead 28-17 thanks to 150 passing yards in the quarter. Nebraska’s Taylor Martinez threw for 150 yards and two touchdowns in the quarter. Southern Miss tied the game at 14 after Chris Campbell and Dominique Sullivan hooked up for a 24-yard touchdown to end an 11-play, 73-yard drive. The Cornhuskers broke the 14-14 tie when Martinez and Jake Long combined for a nine-yard touchdown to clinch an 11-play, 59-yard scoring drive. A 49-yard drive that ended when Corey Acosta drilled a 44-yard field goal helped the Golden Eagles narrow the deficit to 21-17.
No. 16 Nebraska scored 14 points in the quarter, and the Cornhuskers lead 14-7 at the end of the first quarter. Nebraska threw for 97 yards and ran for 108 yards in the quarter. The Cornhuskers struck first when Rex Burkhead turned a handoff into a 57-yard touchdown, the final play of a four-play, 69-yard drive. Nebraska opened up the lead, 14-7, after marching down the field for a 10-play, 85-yard drive that ended when Taylor Martinez found Kenny Bell open for a 26-yard touchdown pass.
The 2012 NFL season kicks off Wednesday night, which means it’s time to look back at some of the best plays Big Ten products made during the exhibition season. Watch all the highlights, via links to NFL.com, in this post. And with opening day just around the corner, teams are currently making final cuts. Unfortunately, the list includes several Big Ten names.
Every week, I’m ranking Saturday’s games, from the best to the worst. Which game is No. 1 this week? See my Week 1 Rankings in this post.
Five years sure goes fast, doesn’t it? On Thursday, BTN celebrated its 5th anniversary, and to help acknowledge the big day, Mike Hall and Rick Pizzo hosted “BTN 5th Anniversary Special.” It was a memorable show that looked back at all the great moments from our time on the air.