Martinez Earns Big Ten Weekly Honor
Junior quarterback Taylor Martinez was named the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week for the fourth time this season, the conference announced on Monday. He shared the weekly award with Indiana wide receiver Cody Latimer.
The award was the fourth weekly Big Ten honor for Martinez this season and the sixth conference player-of-the-week award of his career, including five Big Ten honors. Martinez's four selections this season tie for the second most in a single season in Big Ten history.
A native of Corona, Calif., Martinez was honored after guiding Nebraska on a fourth-quarter comeback at Michigan State on Saturday. Facing one of the nation's best defenses, Martinez ran for a touchdown and threw for a touchdown in the final seven minutes to rally the Huskers to a 28-24 win that kept Nebraska tied atop the Legends Division standings. Martinez ran for a 35-yard touchdown to cut the deficit to three and then threw the game-winning touchdown pass to Jamal Turner with six seconds remaining.
Martinez ran for 205 yards against a Spartan defense that entered the contest allowing an average of only 91.2 yards per game. By halftime, Martinez had already gained more rushing yards against Michigan State than any other player this season and at game's end, Martinez had run for more yards himself than the Spartans had allowed any team to gain this season. Martinez also ran for a pair of touchdowns, scoring on a 71-yard run in the second quarter and a 35-yard run in the fourth quarter. In addition to the 205 yards rushing, Martinez threw for 160 yards and two touchdowns.
With 365 yards of total offense against Michigan State, Martinez himself posted more total yards than nine of MSU's 10 opponents this season. His big day also made him Nebraska's career total offense leader with 8,166 yards, as he passed 2001 Heisman Trophy winner Eric Crouch's total of 7,915 yards.
Most importantly, Martinez guided the Huskers to their third come-from-behind victory of the conference season, as Nebraska erased a double-digit second-half deficit for the third time in Big Ten play. Two weeks after leading Nebraska to the biggest fourth-quarter comeback in school history at Northwestern, Martinez did it again on the road, leading NU to the fifth-largest fourth-quarterback comeback at Michigan State.
Rounding out the list of Big Ten weekly honorees were Ohio State's Ryan Shazier (defensive player of the week) and Bri'onte Dunn (freshman of the week) and Michigan State's Mike Sadler (special teams player of the week).