Nebraska's historic comeback victory over Ohio State on Saturday night resulted in Big Ten and national accolades for four Husker players.
Sophomore quarterback Taylor Martinez was chosen as Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week, junior place-kicker/punter Brett Maher earned Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week, junior running back Rex Burkhead was honored as the Rivals.com Big Ten Player of the Week, and senior linebacker Lavonte David has been named the Lott Trophy National Impact Player of the Week. The four players all played key roles in Nebraska's 34-27 come-from-behind victory.
Martinez guided Nebraska to 28 second-half points and 306 yards after halftime. The Corona, Calif., native completed 16-of-22 passes for 191 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed 17 times for 102 yards and a touchdown. The 100-yard rushing day was the third of the season for Martinez and his eighth career 100-yard rushing game, tying for the second-most among Nebraska quarterbacks.
In the game, Martinez also surpassed 2,500 career passing yards and the 4,000-yard career total offense plateau. Martinez reached 4,000 career total offense yards in his 19th career game, tying for the fastest player to reach that mark in NU history.
Burkhead earned the Rivals.com honor after also posting his third 100-yard rushing day of the season. Burkhead finished the game with 26 rushes for 119 yards, including his game-winning 17-yard touchdown run with 5:10 to play. He also caught five passes for 59 yards, highlighted by a 30-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter to tie the game. Burkhead's five catches and 59 receiving yards were both career highs.
Martinez and Burkhead combined for the 69th game in NU history with a pair of 100-yard rushers. It marked the second time in their careers the duo has accomplished the feat in the same game (at Washington, 2010). They also cracked the century mark against a tough Buckeye run defense. Before Saturday night, Ohio State had allowed just 11 opposing players to top 100 rushing yards since the start of the 2005 season.
David continues to pace the Nebraska defense with his play-making ability and the senior from Miami was honored for his effort with the Lott Impact Player-of-the-Week selection. David finished the game with 13 tackles, including a tackle for loss. His biggest play of the night, however, was his strip and fumble recovery in the third quarter that ignited the Nebraska comeback.
David's double-figure tackle effort was his second of the season and the 10th in 20 career games at Nebraska. The Butkus Award candidate has a team-high 58 tackles this season, including six tackles for loss. Against Ohio State he also became the 31st player in NU history to surpass 200 career tackles.
Maher continues to be outstanding in his multiple role as Nebraska's place-kicker, punter and kickoff specialist. The Kearney native earned the Big Ten Special Teams honor for the second time in 2011 with his Saturday night effort (also vs. Chattanooga). It also marks the third time in six weeks Nebraska has captured the Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week (Ameer Abdullah vs. Fresno State).
Maher connected on a pair of field goals in the first half, including tying his career-long with a 50-yard field goal. He also punted four times for a 44.2-yard average, pinning the Buckeyes inside their 20 twice in the game. He also added two touchbacks on the night. Maher is now 11-of-13 on field goals this season and ranks 12th nationally in scoring. He is averaging 47.3 yard per punt to rank fourth nationally and he also has 14 touchbacks on kickoffs.