Behind the swift-footed legs of QB Taylor Martinez, the Nebraska Cornhuskers absolutely thrashed a previously undefeated Kansas State team.
It was another lop-sided 48-13 victory for Nebraska, something that has become the norm in the series dating back 99 years. The Huskers have dominated K-State overall (78-15-2) and may be leaving the conference at just the right time under Bo Pelini.
One thing is for certain—the Huskers are back under Pelini!
The Huskers match up well with the likes of Penn State, Ohio State, Michigan, Iowa, and Wisconsin, especially in light of the 56 Million dollar expansion that will be taking place to raise their capacity to 85,000.
If their was any doubt before, the Huskers let the college football world know they are back in the BCS picture. It was boldly announced mid-way through the third quarter when Nebraska scored on two successive plays, bolting 80-yards for one and 68-yards in the other to extend a fairly close game (17-3) into a 31-3 route.
The Huskers lead the nation with a string of sell-outs that date back to 1963 and the glory days of Nebraska football. With a defense that is one of the top units in the country and an offense built around the speed and space concept of the spread offense, this program will be hard to slow down in 2010.
Trouble may be brewing for a struggling Texas program who comes into Lincoln for the final time next week.
Taylor Martinez rushed for 242 yards and four touchdowns, breaking the single game rushing record for a quarterback at Nebraska. With former Nebraska greats Turner Gill, Scott Frost, Eric Crouch, and Tommy Frazier, the record is very telling in terms of the speed and potential of Martinez. He broke touchdown runs of 35, 80, and 41, while also tossing a 79-yard TD pass to Kyler Reed as the Huskers bludgeoned the Wildcats with a string of big plays in the second and third quarter.
Perhaps his biggest trait is that he can get to full speed within three or four stride lengths, quickly separating from the field within 10 yards. If you blink or take a bad route, its over—you won't catch this kid from behind. I don't know if I have seen many running backs, let alone quarterbacks, with this type of breakaway speed.
"I thought he was the fastest I've ever seen at quarterback," said Kansas State defensive end Antonio Felder. "He's got a lot of speed. If you've got a good angle on him, he can still outrun you."
Roy Helu Jr added a 68-yard TD run to extend the lead to 31-3, which sent many fans to the exits early.
Legendary coach Bill Snyder, who is normally against comparing players, admitted he could not recall a faster quarterback than Martinez. "He's awfully quick. He's more than just quick. He's quick and he's fast," said Snyder. "And we're not very fast. That's not a good matchup."
As K-State drops from the national title picture, Nebraska re-enters the national title picture, albeit with up and down performances. Three weeks ago the Huskers destroyed a Husky program led by Jake Locker, completely shutting down the vaunted passing game by Washington. A week ago, the Huskers struggled to beat FCS South Dakota, but were back on the game tonight versus the Wildcats.
The Husker defense has been so dominant in 2010, that they have yet to trail this season, a very telling sign for their chances in the race to the BCS Championship. The Blackshirts held running back Daniel Thomas to 63 yards rushing. Thomas' name was cemented in the top-five running backs coming into the game, averaging 157 rushing yards per game. If stopping the run is a key ingredient for national championship prowess, I like the Huskers chances.
But Texas looms on the horizon next weekend. Should be a great show in Lincoln on the 16th of October. Can't wait to see it! Especially in light of the Texas factor, which was the major reason why the Huskers bolted to the Big Ten.
Tired of receiving a partial share, only to see Texas and Oklahoma receive the bulk of the television money from the conference revenue sharing formula, better days are on the Nebraska horizon. I think the Husker fans are ready to give their hated rivals a final farewell beat down for the ages.