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No. 6 Huskers’ Martinez to measure self vs. Idaho
LINCOLN, NEB. (AP) - After passing his trial run as Nebraska’s starter, Taylor Martinez can strengthen his grip on the quarterback’s job with another strong outing Saturday against Idaho.
Martinez won over his teammates, not to mention the fans, in last week’s 49-10 season-opening win over Western Kentucky. Now the redshirt freshman is poised to establish himself as the sixth-ranked Cornhuskers’ clear starter going into next week’s test at Washington.
“I just feel like now he knows it’s his huddle, and he’s going to run the show,” receiver Mike McNeill said. “He’s got a lot of confidence.”
Martinez ran for 127 yards and three touchdowns and passed for 136 yards against a Western Kentucky team that has lost 21 straight. He should get a better measure of himself against Idaho, which beat Bowling Green in the last seconds of the Humanitarian Bowl last year and opened with a 45-0 rout of North Dakota.
“That’s all you can ask for,” Green said. “It would be a lot worse if everything was secretive and then, bam, here is the starter. It wasn’t like that. We knew (Martinez) was starting, and we knew the reason why he was starting.”
“I see that he knows he is getting attention,” Watson said. “I think he would really like it to all go away and let him do his thing.”
His thing is running the ball, not his mouth.
McNeill said he and his teammates have witnessed Martinez’s explosiveness since last year, when Martinez was on the scout team. The fans got their first glimpse of Martinez in the spring game, which put him in position to make a bid for the job in preseason practice.
“A lot of time people get hyped up during camp or spring ball, and you never really know what you’re going to get,” McNeill said. “But we all knew, that kid can flat out run. I knew he was going to run the ball well, but I was just impressed with the clock management and the play calls.”
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