- Associated Press - Saturday, September 18, 2010

SEATTLE (AP) - Every Nebraska fan and probably most of the players were wondering how Taylor Martinez would do in his first road start as the Cornhuskers’ quarterback.

So before No. 8 Nebraska kicked off against Washington, Huskers tight end Mike McNeill figured he might as well ask the redshirt freshman, “are you nervous?”

If he was, it didn’t show.

Fearless and confident, Martinez ran for 137 yards and three touchdowns _ including the longest TD run by a freshman in Nebraska history _ threw for another 150 yards and a score and the eighth-ranked Cornhuskers overwhelmed Washington 56-21 on Saturday.

“I just don’t get scared or nervous at all,” Martinez said.

Martinez scored on a pair of 1-yard runs and went 80 yards for a TD on the first play of the second half. Roy Helu Jr. added 110 yards and touchdown runs of 65 and 8 yards and the Cornhuskers ran for 383 yards against the Huskies’ manhandled defense.

Rex Burkhead added 104 yards and a 19-yard score in the fourth quarter. It was the first time Washington has allowed three 100-yard rushers in history.

“I was asking him before the game, ‘are you nervous?’” said McNeill, who caught a 24-yard touchdown pass from Martinez. “And he said, ‘you’re more nervous than I am.’ I think the kid just has ice water in his veins.

“He’s Taylor. He’s confident. He’s ready to go. There’s nothing that phases him.”

While Martinez was tormenting the Washington defense, Jake Locker was slogging through the worst game of his career, on a day the Huskies needed him to be Heisman-worthy to have a chance.

Earlier this week, Nebraska safety Ricky Thenarse said the goal was making Locker prove he was worthy of all his accolades.

Locker failed. He wasn’t even average.

“I didn’t really hook up with anybody,” Locker said. “I just think they did a really good job within their defense and I tried to force a few balls when I could have dropped it down to other guys. A lot of factors didn’t allow us to be really consistent in the passing game today.”

Pressured by the Cornhuskers’ front, and unable to find receivers breaking open against Nebraska’s aggressive secondary, Locker made mistake after mistake. He finished 4 of 20 for 71 yards and two interceptions, but added 59 yards rushing and a touchdown. His best throw of the day came on Washington first possession of the second half, a 45-yard touchdown toss to Jermaine Kearse.

That was it. Forget the Heisman, Locker was clearly not the best quarterback on the field Saturday.

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