Taylor Martinez can throw the football. Who knew?
The freshman phenom quarterback threw for 323 yards and five touchdowns as the Nebraska Cornhuskers (No. 14 AP, 6-1, 2-1) handed the No. 20 Oklahoma State Cowboys (6-1, 2-1) their first loss of the season, 51-41, on Saturday afternoon.
Thanks to Missouri’s upset of the then top-ranked Oklahoma Sooners Saturday night, the Cowboys still remain in a tie for first place in the Big 12 South.
Matinez, known more for his abilities with his legs (112 rushing yards on Saturday), shredded the Cowboys’ defense with his arm, helping the Cornhuskers amass 540 yards of total offense. What’s unfortunate is that the Cowboys’ offense did everything it could to keep OK State in the game, easily finding holes in a Nebraska defense that is one of the best in the country.
Junior quarterback Brandon Weeden completed 18 of 35 pass attempts, finishing with 283 and two touchdowns, both to wide out Justin Blackmon.
In the losing effort, Blackmon continued to prove he is the top receiver in the nation. He hauled in five receptions for 157 yards, and his two trips to the end zone bring his season total to 14. He now has 1,112 receiving yards on the year, which is the most in the FBS.
Fellow receiver Josh Copper also elcipsed the 100-yard mark, finishing with 103 yards on nine receptions.
On the ground, senior running back Kendall Hunter had a performance that the Nebraska will soon not forget, 201 yards and two touchdowns. It was the second the time this season Hunter ran for more than 200 yards, and he has now run for 1,031 yards this season, which ranks him third in the country.
But the Cowboys’ defense had no answer Martinez and the Cornhuskers’ passing attack.
Nebraska was the first score, when Martinez found Brandon Kinnie for a 45-yard touchdown with 11:20 left in the first quarter. Kinnie caught three of Martinez’s five touchdowns, and had 62 yards receiving.
Every time the Cowboys closed Nebraska’s lead, the Cornhuskers found a way to extend it. Oklahoma State did not take its first (and only) lead until late in the second quarter, when Weeden connected with Blackmon for an 80-yard touchdown pass, the Cowboys’ longest play of the game.
That brought the score to 27-24 in favor of the Cowboys. Saturday’s game was the first in 14 games that Nebraska let an opponent score more than 21 points.
But touchdown passes by Martinez to Kinnie (with 55 seconds left in the first half) and Kyler Reed (just over 6 minutes left in the third quarter) blew open the game and Nebraska never looked back.
Oklahoma State will travel to play Kansas State next Saturday, Oct. 30.
About the Author
Written by Joe O'Connell
I live in Massachusetts and currently write news articles for a local newspaper. I love sports and covered college football while working as sports editor for my college's student newspaper. I am hoping that this blog can help me get back into the swing of things of covering all sports.