Good company

Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez's ability to be a dual-threat quarterback this season has put him in an elite group of players.

LINCOLN, Neb. - Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez has rushed for 770 yards this season on 132 carries – an average of 5.8 yards per run. Those numbers are even more impressive considering he's throw for 2,112 yards this season.

Martinez currently ranks sixth in the country in quarterback rushing yards, joining household names like Denard Robinson (Michigan), Braxton Miller (Ohio State), and Johnny Manziel (Texas A&M). Out of the five ahead of him, only two have thrown over 2,000 yards.

Simply put - the Nebraska junior quarterback is doing something pretty special this season.

Martinez rushed for 956 yards in 2010 as a freshman, that number dropped in 2011 as Martinez was careful to take punishing blows. With two straight games of 100 yards or more, including 204 against Michigan State, it's not out of the question Martinez could reach 1,000 yards this season. He would only be the third quarterback (Jamal Lord and Eric Crouch) in Nebraska history accomplish the feat.

On Monday, Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini was asked if Martinez had more of a green light to run from the coaching staff compared to 2011.

""No, what I try to tell Taylor (Martinez) is to protect yourself and be smart. I think he has matured as a runner," said Pelini. "I think he understands, like you saw him the other day when he dropped his shoulder and got a first down, I think he understands when to and when not to. When to play himself open for a hit and when not to and that comes with experience and maturity.

"There are times when he is going, I've seen him run out of bounds. I know this, he is not going to run out of bounds unless he just doesn't see the sticks or something like that happens. When he understands that it is third down and we've got to get a first time he'll run differently than if he is in the open field and he has three guys barrowing down on him on the sideline, he is going to get out of bounds. I just think he has a lot better understanding of when to and when not to."

Martinez has taken plenty of flack in his career, but the Huskers' 8-2 record has a lot to do with his solid play over the course of this season.

Martinez Presser:


Josh Harvey has covered college football and recruiting for Fox Sports & since 2008. He is now the Publisher of Big Red Report, covering Nebraska athletics.
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