The 2012 season didn’t end quite like Taylor Martinez and the Nebraska Cornhuskers had hoped. They finished the regular season with an impressive 10-2 record and a Legends Division title, but it was what happened after that left Bo Pelini scratching his head.
The Cornhuskers made it to the conference’s second-ever Big Ten title game, but they were beaten emphatically, almost embarrassed by the Wisconsin Badgers. The final score was 70-31, and the conference’s newest team was heading to a New Year’s Day bowl on a sour note.
Although Nebraska’s second season as members of the Big Ten was a bit of a roller coaster ride near the end of the year, Martinez was a constant for the Cornhuskers.
He had his best season by far as a college quarterback, and finished the year with 2,871 passing yards with a 62 percent completion rate to go along with 23 touchdowns — shattering previous career-highs in each category. Oh, and did I mention he can run? He also had 1,019 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2012, turning heads left and right.
He has improved each season at Nebraska, and 2013 could be his best year yet. Heisman talk may be a bit premature, but Martinez could be on the early season list, possibly even the midseason list.
Nebraska may even contend for a Big Ten title once again and with Kenny Bell coming back as the top receiver, Martinez will likely improve on his already-impressive numbers from 2012.