Initially supposed to be a game-time decision, it appears Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez is ready to start for the Huskers this weekend. Martinez has missed the last three games with a nagging turf toe injury.
According to a report by Joe Schad of ESPN.com, Martinez intends to start Saturday for Nebraska when the Huskers travel to Minnesota. That should be positive news for Nebraska. If healthy and back at 100 percent or close to it, the Huskers will have a clear offensive advantage under center. Martinez has his ups and downs throwing the football, but his mobility and ability to break a big play at any moment make Nebraska’s offense that much more difficult to defend.
Nebraska has been running their offense with freshman Tommy Armstrong at quarterback. Though the Huskers have won all three of those games, getting Martinez will be a boost for a Nebraska team getting set to for a stretch run with hopes of returning to the Big Ten championship game.
Nebraska takes on Minnesota in what has turned out to be an important game in the Big Ten Legends Division. The Huskers still have games against Michigan, Michigan State, Northwestern and Iowa in division play as well as a road game at Penn State before the end of the regular season. Having Martinez available and back in a groove will be key. Having him relatively fresh could turn out to be a bit of a bonus.
If this is the last game Randy Edsall coaches at Maryland, at least he is making it count. Maryland may be down at the half, but the overmatched Terrapins are giving No. 1 Ohio State all it can handle it would seem. Ohio State holds a 21-14 lead on Maryland at the half, with big plays being the key.
Maryland struck first when Perry Hills connected to an open D.J. Moore down the middle of the field for a 52-yard touchdown and a 7-0 lead. Ohio State would battle back, switching up the quarterbacks between Cardale Jones and J.T. Barrett along the way. The Buckeyes ripped off three touchdowns, with Barrett and Ezekiel Elliott each running for one and Jones throwing for the third, to Braxton Miller. Up 21-7, all seemed to return to normal for the Buckeyes, but Maryland cut the lead to seven late in the first half.
Hills broke free for a 75-yard run from the Maryland 22-yard line all the way down to the Ohio State three, and he finsihed off the quick touchdown on the next play with a short touchdown run. So Maryland continues to linger, which appears to be a theme with Ohio State’s opponents this season.
Jones has completed 15 of 20 pass attempts for 195 yards and a touchdown for Ohio State. Barrett attempted just one pass, which was good for a 20-yard gain. Elliott has just 25 rushing yards on 11 attempts at the half.
Nobody could have seen this coming, even after throwing out the records. A week after being ambushed by TCU, Charlie Strong and his Texas Longhorns looked like a completely different team in the first quarter against No. 10 Oklahoma in the old Cotton Bowl. Texas holds a surprising 14-3 lead at the half.
Jerrod Heard completed a 24-yard touchdown pass to Marcus Johnson midway through the first quarter. The Longhorns made it 14-0 when a break went their way. Lorenzo Joe recovered a fumble in the end zone for a score to make it 14-0 after Oklahoma had fumbled away the ensuing kickoff after the first score.
Texas outgained Oklahoma in the first quarter, 133 yards to just 15, and at the half (169 yards to just 85). Oklahoma went three-and-out on each of its two drives, and the Sooners had to punt four times before being able to put a dent on the scoreboard with a short 21-yard field goal by Austin Seibert after a 12-play drive stalled at the Texas four-yard line. Meanwhile, Texas was building a double-digit lead.
Without a doubt, the first half of this game was the best half we have seen from Texas in a while. Can they keep it going and score what would be a significant upset to get our day started?