Cornhuskers’ QB Taylor Martinez Tied For 2nd In Heisman Betting Odds Behind Terrelle Pryor

October 12th, 2010-  By Bryan Cross

Entering the 2010 College Football Season, few outside the state of Nebraska or the Big XII conference would recognize the name Taylor Martinez.  Six weeks into the season, it’s a much different story.

Following the 48-13 thrashing of Big XII North foe Kansas State, on national television last Thursday night, the Cornhuskers’ redshirt freshman quarterback has stamped his name among the top-tier quarterbacks and offensive leaders in the country.  With his excellent play Martinez has now caught the attention of Heisman voters as well.

Against the Wildcats,  Martinez led the country’s No.2 rushing offense to 451 yards on the ground, of which he tabbed 241 yards to go along with his four rushing touchdowns.  Combine that with 136 yards passing and another touchdown, Martinez was responsible for a total of 377 yards of offense and five touchdowns!

The 377 total yards by Martinez was the most in Nebraska history by a freshman.  He was short by only 50 yards for the most rushing yards by a Cornhusker ever, a mark set by Calvin Jones when he ran for 294 yards against the Kansas Jayhawks in 1991.

“I thought he was the fastest I’ve ever seen at quarterback,” remarked Kansas State lineman Antonio Felder when asked about the performance of Martinez. “He’s got a lot of speed. If you’ve got a good angle on him, he can still outrun you.”

The head coach for the Wildcats agreed as well.

“He’s awfully quick. He’s more than just quick. He’s quick and he’s fast,” Bill Snyder said. “And we’re not very fast. That’s not a good matchup.”

Martinez has the Cornhuskers out to a 5-0 start and have gone from ranking 99th in total offense a season ago, to seventh this year.  Combine that with the strength of the Nebraska defense, and the Cornhuskers are one of the most complete teams in the country.

USA Online Sportsbooks are beginning to realize this too, as Martinez has entered several betting lines relating to the 2010 Heisman Trophy.

Currently, Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor is at the front of that conversation, installed by BetUs Sportsbook as the overall betting favorite to win college football’s highest individual honor.

However Martinez, along with Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore, and Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson, fall directly behind Pryor in the line of betting odds.  Pryor is currently going off at +300, with the three quarterbacks behind him at +700.

Martinez’ 12 total rushing touchdowns is tops in the nation, five of which have been for over 30 yards.  His 10 yard plus average yards per carry also leads the nation. Martinez’ current average touchdown run going for 35 yards… a threat from anywhere.

Nebraska and Martinez will be challenged in the coming weeks however, with Texas this Saturday, followed by ranked opponents in Oklahoma State and Missouri.

The Cornhuskers are set as a 9.5-point favorite at home against the Longhorns this week, and looking to exact revenge on the team they feel stole a Big XII conference championship from them a season ago.

2010 Heisman Trophy-  Odds To Win

Taylor Martinez     +700
Mark Ingram     +900
Terrelle Pryor     +300
Ryan Mallett     +1200
Noel Devine     +9000
John Clay     +7000
Kellen Moore     +700
Andrew Luck     +1200
DeMarco Murray     +5000
Landry Jones     +2500
LaMichael James     +800
Cam Newton     +1300
Denard Robinson     +700
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