STILLWATER — It was a stellar display of passing: 23 of 35 pass attempts for 323 yards and five touchdowns.
The problem for Oklahoma State? Those were Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez's numbers, not OSU's Brandon Weeden.
Behind Martinez's unexpected passing prowess, Nebraska defeated OSU 51-41 at Boone Pickens Stadium on Saturday night.
â€œHe surprised me with his passing,â€ senior linebacker Orie Lemon said. â€œHe hasn't thrown like that all year.â€
Coming into the game, Martinez had a well-earned reputation of beating teams with his feet but Saturday afternoon, he beat the Cowboys (6-1, 2-1) with his arm. His ability to escape in the pocket created additional seconds for his teammates, resulting in wide open receivers and first down conversions. And he was more accurate throwing the ball than the Pokes expected.
â€œThe thing he did better than we had seen on film was: he threw more accurately,â€ defensive coordinator Bill Young said. â€œHe threw some great passes today.â€ Heading into the game, the Pokes defense had to like its chances if Martinez had to beat them with his arm.
And Martinez accepted the challenge.
â€œWe tried to contain him, to make him beat us with his arm,â€ defensive end Ugo Chinasa said. â€œAnd that's what he did.â€