09.24.2010 / Huskers show poise and signs of glory. Blog posting by Mike Babcock, Huskers Illustrated Magazine.

You know Jake Locker did not return to Washington for his senior season to do this. The Huskies quarterback could have declared for the NFL draft and been a first round pick, and an early one, at that. But he decided to come back for one more collegiate season.

"We have got great fans here, and bringing that many people, I think, shows a statement about what Nebraska football is all about. - Bo Pelini "

That decision led to high expectations for coach Steve Sarkisian’s second season in Seattle. Plus, Locker was considered a serious Heisman Trophy candidate. That candidacy took a hit in a 23-17 opening-game loss against BYU. But the Nebraska game was an opportunity for redemption.

Such was the context for the Cornhuskers’ 56-21 victory. There was no redemption for Locker, quite the contrary. He endured one of the least effective performances of his career, completing only 4-of-20 passes for 71 yards, with 45 of those coming on one play that went for a touchdown. He also threw two interceptions, the second of which Alfonzo Dennard returned for a touchdown. The first, by Eric Hagg, came on the first pass Locker threw, foreshadowing what was to come.

While Locker was struggling, Taylor Martinez, Nebraska’s redshirted freshman quarterback, was again showing his ability to deal with pressure that would paralyze many young players. Husky Stadium was to provide the loud and hostile environment that would reveal his limitations. But it didn’t. And coach Bo Pelini didn’t have to wait for the opening kickoff to find out. “I kind of had a sigh of relief when I saw him before the game,” said Pelini. “You can kind of feel where a guy’s mindset is, what his demeanor is. And he looked pretty locked in.”

So were Martinez’s teammates. He was among three who rushed for 100 yards, 80 of them coming on the first play from scrimmage in the second half for the third of his three touchdowns. Roy Helu, Jr. and Rex Burkhead were the other Huskers who ran for 100 yards. “Those guys were on tonight, and I was going to ride them,” running backs coach Tim Beck said.

As for the environment at Husky Stadium, it was loud all right. But there was plenty of red. “We had like 30,000 fans, I would say,” Martinez told reporters afterward.

More likely, there were 20,000 Husker fans, still a hefty number. “I heard a comment behind me on the first bus when we were coming in, when we saw all that red, as we were coming into the stadium, and they said, ‘Is this a home game?’ That just goes to show you the kind of support we get,” said Pelini. “We have got great fans here, and bringing that many people, I think, shows a statement about what Nebraska football is all about."

Now seeing what Nebraska has done against a good quarterback, what are your predictions for the upcoming games?

For more great content on the Huskers, check out Huskers Illustrated Magazine, or

Also, don’t forget to Share your First Husker Game Day Experience here and enter for a chance to win 2 tickets to an upcoming Husker game this fall.

Posted at 10:23 AM | Permalink


Do you think that Cody Green is ever going to play again? He has fumble problems and I think maybe Zac Lee should be the backup.
Posted by Zac Lee Fan at 09:37 AM, Sep 24, 2010
Post A Comment

The views expressed on this site may not reflect the views held by First National Bank of Omaha or any of its affiliates. The information provided through this website is not a substitute for any personal advice from a licensed professional. Use of any information or advice shall be solely at the user's own risk.

We welcome your comments. All comment submissions will be reviewed prior to being posted. If the comments are posted, they may be removed at any time. Comments will not be approved if they contain, include or involve any of the following: Obscenity; Crude, vulgar or offensive language and/or symbols; Gang signs or symbols; Derogatory characterizations of any ethnic, racial, sexual or religious groups, personal attacks of any kind towards others; Trespass or the violation of other people's rights or property; Illegal (e.g., discriminatory, harassing) or inappropriate activity, behavior or conduct (e.g., inflicting emotional distress); Any other content that is or could be considered inappropriate, unsuitable or offensive, or clearly "off-topic" as determined by First National Bank of Omaha. To protect your own privacy and the privacy of others, please do not include personally identifiable information such as Social Security Number, phone number or email address in the body of your comment.

For account related questions, please log in to First National Online at and use the secure email located in Contact Us.