As I write this, 7-5 Wisconsin holds an overwhelming (and stunning) 56-17 lead over 10-2 Nebraska in the Big 10 championship game. Pretty much everything Nebraska has tried has gone wrong – they’ve recorded eight first downs to Wisconsin’s 17, have surrendered 391 yards of offense (290 of them on the ground), and have turned the ball over twice themselves. But the one major thing the Huskers have done right also happens to be the most impressive play either team’s made tonight – and one of the best runs we’ve seen all season.
Fittingly, the play came from Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez. Martinez is much-maligned for his passing skills/lack thereof (though he did complete 63 percent of his passes and throw 21 touchdown passes against eight interceptions this season, so the bad rap isn’t entirely deserved) and his 9-14/96 yards/no TD/one pick stat line through the air is indeed uninspiring. But no one disputes Martinez can run. Oh, can he run. He’s got 96 yards on the evening, 76 of them came on Nebraska’s lone touchdown, and it’s as good a run as you’ll see a quarterback make. Only the video can fully do the play justice, so here it is:
As you can see, even saying “76-yard touchdown run” is a little misleading, since he first ran backwards to almost his own five-yard line to evade pressure, then outran everyone the ret of the way. Honestly, knowing what’s gone on since (and having now seen it several times) it’s a little tougher to get excited when watching the play, but know that when watching it live, all I could produce as a reaction was “Holy fuck.” And we bet a few of you seeing the play above for the first time said something similar. Martinez may be inconsistent, but he sure is electrifying. If only that play had counted for four touchdowns by itself, Nebraska might have a chance tonight.