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11/17/2012 9:39 PM EST
Martinez leads No. 16 Nebraska past Gophers 38-14
NEBRASKA 38, MINNESOTA 14
By ERIC OLSON
AP Sports Writer
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -- Taylor Martinez threw for 308 yards and two
touchdowns to Kenny Bell while becoming No. 16 Nebraska's
all-time passing leader in a 38-14 victory over Minnesota on
The Cornhuskers (9-2, 6-1), who had to come from behind in the
second half in four of its first five Big Ten wins, scored on
four of their first six possessions against the Gophers (6-5,
Nebraska can clinch the Legends Division title - and a berth in
the conference championship game against Wisconsin on Dec. 1 -
with a win at Iowa on Friday or a Michigan loss at Ohio State
Martinez passed 36 yards to a wide-open Bell for the Huskers'
first touchdown, and they later connected for a 30-yarder along
Minnesota had 98 total yards entering the fourth quarter.
Nebraska pulled its starters, and the Gophers scored on MarQueis
Gray's 1- and 6-yard runs.
The Gophers finished with 177 yards. Philip Nelson was 8 of 23
for 59 yards, with two interceptions, for Minnesota.
Bell and Jamal Turner had career highs for catches and yards for
Nebraska. Bell had nine for 136 yards and Turner six for 83.
Ameer Abdullah went over 1,000 yards for the season, finishing
with 79 yards on 18 carries. Rex Burkhead, an All-Big Ten pick a
year ago, went through warm-ups but did not play in a fourth
straight game because of a left knee sprain.
Imani Cross, the Huskers' dependable short-yardage back, scored
on runs of 3 and 1 yard.
The Huskers went unbeaten at home for the first time since 2001
and won a fifth consecutive conference game for the first time
since 2009, when they were in the Big 12.
Coaching great Tom Osborne joined Bo Pelini in leading the
Huskers onto the field before kickoff. Osborne also was honored
during a halftime ceremony on "Salute to Tom Osborne" Day at
Osborne, who won 255 games and three national titles from
1973-97, is retiring as athletic director Jan. 1.
Nebraska took control early, with Martinez sharp and the defense
holding the Gophers to 60 yards in the first half.
The Huskers tried to land the knockout punch going into
halftime, but the Gophers stopped Cross for no gain on
second-and-goal from the 1 as the clock ran out.
Bell's second touchdown, followed by Stanley Jean-Baptiste's
48-yard interception return, put the Huskers up 38-0 late in the
Martinez completed his first six passes and finished 21 of 29.
He increased his career passing yards to 6,140, passing Zac
Taylor's mark of 5,850 yards in 2005-06.
Martinez's two TD passes give him a Big Ten-leading 21 for the
It was a mostly stress-free afternoon for the Huskers, who had
to overcome double-digit, second-half deficits to beat
Wisconsin, Northwestern, Michigan State and Penn State.
Nebraska took a quick 10-0 lead, and Minnesota crossed midfield
just once on its first eight possessions.
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