No. 16 Nebraska crushes Minnesota
Lincoln, NE (Sports Network) - Taylor Martinez threw for 308 yards and two touchdowns to lead No. 16 Nebraska to a 38-14 drubbing of Minnesota on Saturday at Memorial Stadium.
Kenny Bell caught nine passes for 136 yards and two touchdowns and Ameer Abdullah rushed for 79 yards on 18 carries for the Cornhuskers (9-2, 6-1 Big Ten), who can win the Big Ten Legends division with either a win next week or a Michigan loss.
"Happy to get the win. I thought it was pretty good effort by our team in all regards, pretty complete effort," Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini said. "Obviously some things to clean up; now the challenge is going to be to come back in a short week and be ready to go on the road and put ourselves in position to finish off the second half of the year the way we want to."
Nebraska will travel to Iowa to take on the Hawkeyes next week, while Michigan will take on undefeated Ohio State.
The Cornhuskers are currently tied with Michigan for the top spot in the Legends Division, but own the tie-breaker by virtue of their 23-9 victory over the Wolverines earlier this season.
Philip Nelson completed just 8-of-23 passes for 59 yards and two interceptions and Rodrick Williams rushed for 26 yards on seven carries for the Golden Gophers (6-5, 2-5), who will host Michigan State next week to conclude the regular season.
"I don't think it has a lot to do with the quarterback, we got beat at the line of scrimmage, period," Minnesota head coach Jerry Kill said."We were dominated, at the line of scrimmage. There is more than one individual that had tough day, we got dominated at the line of scrimmage."
MarQuies Gray ran for a pair of touchdowns in the setback.
Nebraska scored on its first touch when Brett Maher split the uprights from 39 yards out. Earlier in the drive, Martinez connected with Jamal Turner for a 16-yard completion, and the Cornhuskers got an extra 15 yards after the Gophers were flagged for an unnecessary roughness penalty to put the ball on the Minnesota 30.
The Gophers went three-and-out on the ensuing possession, and Nebraska marched 85 yards in eight plays to take a 10-0 lead. Martinez hooked up with Turner for a 22-yard completion to put the ball on the Nebraska 35 and six plays later Martinez found Bell for a 36-yard touchdown pass.
After forcing yet another Minnesota three-and-out, Martinez found Bell for a 29-yard completion to set up Imani Cross' 3-yard touchdown rush to put Nebraska up 17-0.
Cross' 1-yard plunge gave Nebraska a 24-0 spread at halftime.
Following a 23-yard Abdullah run early in the second half, Martinez connected with Bell once again for a 30-yard touchdown and Stanley Jean-Baptiste returned an interception 48 yards to put the Cornhuskers up 38-0.
Gray added a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns runs to account for the final margin.
Nebraska outgained Minnesota 444-177 ... The Cornhuskers have won 43 conference championships, its last coming in 1999 (Big 12) ... Minnesota owns a 29-22-2 lead in the all-time series, but has dropped the last 16 meetings.
11/17 22:44:29 ET