Martinez leads Nebraska past Northwestern

Wildcats miss FG in closing seconds to take loss
Martinez leads Nebraska past Northwestern

Taylor Martinez threw two touchdown passes in the final 5:55 to lead the visiting Cornhuskers to a comeback win.

Martinez’s 7-yard pass to Ben Cotton with 2:08 remaining capped Nebraska’s rally from a 12-point deficit and gave the Huskers a one-point lead. Martinez hit Taariq Allen on an 8-yard scoring pass with 5:55 left to cut Northwestern’s lead to 28-23.

The Wildcats drove to Nebraska’s 36-yard line, but Jeff Budzien’s 53-yard field goal attempt with 58 seconds remaining was wide to the right for his first miss of the season.

Nebraska (5-2, 2-1 Big Ten) won despite losing three fumbles in the first half. Rex Burkhead, the Cornhuskers’ top running back, left the game in the first half with a knee injury and didn’t return. Venric Mark scored on an 80-yard run and Trevor Siemian threw for two touchdowns to lead Northwestern (6-2, 2-2).

The Huskers outgained the Wildcats in total yardage 543-301. Martinez completed 27 of 39 passes for 342 yards and three touchdowns. Mike Trumpy’s 3-yard run with 8:31 remaining in the game gave the Wildcats a 28-16 lead.

GAME NOTEBOOK: Nebraska was 3 of 14 third down conversions. … Mark gained 118 yards on 16 carries. … The Huskers had the advantage in first downs 26-14.