Nebraska vs. Iowa: Taylor Martinez Gives Nebraska Big Edge in Big Ten Showdown

Shawn BrubakerContributor IINovember 23, 2012

LINCOLN, NE - NOVEMBER 17: Quarterback Taylor Martinez #3 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers tries to slip past linebacker Aaron Hill #57 of the Minnesota Golden Gophers during their game at Memorial Stadium on November 17, 2012 in Lincoln, Nebraska. Nebraska won 38-14. (Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images)
Eric Francis/Getty Images

When the Nebraska Cornhuskers travel to Iowa to take on the Hawkeyes, there might not be a lot of NFL talent on the field, but there will be two tough teams filled with tough players. No player better personifies this than Taylor Martinez, the Cornhuskers quarterback who gives them a big edge in this game.

Martinez is having his best season ever, having already thrown for his career highs in passing yards and passing touchdowns.

Of course, most people know Martinez for his running prowess, and that is certainly still present as well. Martinez has rushed for 792 yards on an astounding 5.7 yards per carry clip. Keeping in mind that sacks count against a quarterback's rushing total, that number is truly incredible.

Sadly, Martinez has remained under the radar in his college career. In a conference filled with stars like Braxton Miller and Denard Robinson, Martinez hasn't gotten the all-conference attention he deserves, but he is just as important to his team.

Without Martinez, Nebraska is just an average team. Martinez has accounted for around 61 percent of Nebraska's total yards and 59 percent of Nebraska's offensive touchdowns. Very few quarterbacks, especially in the Big Ten, can boast similar claims.

Compare that to Iowa signal caller James Vandenberg. The senior has struggled mightily this season, throwing just seven touchdowns. Vandenberg was one of the bright senior quarterbacks heading into the season, but he has been unable to match his previous production.

Martinez, on the other hand, has improved with every snap he's played. He's got the speed and strength of a running back along with one of the best arms in the conference. He makes good decisions, as evidenced by his 63.6 completion percentage and his eight interceptions.

Finally, he's a true leader. He commands that offense and leads his teammates to excel, despite the fact that Nebraska is missing top running back Rex Burkhead. 

Iowa will have no answer for Martinez. Though their defense isn't bad, they are decidedly average in every way. Martinez is anything but average, and he should find success this week in Iowa.

Expect a big performance from Martinez as Nebraska wins on the road.