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August 19, 2013

Nebraska QB wants to go out with a bang

LINCOLN, Neb. — With a full season still to play, Taylor Martinez already is Nebraska’s most prolific quarterback, statistically.

He owns records for career total offense and passing, and he needs fewer than 600 yards to overtake 2001 Heisman Trophy winner Eric Crouch as the school’s top rushing quarterback.

All Martinez lacks going into his fourth season as the starter is a championship.

He says he isn’t worried about that. He plans to keep doing what he’s been doing with his breakaway speed and improved passing and see where it takes him and the 18th-ranked Cornhuskers.

“Just keep on going out there and just having fun,” he said. “Just take it one game at a time, just keep on winning. That’s the most important thing. Everything else will fall in place.”

Martinez has won 29 of his 39 starts and joined Colin Kaepernick (Nevada), Vince Young (Texas) and Brad Smith (Missouri) as the only FBS quarterbacks to pass for 6,000 yards and rush for 2,500 in their careers by the end of their junior seasons.

Martinez established himself as one of the nation’s most dangerous run-pass threats early in his freshman year. He’s broken nine runs of 50 yards or longer, and he’s thrown a school-record 46 touchdowns passes.

For all the big numbers he’s put up, Martinez knows he can be better.

He threw 12 interceptions and lost eight of his 16 fumbles last season. Only North Carolina State’s Mike Glennon and Mississippi’s Bo Wallace committed more than Martinez’s 20 turnovers.

Eight of Martinez’s interceptions came when the Huskers were trailing, including four when they were down by more than a touchdown. He said he was trying too hard to make plays.

“That’s the only way you can come back,” he said.

Even with the turnovers and sacks, the Huskers averaged 461 yards and 35 points a game.

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