Players of the Game
How about a one-man scoring explosion? That was quarterback Taylor Martinez as he ran and threw himself into the record books. Martinez scored twice in the first half - one right up the gut from 14 yards out and the other a 35-yard sprint down the right side. He also had a 54 yard run in the second quarter. On the half alone he had 129 net yards, averaging 11.7 yards per carry. He wasn't finished as he duplicated his longest run of the year against the purple team out west, toting it 80 yards against the purple team two hours south of Lincoln. And to add insult to injury, Martinez completed a long pass down the middle to tight end Kyler Reed, the play going for 79 yards and yet another score. Another 44-yard run for the score off the right side with just over 12 minutes to go in the game. And then another run, this one for 41 yards off the right side, Martinez scoring his fifth touchdown of the game and his fourth one rushing. His 241 yards was the eighth best rushing performance in Husker history, and it was the best rushing performance ever by a Husker QB. Martinez' 369 yards in total offense are the most ever by a Husker freshman.
Honorable Mention: Senior running back Roy Helu Jr. runs for 110 yards on just eight carries. It's his third 100-plus-yard game of the season and the 10th of his career. Helu's long on the day was a 68-yard scoring jaunt which happened to be the longest run of his career.
What can you say about linebacker Lavonte David that hasn't already been said? Sure, his Head Coach will nitpick everything he does, as he should. But there's no discounting the accomplishments of the Big 12's leading tackler as David came into this contest averaging over 11 tackles through four games. That average will go up to 12 per contest. One of David's biggest stops was against running back Daniel Thomas, who seemed to have a clear path to the right side to the marker on third and long. David closed the distance on him and tackled him over two yards short of first down. Two of his tackles were for loss, and one of those was a sack on KSU quarterback Carson Coffman for a loss of seven yards.
Honorable mention: Senior Dejon Gomes notched double-digit numbers in tackles as well with 12, one of those for a loss. Gomes also had one forced fumble. That fumble was recovered by KSU.
It wasn't a great day for special teams as a whole. Kickoff coverage was horrendous as KSU's William Powell averaged 31 yards per return on a whopping six returns. And senior kicker Adi Kunalic was below his average of just under 43 percent on touchbacks as he had three total on nine kickoffs.
The award has to go to Alex Henery, who averaged 49.5 yards per punt, on two attempts. And he added two field goals in the game, one from 39 and another from 40. With 54 field goals to his name, he's now just three shy of tying the career record holder at Nebraska, Kris Brown. Henery is also working on an extra-point streak with pushed to 90 on the last Husker score of the game.