Freshman quarterback Adrian Martinez threw for 213 yards and two touchdowns in just one half of play to lead Nebraska to a 45-9 win over Bethune-Cookman on Saturday in front of the 366th straight sellout at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Neb.
Both teams originally were scheduled to have the week off, but the game was scheduled after lightning and bad weather forced the cancellation of the Cornhuskers’ season opener against Akron.
Bethune-Cookman (4-5) of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, received a special waiver from the NCAA to add a 12th game to its schedule. This was the first time the Wildcats had played a Big Ten team.
A week after snapping a 10-game losing streak, the Cornhuskers (2-6) didn’t mind having to go to work on a day they were supposed to have off.
Martinez and the first-team offense scored touchdowns on four of their first five possessions to open up a 38-3 lead at halftime.
It took Nebraska just 2:23 to strike first. Martinez engineered a seven-play, 65-yard drive with Devine Ozigbo scoring on a 14-yard run.
The Wildcats were unable to gain a first down and punted to JD Spielman, who electrified the home fans with a 77-yard punt return to put the Cornhuskers up 14-0.
Bethune-Cookman got on the board on its next possession with Uriel Hernandez’s 38-yard field goal.
Martinez and Stanley Morgan hooked up for touchdowns on the next two Nebraska possessions. Morgan’s first touchdown came on a 3-yard pass, the second came from 27 yards out.
Maurice Washington’s 8-yard run gave Nebraska a 35-3 lead. Barret Pickering closed out the half with a 29-yard field goal and the first-team offense’s day was over.
Nebraska’s only score in the second half came on backup quarterback Noah Vedral’s 20-yard run early in the fourth quarter.
The Wildcats scored on the final play of the game when Alfred Adams scored from 5 yards out.
Backup quarterback David Israel got the start for the Wildcats after Akevious Williams was injured in a 35-20 loss last week against North Carolina AT&T. Israel completed 12 of 27 passes for 196 yards and two interceptions before being replaced in the fourth quarter.
The Cornhuskers gained 226 yards on the ground and 242 in the air. The Wildcats finished with 355 total yards, with 82 of those coming on the final drive.
Nebraska travels to Columbus to play No. 11 Ohio State next Saturday while Bethune-Cookman heads to Baltimore to take on Morgan State.
—Field Level Media