The kid from Cali definitely caught everyone's attention Saturday.
True freshman quarterback Adrian Martinez was, for the most part, brilliant in his debut for the Huskers against Colorado. He ran for 117 yards and two touchdowns (the first coming on a 41-yard keeper) while throwing for another 187 yards on 15-of-20 passing with a touchdown and a pick.
MORE: They Said It | Gallery | Frost Press Conference
Big time numbers, right? That 41-yard touchdown run was the longest by a Nebraska quarterback since Tommy Armstrong Jr. had 42 yards on Sept. 6, 2014. On several occasions — the over-the-shoulder touchdown toss to wideout JD Spielman, the ball he dropped right into wideout Stanley Morgan's lap in heavy traffic in the endzone — Martinez showcased the kind of arm Husker fans have heard about. At other times, he made plays happen with his feet that you just can't teach.
Martinez left the game early with a knee injury and backup Andrew Bunch had to close for the Huskers. Frost said the initial feedback on the injury is "semi-encouraging" but they'll wait to comment further until they learn more.
The injury soured an otherwise strong showing. We've rounded up what everyone had to say about the freshman after it.
Coach Scott Frost: "I thought he played great, first time out there," head coach Scott Frost said after the game. "There’s just some mistakes, the freshman mistakes, the first game mistakes that I wish we could have gotten out of our system last week.
"He’s going to be a really good player around here.”
Guard Jerald Foster: “Smooth with it. I’m happy that Adrian came in and operated as well as he did. He kept us nice and relaxed, allowed us to have fun, celebrate our big plays. With him and with [backup Andrew] Bunch in there, they both are guys that I feel comfortable with giving the ball and really allowing our offense to explode and do the things that we can do best.”
Linebacker Nate Landman: “He’s a great quarterback, he really uses his legs well. He definitely gashed us a couple times. He’s a good passer, too. He stays in there, he’s a tough kid. I mean, he took some shots today. And I’m sorry to hear about his knee. I hope he gets well. He’s a great player, he’s going to be great for them in the future.”
Defensive back Evan Worthington: "He's a really good quarterback. You know, I didn't expect that. He's a really, really good quarterback that was tough to compete against. We're just happy we were able to get the win."
First game for #Nebraska freshman QB Adrian Martinez: 9-11, 86 yards and 8 carries for 86 yards and two TDs on the ground. NU lead Colorado 21-17 and has 329 yards of offense at half. The future is briiiiiiiight for Martinez: https://t.co/UhzIYHZlLM
— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) September 8, 2018
Yo, Adrian Martinez looks REAL GOOD
— The Solid Verbal (@SolidVerbal) September 8, 2018
Adrian Martinez made some plays on that drive for Nebraska. Ideal fit for Frost's offense. Let the kid make plays
— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) September 8, 2018
Yep, Adrian Martinez is gonna be THAT dude
— Jack Crosby (@JCrosbyCBS) September 8, 2018
Damn, Martinez is fun as hell for Nebraska.
— Adam Kramer (@KegsnEggs) September 8, 2018
This kid @MartinezTheQB has the “it”
— danny woodhead (@danny__woodhead) September 8, 2018
And one more very literal take.
Adrian Martinez is a freshman.
— Tom Fornelli (@TomFornelli) September 8, 2018
Derek is a newbie on the Hail Varsity staff covering Husker athletics. In college, he was best known as ‘that guy from Twitter.’ He has covered a Sugar Bowl, a tennis national championship and almost everything in between (except an NCAA men’s basketball tournament game… *tears*). In his spare time, he can be found arguing with literally anyone about sports.