Nebraska QB Martinez poses challenge for Georgia

ORLANDO, Fla. — Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez has watched his share of Georgia film to prepare for today’s Capital One Bowl.

The dual-threat Martinez has seen other mobile quarterbacks go up against the Bulldogs.

“Florida and South Carolina pops in my head,” he said.

South Carolina’s Connor Shaw rushed for 78 yards and a touchdown, including on a 7-yard touchdown run on the read option, in a 35-7 Gamecocks win. Florida’s Jeff Driskel had minus-four yards rushing in a 17-9 loss, a game in which he was sacked five times for a loss of 40 yards.

“We’ll see what happens,” Martinez said of what he can do against Georgia.

The junior is set to make his 39th career start, moving past Eric Crouch for most starts by a quarterback in school history.

“He’s been in a lot of big games,” Georgia coach Mark Richt said. “He’s a veteran who can make things happen when they’re not there, so to speak. They design a lot of things to make sure that he’s running the ball. He’s a very athletic runner. … We haven’t had the greatest success defending those types of guys, but not many people have done a good job defending him, either.”

Martinez has rushed for 973 yards and a team-high 10 touchdowns. He’s completed 62.2 percent of his passes with 21 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.

“He’s elusive, he’s got quickness to him, he can shake guys, he can run,” Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham said.

“I can’t really compare him to anybody we’ve played this year, but he’s a good athlete,” Georgia linebacker Alec Ogletree said. “To me, he’s more like the dude from Texas A&M.”

That would be Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel.

Martinez has an unorthodox throwing motion, but, “I will say this: When he’s on the move, he’s pretty accurate, and that’s the mark of a good quarterback — when things break down he can scramble and find ways to get the ball down the field and make some plays,” Grantham said.

“He’s a competitive guy, a guy who wants to play well every single time out,” Nebraska coach Bo Pelini said. “That’s one of the keys to him. He’s always been able to stay at an even keel. … He knows he has to play at a high level, but I think he’s done that. He’s had a good year, but I think this will be a really good opportunity for him leading up to next year.”

Said Martinez: “We’re a really good offense this year. If we keep doing what we’re doing, I think we can beat Georgia.”

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