Lincoln, Neb. — A third man has emerged in the competition for starting quarterback at Nebraska.
Taylor Martinez was all the buzz during spring practice, and Saturday he showed why to the 77,936 fans who turned out at Memorial Stadium for the Red-White game.
The red-shirt freshman threw for touchdowns on two of his first three series and rushed for a game-high 60 yards as his Red squad won, 21-16.
Sophomore Cody Green led the White team to one touchdown and a field goal, passed for 155 yards and ran for 12. Senior Zac Lee, the starter last season, was sidelined all spring after having surgery on his right (throwing) elbow.
Martinez appears well-suited for the direction the Cornhuskers want to take their offense. Offensive coordinator Shawn Watson plans to incorporate more quarterback runs, something the Huskers showed in the 33-0 Holiday Bowl win over Arizona.
Watson said Martinez is clearly the fastest quarterback and that it’s only a matter of time before he hits the game field.
“We’re not stupid,” Watson said. “We’re going to use talent. He’s got talent. So we’re going to use that talent.”
Martinez completed five of nine passes for 79 yards and had a tipped ball intercepted. He worked four full series in the first half before giving way to others.
Missouri defense impresses
Columbia, Mo. — In recent seasons, Missouri scored lots of points, then gave them up in bunches, too. In Saturday’s spring game, the Tigers’ defense forced five turnovers, picked up three sacks and allowed just one offensive touchdown.
Missouri’s defense ranked eighth in Big 12 play in scoring defense and last in the league in pass defense last season. Now, the team has switched from a passive zone to more aggressive man-to-man play, and the improvements were evident.
Offensive coordinator David Yost certainly has noticed. Starting quarterback Blaine Gabbert completed eight of 15 passes for 82 yards, while his backup, freshman James Franklin, was 9-of-17, including two interceptions.
Hoyas’ Monroe declares
Washington — Georgetown center Greg Monroe is heading to the NBA, planning to hire an agent and skip his last two seasons of college eligibility. The 6-foot-11 Monroe was a third-team AP All-American as a sophomore after averaging 16.1 points, 9.6 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.5 blocks this season. He was the Big East Conference rookie of the year in 2008-09 after averaging 12.7 points and 6.5 rebounds as a freshman.
Furyk tops Verizon Heritage
Hilton Head Island, S.C. — Jim Furyk shot a 4-under 67 to reach 11 under, good for a one-stroke lead over Brian Davis (66) on Saturday in the Verizon Heritage at Harbour Town Golf Links.
Another stroke back were two-time Verizon champ Boo Weekley (68), Stephen Ames (65), Briny Baird (66), Ricky Barnes (66), Luke Donald (67), Woody Austin (67) and Heath Slocum (67). Right behind them at Harbour Golf Links was a group that included Camilo Villegas (67) and 2006 winner Aaron Baddeley (68).
Langer holds Outback edge
Lutz, Fla. — Bernhard Langer shot a 5-under 66 to take a one-stroke lead over Mark O’Meara and Mike Reid in the Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am. Langer had a 9-under 133 total at TPC Tampa Bay. O’Meara shot a 69, and Reid had a 68.
Yang takes lead in China
Suzhou, China — Y.E. Yang shot a 68 to take a one-stroke lead after the third round of the China Open on Saturday.
Nationwide race delayed
Fort Worth, Texas — Kyle Busch’s drive for five at Texas Motor Speedway has been delayed by rain. The wet weather and more showers in the forecast led to Saturday’s postponement of the Nationwide race at the 11⁄2-mile Texas track. The race was rescheduled for tonight after the Sprint Cup race earlier in the day. Weather still could be an issue today, when there is a good chance of more rain.
Wizards fall to Seattle, 1-0
Seattle — Kasey Keller picked up his second shutout in four games, and Michael Fucito scored in second-half stoppage time on Saturday, giving the Seattle Sounders a 1-0 victory against the Kansas City Wizards. The Sounders became the first team this season to score against the Wizards.
Nadal in Monte Carlo final
Monaco — Rafael Nadal is back in the final where he’ll try to win a sixth straight Monte Carlo Masters after defeating David Ferrer, 6-2, 6-3, in the semifinals on Saturday. Nadal will meet Fernando Verdasco in an all-Spanish final today. Verdasco thrashed top-seeded Novak Djokovic, 6-2, 6-2.