Huskers roll in opener

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Rex Burkhead dodges two defenders mid-air on a run in the second half. Burkhead gained 75 rushing on 11 carries.

Story by Kyleigh Ostendorf and photos by Matt Masin, NewsNetNebraska

LINCOLN, NE- Sophomore quarterback Taylor Martinez scored three touchdowns to lead the Nebraska Cornhuskers to a 40-7 victory Saturday over Tennessee-Chattanooga at Memorial Stadium. Nebraska’s victory extended its season-opener winning streak to 26 straight.

After punting on their first drive, the Huskers scored on their next four. Kicker Brett Maher ended the second quarter with a 34-yard field goal, giving the Huskers a 23-0 halftime lead.

“I was pretty blessed to have a pretty good day,” Maher said. “I didn’t really have a lot of ups and downs, but I know it’ll come throughout the year. Just have to keep working hard to try and duplicate that every week.”

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, ranked No. 21 in the Football Championship Series, opened the second half with what would be its only scoring drive of the game. Wide receiver Marlon Anthony caught a 13-yard pass from B.J. Coleman.

“I think it was an 80-yard drive for a touchdown. That was really cool being able to come out here and do that,” Coleman said.

Nebraska answered by scoring 17 points. Defensive lineman Cameron Meredith intercepted Coleman after Jared Crick tipped the pass at the line of scrimmage. That set up running back Rex Burkhead’s 3-yard run over left guard for his second touchdown of the day.

Martinez rushed for 157 yards and passed the football for 116 yards, along with those three scores of seven, 43 and 47 yards.

“As a unit, we got more comfortable as the game went on,” Martinez said.

GAME NOTES:

New starters: Tyler Moore started the game at offensive tackle, becoming the first true freshman ever to start at lineman in Nebraska’s history.

Other first-time offensive starters for the Huskers included Jake Long, Yoshi Hardrick, Quincy Enunwa and Andrew Rodriquez.

Next week: The Huskers host their first Division I team Saturday against Fresno State at Memorial Stadium.

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Taylor Martinez drops back to pass during the second quarter. Martinez averaged 5.3 yards and tallied 116 yards on 22 pass attempts.

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