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Bo Pelini counting on QB Taylor Martinez living up to potential

Charlie Neibergall / Associated Press
QB Taylor Martinez is entering his fourth season as a starter for Nebraska.

Nebraska senior QB Taylor Martinez is heading into his fourth season as the starter, and Huskers coach Bo Pelini said Wednesday at Big Ten Media Day he is confident Martinez is going to have his best season.

Martinez (6-feet-1, 210 pounds) already holds numerous school records, including passing yards (6,591). But while he has starred as a weapon on zone-read plays, he sometimes struggles as a passer. He has thrown 46 career touchdown passes but also 27 career interceptions, including 12 last season.

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"He has the arm strength," Pelini said. "He can make any throw there is."

Mechanics are the concern. They have improved since Martinez's redshirt freshman season in 2010, but they're still not where they need to be, and Pelini acknowledged that.

"Being a great quarterback comes back to not just the talent thing, it's not just the fundamentals and the technique issues, but it comes down to decision-making and efficiency at the quarterback position and making the offense work for you, and I think he's understanding that," Pelini said. "I think he grew in that area last year and there's still a lot more room for growth. ... He made some big changes in his throwing motion and really his footwork and shoulder angle."

Martinez has the necessary talent around him. Pelini said the offensive line should be the best in his six seasons in Lincoln. Nebraska's receiving corps, headed by rising star junior Kenny Bell, should be one of the three or four best in the league. And junior TB Ameer Abdullah is coming off a 1,137-yard season.

"He's not even close to what his potential is," Pelini said of Martinez. "And I look forward to what he's going to bring to the table this year."

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