Adrian Martinez had a spectacular season for Nebraska football. Did he deserve to win Freshman of the Year in the Big Ten?
In the end, the award doesn’t matter that much, because it doesn’t change the fact that Martinez is a superstar, however, it would have been nice to see the freshman rewarded for his spectacular season.
The winner of the award was Purdue’s Rondale Moore, who also had an incredible first season for the Boilermakers. Moore caught 103 passes for 1,164 yards and 12 touchdowns. He also ran the ball 18 times for 213 yards and a touchdown. He was also Big Ten Freshman of the Week three times and put together a massive game in an upset over Ohio State with 195 total yards and three touchdowns.
For his sake, Martinez also had some stellar numbers. He was second in the conference in total offense per game behind only Dwayne Haskins of Ohio State. Martinez also passed for 2,617 yards while completing 64.5 percent of his passes. He also threw 17 touchdown passes and also rushed for 629 yards and eight scores, giving him a total of 25 touchdowns accounted for.
Moore had seven games with more than 100 yards receiving, however, Martinez also had seven games with more than 300 yards of total offense. He also went over 300 yards passing in three games and rushed for more than 100 twice.
If team results played a factor at all, Moore will have gotten the edge. Purdue finished 6-6 and made a bowl game, while the Huskers ended up 4-8. Purdue also got a season-defining win over Ohio State, a game that was also Moore’s finest game of the season.
Martinez did earn Honorable Mention All-Big Ten, which isn’t a bad consolation prize. He was joined being recognized by Stanley Morgan, who was Named Second Team All-Big Ten and Devine Ozigbo, who also earned an Honorable Mention. Morgan went over 1,000 yards receiving and Ozigbo went over 1,000 yards rushing.
Moore and Martinez both had similar resumes, Martinez just didn’t deliver the big upset as Moore did. Had he led the Huskers to a win over Ohio State or even Iowa, the story may have been different.
However, seeing as Martinez wasn’t able to do that, it’s not a surprise that he wasn’t able to overtake Moore. At the end of the day, both players are special and both programs should be fortunate to have such a dynamic freshman on their rosters.