Martinez leads Huskers past Fordham in 52-7 bounce-back win

Sep 4, 2021, 12:10 AM | Updated: 6:10 pm

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Fordham hung tough with Nebraska for a while, but ultimately the Cornhuskers imposed their will on their overmatched visitor from New York City.

Adrian Martinez ran for two touchdowns and passed for another, and the Huskers broke away in the second quarter and went on to a 52-7 victory Saturday.

“We have confidence in who we are as a team and what we’re capable of, so that means in games like this we need to come in and take care of business, and we did what we were supposed to do,” Martinez said.

The win came a week after the Huskers’ season-opening loss at Illinois. Did a 45-point win over a Football Championship Subdivision opponent represent progress?

“I would say so,” coach Scott Frost said. “We won a game.”

Martinez established a connection with Montana transfer Samori Toure, who caught eight balls for 133 yards and ran three times for 35 yards and a touchdown. Markese Stepp added 101 yards on 18 carries as the Huskers (1-1) finished with 633 total yards.

Fordham linebacker Ryan Greenhagen finished with a Division I record-tying 30 tackles, the most since Donald Payne had the same number for Stetson against Campbell in 2014.

The Rams (0-1) gouged the Huskers for 221 yards in the first two quarters. They had 71 yards and one first down after half.

“Guys came out and they played their hearts out,” Fordham coach Joe Conlin said. “In the second half we came we came out and got the ball and we stalled out and didn’t generate any first downs. It was just too much for the defense to shoulder the load and they were able to get the better of us on the ground.”

Fordham quarterback Tim DeMorat threw three interceptions in Nebraska territory, and the Huskers converted each into touchdowns. Deontai Williams had two of the picks and he also blocked a field goal.

Fordham forced punts on two of Nebraska’s first three possessions and tied it 7-7 when Fotis Kokosioulis caught a pass over the middle and made a couple nice moves to finish a 31-yard touchdown.

Things started falling apart for the Rams when Nick Leinenweber attempted a tying 46-yard field goal. Williams blocked it, Leinenweber picked up the ball and dished it to lineman Anthony Diodato for a 2-yard loss.

Martinez’s short run finished a 69-yard touchdown drive for a 10-point lead, and after DeMorat threw his second interception, the Huskers went 83 yards in nine plays to go up 24-7 at half.

Martinez, 17 of 23 for 254 yards, led two touchdown drives in the third quarter before Logan Smothers entered for his first college snaps.


Fordham: The Rams were on even terms with the Huskers for a while, got the experience of playing in one of the cathedrals of college football and pocketed a $500,000 guarantee.

“I think they enjoyed it,” Conlin said. “I think our kids did a great job. Everyone was very nice, it’s a heck of a venue, so the atmosphere I don’t think affected us in any way, shape or form.”

Nebraska: This game against an overmatched FCS opponent does nothing to change the narrative from the loss at Illinois. The defense allowed seven plays of 15 yards or longer before clamping down after half, and Cam Taylor-Britt mishandled a punt for a second straight week.


Fordham’s Greenhagen made 22 tackles in three games in the spring. He had that many by the end of the third quarter on his way to 30.

“Are you for real? 30 tackles?” Stepp said. “That guy’s a monster.”

Greenhagen, the Patriot League preseason player of the year, said he’s not a guy who keeps track of his statistics. He reacted to his feat with a shrug.

“The key to being a linebacker is just relentless pursuit to the football,” he said. “If you’re on the ball, you’re probably doing something right.”


The Huskers’ NCAA-record sellout streak reached 376 games, but not until donors bought more than 2,400 tickets early in the week and distributed them to disadvantaged youth.

There was a large swath of open seats at the top of the southeast stands and the upper deck on the east side had several large gaps, but most of the stadium was filled in. Attendance was announced at 85,938.

“Gosh that felt good,” said Frost, whose team had no fans in the stadium last year because of the pandemic. “We missed the fans. I know they missed being here. This was a dismal place without them, so can’t wait until next week.”


Fordham: The Rams host fellow FCS member Monmouth of the Big South on Sept. 11.

Nebraska: The Huskers host Buffalo on Sept. 11.


More AP college football: and

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


FILE - Former heavyweight boxing world champion Wladimir Klitschko leaves after a meeting with Germ...
Associated Press

Boxer Klitschko joins fight against Olympic path for Russia

GENEVA (AP) — Olympic gold medalist Wladimir Klitschko has joined Ukraine’s fight against IOC plans to let some Russians compete at the 2024 Paris Summer Games. The former heavyweight champion suggested in a video message published Monday that sports leaders will be accomplices to the war if athletes from Russia and its military ally Belarus […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

UK police chiefs apologize to Hillsborough disaster families

LONDON (AP) — Britain’s police chiefs promised a “cultural change” on Tuesday as they apologized to families of the victims in the 1989 Hillsborough tragedy, the U.K.’s worst sports disaster which saw 97 people killed during a crush of soccer fans at an overcrowded stadium. “For what happened, as a senior policing leader, I profoundly […]
1 day ago
FILE - Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, left, talks to his brother, Philadelphia Eagles c...
Associated Press

Brother vs. brother: Kelces prepare for Super Bowl showdown

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Donna Kelce is going to have to pull out that now-familiar custom jersey — the one with Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce’s front stitched to Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce’s back — one more time this season. At least this time, she’ll get to see her boys in […]
1 day ago
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) walks back to the sidelines during the second half of...
Associated Press

Analysis: NFL wasn’t at its best in conference championships

The NFL didn’t put on its Sunday best for the conference championships. Before the San Francisco 49ers ran out of luck and quarterbacks, they were burned by a fourth-down catch by Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Devonta Smith that wasn’t even a catch. Although Kyle Shanahan could have thrown a challenge flag, the league’s replay assist […]
1 day ago
Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid reacts after a play duining the second half of an NBA basketball ga...
Associated Press

Analysis: All-Star reserve voting will lead to some snubbing

Brace yourself. There’s going to be some angry people in the NBA on Thursday night. With good reason. The votes from the coaches are now in, and on Thursday, the NBA will reveal the 14 players — seven from the Eastern Conference, seven more from the Western Conference — who got picked to be reserves […]
1 day ago
Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, left, drives to the basket on Atlanta Hawks center Cli...
Associated Press

Lillard scores 42 as Trail Blazers hold off Hawks 129-125

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Damian Lillard scored 42 points, Anfernee Simons hit a tiebreaking 3-pointer with 34 seconds left and the Portland Trail Blazers held off the Atlanta Hawks 129-125 on Monday night. Dejounte Murray had 40 points, eight rebounds and six assists for the Hawks, who played without star point guard Trae Young (ankle). […]
1 day ago
Martinez leads Huskers past Fordham in 52-7 bounce-back win