LINCOLN — If you lost track of who was who in the Nebraska passing game Saturday, don't be frustrated.
In what was a career day for Taylor Martinez in Nebraska's 49-20 win against Southern Miss in Lincoln, it was one of those days that a numerical roster came in handy.
In passing for 354 yards and five touchdowns Martinez completed passes to at least 11 different receivers. Junior Quincy Enunwa led all receivers with 70 yards on six receptions.
That was just the beginning. Nebraska suffered a big loss when Tim Marlowe was sidelined with a broken clavicle, but even then the Husker passing game didn't skip a beat.
"This year we want to show people that we're a great receiving corps," Enunwa said. "When somebody goes down we can't be upset about it. We know our twos are as good as our ones."
For life-long Nebraska football fans the game against Southern Miss may have been a journey down memory lane – back to the day when tight ends were a big part of the offense.
Senior tight end Kyler Reed hauled in five receptions for 57 yards and a touchdown, while junior tight end Jake Long had three receptions for 41 yards and a touchdown.
Sophomore receiver Kenny Bell started the receiving parade in hauling in a 26-yard TD pass from Martinez midway through the first quarter, in what was the start of a big day that ended in 632 yards of total offense against Southern Miss' strength – its defense.
Bell said he wasn't surprised at how well Martinez played.
"It was a solid day," Bell said. "I saw it coming with how hard he worked all off season. I wasn't surprised at all. You go down the list of wide outs and I don't think anybody didn't have a catch. The twos that came in didn't miss a beat."
Bell said he was glad to see Martinez answer the critics – those who have questioned his throwing motion and foot work in the pocket.
"To see him perform the way he did in the face of all the criticism, I think it's great," Bell said.
Head Coach Bo Pelini said he "expected" to see Martinez play the way he did in spreading the ball around.
"You saw a lot of guys make catches," Pelini said. "I don't know the number, but I thought it was pretty good across the board. We had a lot of guys play, and I don't know that there was anybody in there that didn't catch the football, or didn't have a catch."
Southern Miss Head Coach Ellis Johnson said a lack of pressure up front put a lot of pressure on his defensive secondary.
"We seldom got any pressure in his face," Johnson said. "A lot of his throws were play action passes, and came out pretty quick. It was a tough day out there for them, but it certainly wasn't just their fault."
Seven Huskers scored touchdowns against Southern Miss, which is the most since seven players combined for eight touchdowns in a 56-7 win over Nicholls State in 2006.
Nebraska offensive coordinator Tim Beck said although he's pleased with how Martinez and the offense performed, he cautioned that NU has a tough week ahead at UCLA.
"I feel good about where we're at," Beck said. "We want to keep people off balance. It's one game. He had a great, outstanding game and he earned. He put himself in a position. The experience of him being in this offense resulted in bigger plays for us.
"I think Taylor has it in him. I think he gets a bad rap."