- David Ubben, College Football
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Each offense across the Big 12 starts 11 players on Saturday and plays 12-14 games. That's a whole lot of performances. Some are better than others.
These are the 10 best individual performances from the entire 2010 season.
If a player's team didn't win the game, he was ineligible, and this list omitted defensive performances. To add a little homogeny to this business, nonconference games were omitted as well.
1. Taylor Martinez vs. Oklahoma State. Nebraska's freshman quarterback went on the road and was unstoppable, bouncing back from one of his worst games of the year against Texas with his best. He threw for 323 yards and five touchdowns on 23-of-35 passing and ran for 112 yards on 19 carries. It earned the Huskers a much-needed 51-41 win in Stillwater.
2. Landry Jones vs. Nebraska. Unimpressed by his numbers? (23-of-41, 342 yards, TD, INT). Consider this: They came in the Big 12 Championship against the No. 3 passing defense in the country, and the Sooners trailed 17-0 early, so the defense knew what was coming. Considering the graveyard of quarterbacks that Nebraska left in its wake, there's no question this was among the best performances of the year.
3. Justin Blackmon vs. Baylor. He just makes it look easy. Blackmon torched the Bears for 173 yards on 13 catches and a touchdown in the Cowboys' 55-28 win. And he dropped another easy score! He touched the ball once in the running game, too. Of course, he ran it in for a 69-yard touchdown.
4. Taylor Martinez vs. K-State. If anyone didn't know who Martinez was before this game, they did after. On a nationally televised Thursday night game, he injected himself into the Heisman race, albeit briefly, with 241 yards rushing and four touchdowns on just 15 carries. He also threw a 79-yard touchdown pass and finished with 128 yards on 5-of-7 passing to help the Huskers roll easily, 48-13.
5. Jay Finley vs. Kansas State. Finley was a workhorse, logging 26 carries for 250 yards, including an 82-yard score in the Bears' 47-42 win. He had a pair of rushing touchdowns, and any day that features nearly 10 yards a carry is impressive.
6. Roy Helu Jr. vs. Missouri. Helu wasn't exactly breaking loads of tackles, but no one else in the Big 12 came within 40 yards of his 307-yard, three-touchdown day that effectively won the Big 12 North for the Huskers. The holes were there, Helu hit them hard, and the Tigers couldn't get back in the game. In the fourth quarter, Helu clinched the game with plenty of tough yards.
7. Ryan Broyles vs. Iowa State. What made this most impressive is Broyles basically put his game together in just over a half of play. The Sooners beat the Cyclones 52-0, but Broyles caught 15 passes for 182 yards and a touchdown.
8. Robert Griffin III vs. Kansas. Griffin got help with a 94-yard catch and run by Josh Gordon, but the Bears gave a good indication of how good they could be in their conference opener by routing Kansas, 55-7. Considering the Bears won just one conference game a year ago, it was certainly a big deal. Griffin threw for 380 yards on 26-of-36 passing, three touchdowns and ran for 64 more yards and another score on eight carries.
9. Cyrus Gray vs. Texas. Gray notched his sixth consecutive game of at least 100 yards rushing in the 24-17 win, and pushed the Aggies over the edge with with a 48-yard score in the third quarter to put them up 24-14. He also opened the scoring for the Aggies with an 84-yard touchdown and finished with 223 yards, the most ever by an Aggie against hated rival, Texas.
10. Ryan Tannehill vs. Texas Tech. Only four players had higher totals in a single game than Tannehill's school-record 449 yards passing against the Red Raiders. He had four touchdowns on 36-of-50 passing, and most impressive? He did it in his first career start.
21hMax Olson and Jake Trotter