Martinez gave Iowa issues last season, rushing for 76 yards and challenging the Hawkeyes’ secondary with passes thrown on the run from the perimeter.
“When he gets out of the pocket and throws, he puts a lot of pressure on the cornerbacks in particular,’’ Ferentz said. “He’s an excellent athlete. We saw that firsthand a year ago.’’
Ferentz said the Hawkeyes have positioned themselves for the chance to keep some big-picture thoughts alive with the way they responded following the loss at Wisconsin.
He has seen a high-energy approach from his team in games and practice in the weeks since, something he said will need to carry over for the Hawkeyes today against a Nebraska team with no shortage of motivation.
Beyond the four-game losing streak to Iowa, including losses by 56-14 and 28-20 scores the last two times the teams have met in Lincoln, Nebraska becomes eligible for a bowl game if it can beat the Hawkeyes.
A 6-6 regular-season finish in coach Scott Frost’s second season isn’t what the Cornhuskers had in mind for 2019, but it still beats being left outside of the Big Ten’s collection of bowl teams for a third straight year.
“We know what is at stake,’’ Nebraska linebacker Collin Miller said. “… We haven’t won in a couple of years so we want to bring that back and show everyone that Nebraska is back here and Iowa and that we are here to stay.’’