Michigan's Denard Robinson, Nebraska's Taylor Martinez have plenty of similarities
Robinson: Melanie Maxwell | AnnArbor.com; Martinez: AP Photo
Denard Robinson and Taylor Martinez, two dual-threat Big Ten quarterbacks, have plenty in common.
ESPN.com breaks down some of those similarities in a "Stats & Info" blog post today, and suggests that the Michigan vs. Nebraska game on Nov. 19 in Ann Arbor may be the day one of them becomes the leading candidate for Big Ten Player of the Year.
The blog notes that Robinson (Michigan) and Martinez (Nebraska) were two of five FBS players to pass for more than 1,500 yards and rush for more than 900.
Their careers started similarly, winning respective starting QB jobs from an incumbent, and both are playing for new offensive coordinators this season.
ESPN also notes that both players cooled off after fast starts in 2010:
Martinez suffered a lower-leg injury against the Missouri Tigers on October 30. He was forced to miss two games, and rushed for just 95 yards combined in his final five games. The Cornhuskers finished 2-3 in Martinez’s final five starts after starting the year 7-1. Michigan also struggled down the stretch, finishing 2-6 after a 5-0 start. Robinson saw his touchdown to interception ratio go from 7-1 in the first five games to 11-10 over the last eight.
Robinson and Martinez are two members of a strong quarterback group in the Big Ten this season.
Russel Wilson (Wisconsin), Nathan Scheelhaase (Illinois) and Dan Persa (Northwestern) are also known as strong dual-threat quarterbacks while Michigan State's Kirk Cousins doesn't run much, but should be among the league's most effective passers.
All six are on the preseason watch list for the Davey O'Brien Award, which is given to the country's best quarterback.