Updated

Zac Lee had more rushing yards than Taylor Martinez.

If you didn't know the outcome of Saturday's Texas-Nebraska football game, that little nugget should provide a pretty big clue.

Texas stuffed Martinez and the Nebraska rushing attack. And when some well-thrown balls from Martinez went sailing through or off receivers' hands -- time and time again -- Shawn Watson began sensing frustration in his redshirt freshman quarterback.

"There were a lot of things happening out there that he couldn't help," Watson said. "It started snowballing on him a little bit."

So, after Nebraska's first two possessions of the second half resulted in three-and-outs, Watson turned to Lee, a senior who started 12 games last season, but hadn't played since the first game of the season.

Watson said he went with Lee over sophomore Cody Green because of Lee's experience and maturity, even though Green had been the first quarterback off the bench in Nebraska's first five games.

Niles Paul said coaches said before the game "that if need be, Zac's on standby."

Neither Martinez nor Lee led Nebraska to the end zone in a mistake-filled 20-13 loss to Texas at Memorial Stadium.

So, the big question after the Huskers' first loss in six games:

Who's the quarterback?

Martinez is still that man, Watson assured reporters. The question almost seemed silly, given Martinez had been generating national buzz after his 241-yard rushing performance against Kansas State.

But against Texas, he had 13 carries for 21 yards, with his longest run a 14-yard scramble on Nebraska's third play of the game. That came after a sack -- part of 18 lost rushing yards for Martinez.

"They ran their defense. They ran what they do," Watson said of the Longhorns. "They ran their heavy fronts. At the same time, when we made some adjustments, we were able to chink it, too. They're a talented group.

"It was going to be that kind of game, that if you were going to crack 'em, it was going to be for 7, 12 (yards). It wasn't going to be the ones that we had."

Nebraska stuck with the zone-read with Lee, who ran 10 times for 25 yards. He completed four passes, none longer than 7 yards.

Martinez was 4-of-12 passing for 63 yards but was victimized by dropped passes, including a sure touchdown off the hands of Rex Burkhead, and one through the hands of Paul that would've at least meant first-and-goal.

"It was laid out there for us. We knew what they were going to try to do," Nebraska wide receivers coach Ted Gilmore said. "I talked to my guys all week, ‘Hey, if that opportunity presents itself, we've got to seize the moment. We've got to take advantage.' And, obviously, we did not do that.

"We didn't make the plays. No excuses. We didn't get it done. When it's there, and it's laid out for you, right in your hands, you've got to focus, you've got to make the play."

Watson said Martinez "made some good throws," and that he expects Nebraska's starting quarterback to learn and grow from the experience.

"If anything, we were probably too anxious to get started and did some things that were out of character. Once we settled in, they started doing some good things. But we were just too inconsistent. When we did, then we wouldn't finish plays.

"That inconsistency, you're not going to win games like this. It's a heavyweight fight where the difference will be a few plays. They made 'em, we didn't."

Reach Brian Rosenthal at brosenthal@journalstar.com or 402-473-7436.