Nebraska rush offense vs. Purdue rush defense
Purdue allows 4.82 yards per carry (second-worst in the Big Ten), even without giving up very many big runs — the Boilermakers have allowed 21 rushes of 10-plus yards. One would expect Nebraska to stubbornly feed Ameer Abdullah, who’s accumulated more yards on the ground (690) than 30 FBS offenses (including Purdue’s). Advantage: NU
Nebraska pass offense vs. Purdue pass defense
Nebraska’s quarterbacks have completed 71 percent of their passes for an average of 15.5 yards during the past two games. Purdue will try to disrupt Tommy Armstrong and Ron Kellogg, but it will likely take some extravagant blitz schemes to do it. The Boilermakers have nine sacks, but five came against an FCS foe. Advantage: NU
Purdue rush offense vs. Nebraska rush defense
Running back Akeem Hunt has big-play potential, but he’s averaging just 3.2 yards per carry running between the tackles out of the Boilermakers’ pro-style looks. Nebraska’s always vulnerable against the run, but limiting Purdue’s struggling ground attack shouldn’t be too difficult. Advantage: NU
Purdue pass offense vs. Nebraska pass defense
There’s some uncertainty about how Purdue will structure its passing game with freshman Danny Etling getting his first career start. He has an arm. He threw 39 times in just more than two quarters against Northern Illinois. The element of surprise should help against a young Husker defense. Advantage: Purdue
Hunt is dangerous on kickoff returns, with 29.3 yards per chance and one touchdown. But Mauro Bondi’s strong leg could neutralize that threat. NU’s 25 touchbacks are tied for third-most nationally. With three touchbacks, Purdue doesn’t have that luxury against Kenny Bell, who gets 30.1 per kickoff return. Advantage: NU
Purdue is 1-4 and committed already to preparing its young players for future seasons under first-year coach Darrell Hazell. So the Boilermakers have nothing to lose. Expect them to play like that. Nebraska, meanwhile, often struggles in the favorite’s role.Advantage: Purdue
Key matchup: Purdue cornerback Ricardo Allen vs. Nebraska’s receivers
Allen is not very big (listed at 5-foot-9, 186 pounds), but he doesn’t back down. He’s been on NFL scouts’ radar since his freshman year when he ran two interceptions back for touchdowns. He’ll have his hands full with Kenny Bell and Quincy Enunwa. But the battles should be fun to watch.
Nebraska dominated Illinois last week, and it appears to be in position to do the same at Purdue on Saturday. Taking control quickly and decisively again against an outmatched opponent would help rebuild the Huskers’ once-shaken confidence. Most assume NU shouldn’t have any trouble doing that.
Our prediction: Nebraska 45, Purdue 17
Big Red Today coverage
World-Herald staff writer Sam McKewon logged on Monday for a special edition of “Husker Talk Live.”
What if I told you that the biggest game on college football’s 2017 opening weekend could easily become a rematch in the College Football Playoff? Same teams — even the same stadium! Alabama and Florida State square off in Atlanta…
Don’t let him leave the building. As Nebraska coach Mike Riley had an instant, perfect click with Bob Diaco late last week, the prevailing mood among Husker staffers was that Riley, in a whirlwind, had found the man to take…
Mike Riley chose to not renew the contract of his longtime defensive coordinator — Mark Banker — after watching film of the Huskers' 38-24 loss to Tennessee in the Music City Bowl.
Watch a replay of the Huskers' press conference as Mike Riley and Bob Diaco take to the podium to discuss Nebraska's new face in the defensive coordinator role.
Nebraska coach Mike Riley turned to Diaco after deciding to part ways with longtime coordinator Mark Banker, and Riley and Diaco appeared at an introductory press conference Friday to discuss the last 10 days and the future of the Husker…
New defensive coordinator Bob Diaco won the room. He won the press conference. And Mike Riley won. Again. He’s gone 6-7 and 9-4 in two seasons. But in the offseason Riley is a sparkling 2-0.
247Sports, Rivals and Scout have all released their final batch of rankings of the nation’s top college football prospects, and Tyjon Lindsey leads the way among Husker commits according to all four services.
As Nebraska football finishes its 2017 recruiting class and gears up to start the 2018 cycle, Ryan Gunderson’s departure from the player personnel department should not go unnoticed.
Nebraska and Iowa — and possibly a SEC school — will square off for a tall, sure-handed tight end in the final weeks before signing day.
Nebraska gave scholarships to at least three Husker in-state walk-ons Wednesday: Fullback Luke McNitt, I-back Austin Rose and wideout Bryan Reimers.
Nebraska received on Wednesday a coveted commit from one of Los Angeles’ top talent hubs – for next year’s recruiting class. NU wouldn’t mind getting a few commits for the 2017 recruiting cycle from Los Angeles Hawkins High School. For…
Bob Diaco's first public comments as Nebraska's defensive coordinator underlined his passion for the new job, his new boss and returning to the Big Ten.
Nebraska got the biggest commit of the 2017 recruiting cycle on Saturday, when top 100 prospect Tyjon Lindsey flipped from Ohio State to the Huskers. But NU wideouts coach Keith Williams isn't done on the trail.
Nebraska doesn’t have a defensive back committed to its 2017 recruiting class with two weeks left until national signing day, but the Huskers are about to host two of their top targets, and another is set to announce his commitment…
Take a closer look at the game and you see that staff turnover is commonplace in big-time college football. Some head coaches replace an assistant every season. That wasn’t the Nebraska way, not the old Nebraska way. But then, that…
For a second straight recruiting cycle, Nebraska snagged an in-state commitment just before signing day — flipping a prospect from Wyoming.
Nebraska has been trying to get back to the Big Ten championship game since 2012. Bob Elliott thinks Bob Diaco can help it get there as the new defensive coordinator.
Should the Mike Riley era at Nebraska turn out to be a big winner, the last seven days might be remembered as the Riley Rally.
Saturday was a big day for Nebraska football with the Huskers landing a commitment from four-star wide receiver Tyjon Lindsey.
As he built one of the best defenses in the nation, Bob Diaco would arrive before dawn at Notre Dame’s football offices and usually be one of the last to leave. He loved the film room, and wanted his players…
Four-star wide receiver Tyjon Lindsey announced on Saturday that he was committing to Nebraska, days after he dropped his commitment to Ohio State. World-Herald staff writer Sam McKewon has five quick thoughts on what landing Lindsey means for the Huskers.
Nebraska officially announced Bob Diaco as its defensive coordinator Saturday, three days after coach Mike Riley dismissed his longtime coordinator, Mark Banker. The World-Herald had reported the expected move on Friday night.
Bob Diaco went from pads on his shoulders to whistle around his neck, and somehow made the transition in the Iowa football program without changing himself.
You always remember your first time. Mine was on Oct. 2, 1966. My father and I drove down from Escondido, California, about 30 miles to Balboa Stadium, in the middle of gorgeous Balboa Park near downtown San Diego.
Former Nebraska defensive coordinator Mark Banker — a longtime friend, confidant and assistant to coach Mike Riley — learned over the phone he wouldn't be returning as a Husker coach.
Dallas Bishop Dunne defensive tackle Damion Daniels will announce his college choice on Feb. 1 — national signing day — his father, Tony Daniels, told The World-Herald Friday.
Not only did the Huskers visit with some of their top targets — players they want to add before national signing day — but they also checked on recruits they’ve had committed for months.
Nebraska football will name former Notre Dame defensive coordinator and former Connecticut coach Bob Diaco as its new defensive coordinator, multiple sources confirmed to The World-Herald Friday.
The World-Herald confirmed through several sources Thursday that coach Mike Riley may be leaning toward a coach with experience with the 3-4.