Game Day: Nebraska vs. Purdue

What else you got?

Looking at the Big Ten map, it's hard to find a stadium that doesn't have its own ZIP code. There's something charming about going to an understated venue in a small hamlet on a college football Saturday. Purdue — with an oversized drum and an atmosphere that should really please the Nebraska fan invasion — fits the bill.

READ MORE »

2-Minute Drill by Jon Nyatawa

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

Special teams

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

Intangibles

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 wins if ...

It avoids adopting a blowout mentality. Trying too hard to win in style often leads to silly mistakes. Just take care of business.

Purdue wins if ...

It can score early, manufacture a couple of long gainers on offense and force several turnovers. A lot has to go right.

Our take

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

Live updates

 

Videos

Extras

Printable rosters

Looking for a handy reference guide that you can take to the game? Check out our two-page printable roster, sorted by jersey number and including height, weight, year in school, hometown and high school information. Click here »

Game notes

Check out a PDF of the game notes for the Nebraska-Purdue game provided by the Huskers athletic department. Click here »

On social media

Check out the Big Red Today page on Facebook to discuss the latest news with the top Husker fans, and follow us on Twitter to get instant updates and analysis whenever news breaks.

BRT app

iPhone and Android users, get your Husker updates on the go by downloading our free Big Red Today app from the App Store and the Google Play store. Omaha.com/BRTapp and Omaha.com/android

Listen: BRT Podcast

In this week’s edition of "The Big Red Today Podcast," Sam McKewon joins host Jon Nyatawa to examine Nebraska’s defense — can the Huskers build on last week’s improvement? Jon and Sam then venture off on a few tangents: Northwestern’s ticket-selling strategy, the aesthetic appeal of Purdue’s athletic campus, the formation of the college football selection committee and more. Click here »

Recruiting updates

Visit the Big Red Today recruiting page to find the latest updates on potential future Huskers, including player cards for those athletes already committed. Click here »

Email alerts

Sign up for the Big Red Today email newsletter to get the Husker news, analysis, daily headlines and more delivered to your inbox. Click here »

Big Ten coverage

Look for additional updates on our Big Ten page to get the best coverage of the conference from both The World-Herald and some of the best writers from across the country. Click here »

Big Red Today coverage

Watch live: Husker postgame press conference

Log on after the Nebraska-Minnesota game for live video of the Husker postgame press conference with coach Bo Pelini and select Husker players.

Gophers rally as Husker offense goes quiet in second half

LINCOLN — Nebraska couldn't hold a 14-point Senior Day lead on Saturday, allowing Minnesota to score the go-ahead touchdown with three minutes left before coming up just short on the ...

Husker Talk Live: Postgame chat

Join staff writer Jon Nyatawa for a postgame edition of the "Husker Talk Live" chat one hour after the final whistle of the Nebraska-Minnesota game to discuss the matchup.

Live ...

Barfknecht: Two weeks remain, and the West is still wild

After all the things written about the Big Ten’s ability to screw up scheduling, regardless of sport, you’ve got to like that it lucked out on these final ...

Well-grounded Gophers: Kill’s group can trip up teams with talent

LINCOLN — Ohio State had Minnesota down 14-0 and 31-14 at different points last Saturday, and history might have suggested that the Big Ten bully with all of the talent and ...

Shatel: You — yes, you, Husker fans — must bounce back, too

Hey, good morning. Yes, you with the Nebraska football tickets.

You getting up at 7 a.m. to load up the car? Got the heavy coat, the gloves, the hat ...

Patience pays off for Husker senior Joey Felici

LINCOLN — Answering the questions was always awkward for Joey Felici.

The Nebraska walk-on had made it into just one football game — very briefly against Idaho State in 2012 — through four ...

Husker notes: Pelini proud of nephew Mark’s commitment to program

LINCOLN — Coach Bo Pelini’s not sure how he’ll react the moment Saturday that his nephew Mark is honored as part of Nebraska’s senior day festivities.

The senior ...

Husker seniors focused on win, won’t get lost in moment

LINCOLN — Save the nostalgia for after the season. Nebraska’s seniors are approaching Saturday’s home finale focused solely on getting a win.

There will be a day when the ...

Gophers powering way into Big Ten West picture

LINCOLN — Melvin Gordon has speed. Ameer Abdullah has moves. Indiana’s Tevin Coleman has a little of both.

The fourth guy on the Big Ten’s Mount Rushmore of 2014 ...

Kenny Bell: Getting wrapped up in scores and statistics 'will make you miserable'

LINCOLN — As important as it might be for the Nebraska seniors to go out with a bang on Saturday, receiver Kenny Bell has tried to remind them — and the rest ...

Minnesota preview: Blue-collar personality fits Gophers

By the numbers

7-3: Overall record (4-2 in the Big Ten)

5.48: Offensive yards per play (74th)

5.04: Defensive yards per play (28th)

+9: Turnover margin (T-11th)

47 ...

Husker notes: Callers get blunt on Pelini’s radio show; Salute for seniors

LINCOLN — Nebraska football coach Bo Pelini offered a matter-of-fact response Wednesday night on the radio show “Sports Nightly” to a caller questioning whether the Husker program was going in the ...

Huskers identify issues that snowballed vs. Wisconsin

LINCOLN — There actually were a few snaps when the Nebraska defense did everything right at Wisconsin, and highlighting them could prove to be quite valuable come Saturday.

That’s the ...

Nebraska drops to 23 in College Football Playoff rankings

Nebraska fell seven spots in the College Football Playoff rankings after losing to Wisconsin on Saturday.

The Huskers, ranked 16th last week, tumbled to 23rd this week. NU was tied ...

Husker Talk Live: Replay

Replay Tuesday's “Husker Talk Live” chat with staff writer Jon Nyatawa to track a discussion of the latest Husker headline.

Live Blog Husker Talk Live: Noon

Notes: Badgers, Gophers in control of Big Ten West

Two teams in the Big Ten West Division still control their destiny to get to Indianapolis for the Dec. 6 league championship game.

Nebraska isn’t among them.

The Huskers ...

Notes: Papuchis, players make call for some to shed their Blackshirts

LINCOLN — The number of Blackshirts has been cut in half, but it’s somewhat unclear how long that will last.

Of the 15 players initially awarded the black practice jerseys ...

Barfknecht: Abdullah no lock to make loaded All-B1G backfield

Let’s take today’s midweek run through Big Ten football in three quick steps.

1. Nebraska I-back Ameer Abdullah entered October with legitimate hope to earn first-team All-America honors ...

McKewon: It’s not just about wins; it's about 'game control'

LINCOLN — One day, when Nebraska’s good enough to be in the hunt for a College Football Playoff spot, Husker fans will get to worry about game control.

For now ...

Huskers can’t let one game define them, Tim Beck says

LINCOLN — Tommy Armstrong didn’t want to look back at Wisconsin on Tuesday, and Nebraska offensive coordinator Tim Beck took the same approach when asked about the confidence of his ...

Lunch with Tom: Replay

Hungry for some sports chat? Join the “Lunch with Tom” chat at 10 a.m. as World-Herald columnist Tom Shatel discusses Nebraska’s loss to Wisconsin and more.

Live Blog ...

Video: Bo Pelini at weekly Husker football press conference

Replay video of Bo Pelini and select Huskers addressing the media as the team comes off the Wisconsin loss and prepares to face Minnesota. 

Coach Bo Pelini

Cornerback Josh Mitchell ...

Chatelain: In puzzling trend, Huskers in good shape before 'flips' — then flop

We remember the embarrassing endings. The low-hanging heads. The long stares. The fourth quarters that go on forever.

Blowout losses in the biggest games have stained Nebraska’s time in ...

Nebraska-Iowa game will be shown at 11 a.m.

Nebraska’s Nov. 28 football game at Iowa will kick off at 11 a.m.

The game will be nationally televised by ABC.

The Huskers are 8-2 and 4-2 in ...

Nebraska players are trying to shrug off bad defeat

LINCOLN — Nebraska captain Jake Cotton spoke up at a meeting Sunday to remind his teammates that one blowout loss doesn’t define the makeup or the character of this group ...

Big Red’s big-game blues nothing new in Pelini era, and program is frustrated

LINCOLN — Upset. Embarrassed. Mad. Nebraska coach Bo Pelini said Monday that Husker football players expressed all three emotions as they watched game film after NU’s disastrous 59-24 collapse at ...

Notes: Westerkamp considered Minnesota out of high school

Jordan Westerkamp knows a little about Nebraska’s next opponent, because Minnesota was one of the schools he visited coming out of Lombard, Illinois.

“I was always high on Minnesota ...

College football polls show Huskers little forgiveness

Nebraska dropped in both the AP and Coaches poll rankings in week 13 after losing 59-24 to Wisconsin on Saturday.

In the AP Top 25 poll the Huskers dropped to ...

Barfknecht's Big Ten Rankings, Nov. 17

World-Herald staff writer Lee Barfknecht ranks the Big Ten Conference football teams, as published in The World-Herald on Nov. 17.

* * *

1. Ohio State (9-1, 6-0)

Last week: beat Minnesota 31-24 ...