Nebraska rush offense vs. Purdue rush defense
I-back Ameer Abdullah is back on track after the tough sledding at Michigan State, running for 371 yards and seven touchdowns the last two Saturdays. Purdue had a bye week to look at the Huskers’ zone read game, but the combination of Abdullah and quarterback Tommy Armstrong is going to be dangerous if Nebraska completes a few throws and the Boilermakers have to respect the pass. Purdue is allowing 173.8 yards per game and 4.5 per carry, both among the worst marks in the Big Ten.
Nebraska pass offense vs. Purdue pass defense
Purdue has been susceptible to the big play, and that’s one of the things that NU does best with its passing game (18 completions of 25-plus yards). The Boilermakers also have been inconsistent with their pass rush and are allowing opponents to complete 57.4 percent of their passes. That could result in Armstrong having some success with Kenny Bell and Jordan Westerkamp if he’s on target.
Purdue rush offense vs. Nebraska rush defense
Purdue has made some of its greatest improvements in the running game, already exceeding last year’s total (805) with its 1,447 through eight games. Both Akeem Hunt and Raheem Mostert have break-away speed, too, if the Huskers play a gap or assignment wrong. NU is allowing 123.8 yards per game and 3.7 per carry, but its last three opponents have combined for 448 yards.
Purdue pass offense vs. Nebraska pass defense
The Boilermakers seem to have fed off the recent change to Austin Appleby, but they haven’t had much success going down the field and have nine interceptions to go with 12 touchdowns. Nebraska, meanwhile, is having another solid season against the pass, allowing teams to complete just 48.1 percent of their throws and getting more interceptions (nine) than TD passes allowed (eight). It will be even tougher on Appleby if the NU defensive front starts spending a lot of time in the Boilermaker backfield.
Both teams have an explosive return threat, with De’Mornay Pierson-El on punts for Nebraska and Raheem Mostert on kickoffs for Purdue. Paul Griggs has hit 10 of 12 field goals for the Boilermakers, compared to Drew Brown at 9 of 13 for NU. The minor differences might be the success of Husker punter Sam Foltz recently and Purdue ranking last in the Big Ten in kickoff coverage.
Nebraska is in a different place as a program and gets the Boilermakers at home after dismantling them a year ago in West Lafayette. NU has a small edge in turnover margin, but has been penalized slightly more. The Huskers are more efficient in time of possession and third-down conversions, have a more experienced quarterback and own an edge in overall talent.
Key matchup: Key matchup: Purdue O-line vs. Nebraska D-line
Purdue has come a long way with its offensive line, both with its play and a newfound edge. The three sophomores and two juniors, however, will face a formidable challenge against defensive end Randy Gregory, defensive tackle Maliek Collins and the rest of the Nebraska front four.
Purdue has scored 31 or more points five times, but also has given up at least 24 to everybody but Southern Illinois. If the Boilermaker defense can’t get off the field against Nebraska, it could be a long game. The Huskers have plenty to gain here, too, with a bye week on deck before the all-important Wisconsin-Minnesota-Iowa finish to the season.
Our prediction: Nebraska 40, Purdue 20
Big Red Today coverage
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.
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 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 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.
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…
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.
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.
When news broke Wednesday night about Nebraska defensive coordinator Mark Banker not getting his contract renewed, Guy Thomas said he quickly received a call from defensive line coach John Parrella to explain the situation.
Top receiving target Jamire Calvin shocked Husker fans and coaches Saturday when he picked Oregon State over NU at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, but Nebraska isn't out of the running for the 2017 prospect yet.
Coaches unanimously support creating an early signing period for college football in December, but the executive director of the American Football Coaches Association says none of them want a third signing day in June.
The Nebraska coaches didn’t sit on their hands after missing on Jamire Calvin during the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. So even though the longtime Nebraska lean picked Oregon State, the Huskers had contingency plans in place and have moved forward…
Alabama offensive tackle Cam Robinson was a five-star recruit coming out of Monroe, Louisiana, and ranked as the No. 3 prospect nationally by 247Sports. But Robinson said he didn’t necessarily feel any pressure following him to Tuscaloosa.
Tyjon Lindsey, a top 100 prospect at wide receiver from Las Vegas Bishop Gorman High School, announced on Twitter early Wednesday morning that he was reopening his recruiting process just weeks before Signing Day.
Defensive coordinator Mark Banker will not have his contract renewed, Husker coach Mike Riley announced Wednesday, while defensive backs coach Brian Stewart has decided to pursue opportunities elsewhere.
Tom Osborne arrived, Barry Switzer made a beeline to see him and the cameras naturally followed. After a few seconds and a few words with his old friend and nemesis, Switzer realized what was happening.